Landscaping, clean-up project completed on ancient fortress in Rey

January 17, 2021 - 20:30

TEHRAN-A landscaping and clean-up project has been recently completed on the ancient fortress of Rashkan in the historical city of Rey, which is situated south of Tehran province. 

The mission was carried out in collaboration with three non-governmental groups (NGOs) active in the tourism and cultural heritage fields, Rey’s tourism director Amir Mosayeb Rahimzadeh said on Sunday. 

Some volunteers also collaborated to clean and collect garbage from the fortress’ surrounding areas, the official added. 

Dating back to the Parthian era (247 BC – 224 CE), Rashkan fortress was built at the top of a solid mountain with plaster, limestones, and marble stones to help defend the city against invaders. The main parts of the castle were still standing until the Qajar era (1789-1925) but have since fallen into ruin.

Several excavations carried out at the historical site have uncovered the remains of some other structures from different historical eras. From ancient to modern times, defensive walls have often been necessary for cities to survive in an ever-changing world of invasion and conquest.

Fortresses were designed primarily to defend territories in warfare and were also used to solidify rule in a region during peacetime. Many of the fortifications of the ancient world were built with mud brick, often leaving them no more than mounds of dirt for today’s archaeologists.

Rey was one of the capital cities of the Parthian empire and it was captured by the Muslim Arabs in 641 CE. During the reign of the Muslim caliph al-Mahdi in the 8th century, the city grew in importance until it was rivaled in western Asia only by Damascus and Baghdad.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Islamic writers described it as a city of extraordinary beauty, built largely of fired brick and brilliantly ornamented with blue faience (glazed earthenware). It continued to be an important city and was briefly a capital under the rule of the Seljuqs, but in the 12th century, it was weakened by the fierce quarrels of rival religious sects. In 1220 the city was almost destroyed by the Mongols, and its inhabitants were massacred. Most of the survivors of the massacre moved to nearby Tehran, and the deserted remnants of Rey soon fell into complete ruin.


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