Shushtar water structures is one of the spectacular and extraordinary attractions of Iran, which is registered as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This historical Iranian landscape is located in Khuzestan province and in the beautiful city of Shushtar. Jane Dieulafoy mentions in her travelogue one of the astonishing structures she has seen in Shushtar, and mentions it as the largest industrial complex before the Industrial Revolution.
The creators of this human heritage located in Iran have had a lot of genius and technical knowledge in the field of hydraulic engineering and by managing and controlling water, they have taken advantage of the principled use of water resources. By constructing various water structures, diversion and transfer of water of river Karun; Quite cleverly, they made the most of water and used it for drinking, irrigating agricultural and industrial lands. It is possible that this historical place of Iran belongs to the Achaemenid period, but this amazing complex dates back to the Sassanid era and was probably built by Ardeshir I or Shapur I, but in general, this collection has been completed over time and in different periods, and sections have been added to it and also during the Qajar period, repairs and reconstruction have been done in this place.
Each of the items of Shushtar water structures has its own application, which in connection with each other, forms an interconnected set. In the construction and architecture of Shushtar structures, materials such as stone and brick have been used to deliver equal water to the whole city and prevent the eruption of Karun river.
Shushtar complex of water structures includes various sections such as bridges, dams, mills, waterfalls, canals, etc. The most important items of this historical attraction of Iran are the followings:
Pavilion Tower: There are several theories about the time of construction and use of Shushtar Pavilion Tower; Some believe that this tower was the watchtower of Shapur I and the place of monitoring the work of workers; But some believe the tower monitored the amount and intensity of river flow.
Gargar River: This river is artificial and was created by the order of Ardeshir I, the Sassanid king. The bottom of this river is paved and they are connected with metal packages to prevent the bed from deepening.
Waterfalls and water mills: Shushtar waterfalls and mills include a series of tunnels, canals, water mills and dams. The function of this complex is such that as the Gargar River rises through the dam, the water is directed into three tunnels and from there it is divided into several channels, and after passing through the created paths and turning the mills, they fall into the pools in the form of spectacular waterfalls.
Mandaeans Shrine: In the east of this complex, the remains of canals and chambers can be seen that this area was used as a Mandaeans shrine in the Safavid and Qajar eras.
Salasel Castle: This castle is the oldest part of Shushtar water structures, which dates back to the Achaemenid period. In addition of having a defensive role for the city, this castle was used to control the water of the creek.
Visiting all the attractions of Shushtar water structure takes hours. This area has many attractions that are among the most important world heritages. This huge and historical collection, because it is a masterpiece of human genius and creativity, represents the exchange of human values in a particular period, which has led to the development of architecture and technology and urban planning. It is also a clear example of the interaction between humans and the environment, which was registered on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2009.