Fire incident causes no harm to Sassanid-era Qa’leh Dokhtar castle

September 13, 2020 - 20:0

TEHRAN – The fire that broke out in the ancient Qa’leh Dokhtar castle in the southeastern province of Kerman on Friday has inflicted no damage to the Sassanid-era structure.

Situated on a mountain slope neighboring the Firouzabad-Kavar road, Qal’eh Dokhtar (literally meaning the Maiden Castle) was made by Ardashir I, the founder of the Sasanian Empire (224–651) in 209 CE.

The cause of the fire is under investigation and the result will be announced soon, provincial tourism chief Dorna Shahbazi announced on Sunday.

Based on narratives, the castle is named after the ancient Iranian goddess Anahita, to whom the term “Maiden” refers.

The entrance to the castle is through a tall gateway within a large, rectangular tower. Inside, a broad stairway leads up to a rectangular hall, with blind niches on either side of two large buttresses at the east end.

The fortified palace contains many of the recurring features of Sasanian architecture such as long halls, arches, domes, recessed windows, and stairways.

The construction is uniform of roughly shaped stone and mortar, but the surfaces were obviously all finished with a thick coating of plaster or stucco, giving a smooth and elegant appearance, which could have been decorated with ornamentation or painting.

Under the Sassanians, Iranian art experienced a general renaissance. Architecture often took grandiose proportions, such as the palaces at Ctesiphon, Firuzabad, and Sarvestan. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, one of the most characteristic and striking relics of Sassanian art is rock sculptures carved on abrupt limestone cliffs, for example at the historical sites Bishapur, Naqsh-e Rostam, and Naqsh-e Rajab.


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