Historical sites in Kermanshah unaffected by quake

November 29, 2021 - 17:36

TEHRAN – A medium-sized 4.2 magnitude earthquake that struck Kermanshah on Sunday caused no damage to historical sites across the western province.

Based on field visits by experts of the province’s Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department, no damage to historical relics and monuments has been reported so far, the provincial tourism chief Jabbar Gohari said on Monday.

“However, experts are on standby to inspect the possible harms to historical sites and aging structures of the province,” the official added.

In 2017, a powerful 7.3-magnitude earthquake struck the province causing relatively minor damage to several historic and heritage sites in Kermanshah and Ilam provinces.

It damaged five historical sites including a Safavid-era caravanserai and a Sassanid-era fortress in the counties of Qasr-e Shirin, Sarpol-e Zahab, and Dalahu in Kermanshah province while it caused some cracks in the walls of an archaeological museum in Darreh Shahr, Ilam Province.

Unfortunately, the natural disaster claimed the lives of at least 400 people and injured more than 6500 and it was felt in several other provinces.

Iran is crisscrossed by major geological fault lines and has suffered several devastating earthquakes in recent years.

Kermanshah embraces a variety of awe-inspiring historical sites including Bisotun and Taq-e Bostan, both on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Inscribed into the base of a towering cliff, Taq-e Bostan comprises extraordinary Sassanian bas-reliefs of ancient victorious kings divide opinions. Late afternoon is the best time to visit, as the cliff turns a brilliant orange in the setting sun, which then dies poetically on the far side of the duck pond.

Bisotun is a patchwork of immense yet impressive life-size carvings depicting king Darius I and several other figures. UNESCO has it that Bisotun bears outstanding testimony to the important interchange of human values on the development of monumental art and writing, reflecting ancient traditions in monumental bas-reliefs.

Another popular historical site of the province is the Temple of Anahita in the city of Kangavar, which is believed to have been built circa 200 BC. Several column bases and ruins of a wall remain from the magnificent Greek-style temple.

The temple was used during the Parthian era (248 BC-224) as well as the Sassanid era (224-651).

The monument was damaged as it was used for various purposes by the Seljuk, Ilkhanid, Safavid, and Qajar dynasties, which ruled Iran over the past centuries.

The Temple of Anahita was seriously damaged by an earthquake in 1957. Afterward, people invaded the perimeter of the site, using stones from the temple to rebuild their homes at that location.


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