Vault named after tragic lovers to gain former splendor 

January 11, 2021 - 18:7

TEHRAN – An ancient vault, named after tragic Persian lovers Shirin and Farhad, is planned to be restored in near future. 

Known as Taq-e Shirin and Farhad (arch of Shirin and Farhad), the Sassanid era (224 CE–651) monument is located in the city of Eyvan, western province of Ilam,

The square-shaped building, which is made of massive stones without any mortar, has only one room… And it is one of the unique buildings in this mountainous region, the provincial tourism chief, Abdolmalek Shanbehzadeh, said on Monday. 

The monument is attributed to the tragic story of Shirin and Farhad written by the Persian poet Nezami Ganjavi (1141-1209). In the story, Farhad carved an entire mountain for the sake of his beloved Shirin. 

The legends say that Taq-e Shirin and Farhad was built in half a day for Shirin to rest overnight while she was passing the region.

The historical structure was discovered in 2000 after being buried under soil and sand for many years and was inscribed on the National Heritage list in 2002. 

Farhad, an artist and craftsman famed for his skill at carving rock, and the Persian King Khosrow were both in love with the beautiful Shirin, the Queen of Armenia. Shirin knew of Farhad’s love and used the fact to make the King jealous. As a result, the King tried to get rid of Farhad by assigning him an impossible task: to win Shirin’s hand, he must remove a mountain. However, Farhad’s love was stronger than either Shirin or the King had imagined, and he took on the task.

Amazed at the reports of Farhad’s progress, Shirin traveled to the mountain to see it for herself. After the long journey, though, she fainted with fatigue, and Farhad put both Shirin and her horse on his shoulders and carried them back to the palace. However, Farhad is tricked by Khosrow into believing that Shirin has died, after which he killed himself using the tools that he had used to carve her image into the rock.

Home to almost half of Iran’s UNESCO sites, western Iran is a land of hospitable people, wild extremes, and wilder history, and it may be an independent traveler's adventure playground. The region also witnessed the rise and fall of many great empires once bordering Mesopotamia, Ottoman Turkey, and Czarist Russia.

From the fecund Caspian coast to the stark, mountainous northern borders and the crumbling desert ruins of the southern plains, the region hosts everything from paddy fields to blizzards to Persian gardens.


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