Falak-ol-Aflak Castle

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle...
english.irib.ir 03/10/2013 News

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Falak-ol-Aflak Castle, known in ancient times as Dezbaz and Shapour-Khast, is one of the most impressive castles of Iran.

It is situated on top of a large hill with the same name in Khorramabad, the capital of Lorestan province, Historical Iran reported.

Khorramabad River runs past the eastern and southwestern sides of Falak-ol-Aflak Hill and provides natural protection to the fortress.

Today, the western and northern sides of the hill are bordered by the residential districts of Khorramabad.


This gigantic structure was built during the Sassanid Era (226–651). It has been known by a number of names since it was built over 1,800 years ago.

Recorded names have referred to it as Shapour-Khast or Sabr-Khast fortress, Dezbaz, Khorramabad Castle and ultimately the Falak-ol-Aflak Castle.

The foundations of the actual castle measure approximately 300 meters by 400 meters. The height of the entire structure, including the hill, reaches up to 40 meters above the surrounding area.

This space is divided into four large halls and their associated rooms and corridors. The rooms surround two courtyards with the following measurements: the first courtyard measures 31×22 meters and the second 29×21 meters.

When originally built, the castle used to have 12 towers, but only 8 are extant today. The building’s entrance is situated toward the north and within the body of the northwestern tower.

The Water Well

The water well of the fortress lies behind the first courtyard. With a depth of 40 meters, the well’s shaft is carved into the rock to reach the source of Golestan Spring. The well remains usable to this day.

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle appears to have been built with a dehumidifier system, which is one of the wonders of the ancient world.

Previously, experts believed these dehumidifier canals, with a height of more than 1 meter covering the area beneath the castle, were hideouts for the residents.

But in reality, as they were aware of the changing climate in the region and the underground waters, the Sassanid engineers equipped the castle with a dehumidifier.

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle is made with mud-bricks, mud-fired bricks, stone, wood and mortar that are vulnerable to humidity. That’s why the castle was built on the highest point of the city of Khorramabad so that the wind could penetrate the building and dry its foundations.

Managed by Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization, the castle is a protected site. At present, an Anthropology Museum inside the castle displays Lorestan’s cultural relics.

Other Attractions of Lorestan

Another attraction of Lorestan is Imamzadeh Ja’far, which is located in eastern Buroujerd city to the south of Khorramabad. It is a superb structure in the middle of an old cemetery dating back to the Seljuk Era.

Imamzadeh Qasem is also located in the east of this city. It is an important structure of 15th century.

Cheshmak Gorge is situated to the south of Pol-e Dokhtar city and has an easy access route.

The ancient castle of Cheshmak, a monument from the beginning of the Safavid Era, is also located here. In areas surrounding Alishtar, Aligoudarz and Boroujerd, recreational areas enhance their natural beauty.

Gousheh Recreational Place is also located 20 km south of Khorramabad, in a valley covered with pomegranate and fig orchards. The mausoleum of Shojaeddin Khorshid (the first of the Atabakans) or lords of the Lor-e Kouchak is located in its vicinity.

Source: Iran Daily
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