Castle of Ardeshir e Babakan (in Persian: قلعه اردشير بابکان‎)

قلعه اردشير بابکان‎
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Castle of Ardeshir e Babakan (in Persian: قلعه اردشير بابکان‎):
, also known as the Atash-kadeh آتشکده, is a castle located on the slopes of the mountain on which Ghal’eh Dokhtar is situated on. Built in AD 224 by Ardashir I of the Sassanian Empire, it is located two kilometres (1.2 miles) north of the ancient city of Gor, i.e. the old city of Firouzabad in Fars, in ancient Persia (Iran).

The structure contains three domes, among other features, making it a bit larger and more magnificent than its predecessor the nearby castle of Ghal’eh Dokhtar. However, it seems that the compound was designed to display the royalty image of Ardashir I, rather than being a fortified structure for defense purposes. That is why perhaps it would be best to refer to the structure as a “palace” rather than a “castle”, even though it has huge walls on the perimeters (twice as thick as Ghal’eh Dokhtar), and is a contained structure. From the architectural design, it seems the palace was more of a place of social gathering where guests would be introduced to the imerial throne.

What is particularly interesting about this palace is that its architectural design does not exactly fall into that of the Parthians or even Sassanian category; the design is a unique design particular to architects of Fars.

The palace was built next to a picturesque pond that was fed by a natural spring, perhaps in connection with the Persian goddess of water and growth, Anahita. The spring is thought to have fed a royal garden, in the same way that Cyrus had his garden (bustan) built at Pasargadae. The pond was tiled on its sides, surrounded by pavement for guests of the royal court to enjoy the evenings by.

The structure is 104 m (340 ft) by 55 m (180 ft). The eivan is 18 m (60 ft) high, although it has partially collapsed. The structure was built of local rocks and mortar with plasterwork on the insides. The style of the interior design is comparable to that of Tachar palace at persepolis.

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