Firoozabad Ensemble | A significance of Persian History
Firoozabad city, formerly known as Gur city, is located in south of Shiraz province. Ardeshir I was its founder and in that time it was called Ardeshir Khowre, which means the glory of Ardeshir. Gur was the first capital of Sassanid Empire. The striking point about this ancient city is it’s completely circural shape.
The city had four gates with special names related to Zoroastrianism which were: Bahram, Hormoz and Anahita. In the center of the city there was also a tower, with 30 meters height and a spiral, square plan.
Firoozabad Ensemble includes many ancient structures and relics, each one expressing the elegant art and architecture of Sassanid Empire. This marvelous ancient city was inscribed in the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site, which includes the structures that are explained below:
The Palace of Ardeshir Babakan, a symbol of Sassanid architecture
Being one of the most amazing monuments related to Sassanid Empire, the construction of this palace dates back to 1800 years ago, by the order of Ardeshir I, the founder of Sassanid Empire.
Being 116 meters long and 55 meters wide, it is located on a square-shaped platform. This unique structure has several parts; a high porch, three domed-halls and a courtyard with corridors next to it. With beautiful stucco decorations and well-constructed vaults, Ardeshir Palace is one of the noble examples of Sassanid architecture. The river which runs along eastern side of the structure had an influence of the development of the building and the greenery of Ardeshir Babakan Palace.
A small Fire-temple is located near the palace, which was used for ceremonies. One of the important characteristics of this area is the presence of four primal elements; water, earth, fire and wind.
Qal’eh Dokhtar (The Maiden Castle), a presumed strategic castle
Located on a mountain slope, this castle with hierarchical plan and multiple staircases and corridors is unique in its kind. Qal’eh Dokhtar has three levels; the guarding rooms and Ab Anbar (a place to store water) on the lowest level, a courtyard with rooms around it on the middle level and a high porch with a magnificent dome on the highest level, which is the most important part of the structure. There is a cave in Qal’eh Dokhtar, which people believed to be connected to Ardeshir Palace and was used in war times.
Rock Relief of Ardeshir Victory
Dating back to Sassanid Empire, this rock relief is located near Firoozabad River and indicates the victory of Ardeshir Babak against Ardavan V. The attention paid for carving the details can be seen well in this relief.
The investiture of Ardeshir’s relief
It is located in less than a kilometer from Qal’eh Dokhtar. In this relief Ahoura Mazda and Ardeshir are standing in front of each other and Ahoura Mazda is investing Ardeshir with the ring of sovereignty over a fire alter. Behind Ardeshir the crowned prince Shapour and two other princes are standing. The figures are very well-carved in this amazing relief.
* Written by Arefeh Firouzan.
|Official Website: N/A||Entrance fee: 500.000 IRR|
|Wikipedia: Click here||Name(s) in Persian: فیروزآباد|
|UNESCO Website: Click here||Public transportation availability: N/A|
|Province: Shiraz|| Accommodation availability: Yes|
|Phone: N/A||Facilities: Yes|
|Working days: All days||Restaurant & Cafe availability: Yes|
|Opening hours: 7:30 AM-8:00 PM||Best time to visit: All Seasons|