West azarbayjan
Takhte Soleyman - Soleyman Jail

Takhte Soleyman - Soleyman Jail

In the south of west Azerbayjan, is located one of the most majestic and mysterious constructions of Iran. The name �TakhteSoleyman� comes from Islamic, but life roots start much earlier in ancient times. According archeological excavations first populations of this area formed about first millennium B.C. Importance of place raised during Sassanid era, it became the most important fire temple among three temples which were located around whole empire. Pre Islamic name of TakhteSoleyman is unknown but it was main ceremonial palace of Sassanid kings. That�s why sizes of building are astonishing the best architects were creating shapes of the structures. Through the corridors you will face main Zoroastrian fire temple Azargoshnasb, possibly after it was called whole complex during Sassanid. Next to Azargoshnasb is located temple for godess Anahita which was the ruler of water, therefore water pool was located inside of the building, water was kept clean by special Zoroastrian clergyman and it was as holy for them as an immortal fire. After observing the complex you will notice differences among architectural layers, because TakhteSoleyman was keeping his popularity during Ilkhanid and Safavid eras. Therefore there are lots of structures build by these dynasties and it seems, temple still was very important for new rulers.

One of the reasons of TakhteSoleymans popularity was its mysteriousness, created bylegends. One of them is legend about lake, which is located inside of the fortification, next to the temples. Its surface is not as important as its depths. The shallowest point of the lake is 45 meters and full depth is 112 meters. The source of the water is located on the bottom and it seems the lake is artesian well. Concentration of minerals is so high in water, that it becomes undrinkable. These geographical specifications made this lake special and unusual that is why legend was created about competition which was held for royal throne demanders. They should swim across the lake to become a king, but according to the legend many courageous heroes became victims of the mysterious water. Now entering to water it�s strictly prohibited.

Old writings and stories in books inform us about astonishing and vast carpets which were covering walls of the biggest arches of the complex, but unfortunately no evidence was found for proving existence of these marvelous creations.

Other legend is about Sassanid king and that story is more important compering to rests. It�s about King KhosroPharviz, who decided to conquer Jerusalem and after managing it he grabbed cross which was used for crucifying Jesus Christ, agreeing to story KhosroPharviz brought holy cross to TakhteSoleyman temple and kept it there, but due to lack of evidences the story is just a legend.

ZendaneSoleyman is huge pit located near TakhteSoleyman complex, this site is outstanding natural and historical world heritage. It was created by calcic sediments of artesian spring. Now this empty �water pool� huge hole in the mountain and its depth is about 85 meters and height from cliffs around the hole is approximately 107 meters. An empty space of the well helps us to realize sizes of depth of lake in TakhteSoleyman which is 112 meters deep. ZendaneSoleymans unusual shapes were reason for creation numerous stories which are trying explain meaning of pit. According to them it was supposed to be a shelter for civils during the wars, also they describe it as a royal residence and some of them tell that it was jail. After viewing of depth of ZendaneSoleymanonly thoughts, about destiny of prisoners becomes terrifying.