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Takht-e-Soleiman Complex (Azargoshnasb Fire Temple), Takab

Shirdal Airya Iranian Tour and Travel Company

Takht-e Soleiman monument is placed on a natural high land, about 20 m. above the surrounding plain. All the structural relics have been constructed within an oval shaped rampart. The exterior rampart with 5 m. thickness, 14 m. height and outer circumference of 1,200 m. has 38 conical defense towers.
The outer wall is a remnant from the Sassanian period. During the Ilkhanan reign, a new gateway had been constructed adjoined with the former southern gateway. Within the oval rampart there are two square plots, with uniaxis and different centers.

In the centers of the southern square there is a lake and the northern square an ancient fire temple respectively. Eivan-e-Khosrow is placed to the north western direction of the lake and to its southern side is Eivan-e-Garabaq-e-Khosrow. Takht-e-Soleiman was destroyed during the Roman conquest in 624 AD.
In archeological surveys around the area of the fire-temple a variety of coins, tiles and a huge copper cooking vessel (a remnant of the Islamic period), have been discovered. The Soleiman prison which consists of the remnants of a pre-historic and the Medes temple is included in this aggregate. Sites such as dormant volcanoes, thermal springs and streams around Takht-e-Soleiman are worth surveying.

{mosimage} 45 kilometers northeast of the city of Takab, a historic site can be seen. It is the heritage remained from the Sassanid era (226–650 AD). Takht-e Soleiman (Solomon’s Throne) is home to one of the three famous Sassanid fire temples. It is also where the kings of the Sassanid dynasty were crowned. This monument was most probably built during the reign of King Pirooz (457- 484 AD), King Anoushirvan’s grandfather.

Although archeological excavations in the historic site of Takht-e Soleiman have also revealed remains of the Achaemenid and Median eras, this ancient site is most known for its Sassanid monuments such as:

Azargoshnasb Fire Temple,
Anahita Temple,
Hadaya (Gifts) Museum,
Zendan (Jail) Mountain,
and Belgheis Castle.

Remains of the only castle dating back to the Ilkhanid period (1256-1353 AD) can also be seen in this historic site. In addition to historic monuments, those who travel to Takht-e Soleiman may also see an absolutely eye-catching lake with changing colors in front of Khosrow’s portico. The deepest point of this lake is 112 meters from the sea level. Its temperature is reduced to 40 degree Celsius due to a natural spring that exists along its bed.

The complex of Takht-e Soleiman and its landscape is the first Persian heritage inscribed in UNESCO’s List of World Heritage Sites after the Islamic revolution of 1979.

With over 2,000 years of history, the magnificent archaeological treasures of Takht-e Soleiman signifies cultural heritage of ancient Iranian civilization.

Takht-e Soleiman and its archaeological artifacts, as one of the most notable and celebrated centers for Iranian civilization, has put behind its glorious days of prosperity, and is now lying in peace, quite in the outskirts of Afshar’s mountains, 45 kilometers. northeast of Takab, West Azarbaijan.

The historical region is only reachable through Zanjan-Bijar or Miandoab-Shahindej road toward Qara Bolagh, northeast of Takht-e Soleiman. The historical monument has never been put researched thoroughly by Iranian archaeologists and foreign experts – perhaps because of the long distance.

Takht-e Soleiman used to be a magnificent castle for ancient Iranian preachers called “Mogh” who used to reign during the Ashkanid and Sassanid eras. The historical monument was ruined after suffering from constant attacks by the Roman, Arab and Mongol invaders.


The castle has been constructed around a lake surrounded by stone hedges. In an oval shape it is stretched about 400 meters to the south and 200 meters to the west. The magnificent stronghold consists of a collection of swimming pool and lake, a place of worship, entrance gates, tall columns, hall, place of swearing, fire temples, mineral hot spring, and watch towers. With its purple and blue color, the pool, known as Takht-e Soleiman Lake, is one of the wonders of this historical site. It is about 80 meters wide and 120 meters long. With a depth of 110 meters it flows like a hot spring, pumping out about 100 liters of water every second. From the southern part, the castle looks like a gate with ruined walls – the 3-roofless rooms that used to be a place of worship for ancient Iranians.

Historians believe that the Mongol ruler, Abaqa Khan, Jenghiz Khan’s grandson, converted to Islam after invading Iran and built a mosque on top of the castle, which was ruined in later times. The 7-meter column at the entrance used to be the hall of Khosro Parviz which now has only one column left. About 20 years ago scaffolding was set up around the column to stop it from more damage and possible collapse. Sign of ancient repair jobs are clearly visible on many parts of the column. Known as “Madayen Hall”, the hall used to be a palace for many Iranian monarchs. Series of steps have remained at a memorial site in the northern part of the castle that used to be a place for giving oath.

Diverse Islamic tile-works decorating the walls are so much in place that can be classified into many different architectural schools, the important of which are golden stone tablets, engraved tile-works with blue backgrounds, and gold-plated pictures of mythical animals such as phoenix and dragon. Known as Azar Goshasb and Anahita, the private and public fire temples also narrate their own unique fable. In the book “A Glance at Azarbaijan” written by Muhammad Javad, it is said that Javidan Fire Temple used to burn forever because it was built on top of an oil well – hence the name Javidan (never-ending).

The castle used to be the capital of Azarbaijan in the Sassanid era. The main fire temple had four columns and one dome with crescent ceilings and plaster works. People used to pray in the temple for solving their problems. Anahita Fire Temple which has now only eight columns left, was brought up to the surface by a group of archaeologists from Iran and Germany.

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