Isfahan Atashgah is located a few kilometers away from the main city center. It is a Zoroastrain fire temple based on top of a hill and dates back to Sassanid period. This archaeological complex can be reached after climbing a height of about 200 meters toward the hilltop. The hill has been named after the nearby village and is called Marabin or Maras.
The complex has a few structures. There used to be a citadel consisting of twenty buildings on the southern part of the complex. Most of these buildings are in ruins now. They have a typical floor plan which has a four-arch style. This was usually found in most of the Zoroastrian fire temples built after the 3rd century. They always had the sacred fire burning inside them.
Your trip to Isfahan will be made more interesting if you don’t visit Isfahan Atashgah. Among the many buildings you will find here are storage rooms. There were also rooms for the pilgrims and priests to stay.
Besides the citadel, there is also a tower-like circular building. It is believed to have been more than 20 meters high but is now in ruins. Called the Burj-e-Gurban or Burj-e-Kurban or Tower of Sacrifice, it may have served the purpose of a watch tower. A fire was lit at the top of the tower to alert the people about an impending attack by the enemy.
Purpose of the Structure
The strategic location of this structure reminds one of the similar religious-military buildings used for both reasons. In addition to be a Zoroastrian fire temple, guards could have watched what was going on in the neighboring areas and who was approaching the city.
You will learn about the Elamite tradition of Isfahan Atashgah complex during your trip to Isfahan. The architecture is quite similar to a structure in Qom called Chahak fire temple. This temple has been built with a cylindrical structure on top of it. You can notice this circular plan in the complex in Isfahan when you visit Iran.
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