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Sassanid palace

Sassanid palace

The Sassanid palace is located near Sarvestan, a city to the south of Iran near Shiraz. It is a monument dates back to the Sassanid dynasty, that can be seen as the glory of the past. The Sassanid palace of Sarvestan was built by Mehr Nerseh, the renowned Sassanid minister, he was the minister of several Sassanid Emperors such as Bahram the 5th.

Sassanid palace

The materials of the building are stone and plaster. Moreover it was decorated with stucco works and relieves on that which were painted in red. It should also be noted that its dome in the center and the yard has a special form.

Sassanid palace

The main entrance is located to the south with a portico and a huge vault. Just after the entrance there is a domed-building. Probably it is the main hall . It has a rectangular plan but it changed to the top to a round plan. Actually in order to build a round dome on a square building they made some squinches to reach a round plan at the top then they built the round dome on a square plan. This technique is continued and used in the architecture of mosques during the post Islamic period. In addition there are two corridors on its both sides leading us to different parts of the building.

Also it has a central courtyard with rooms around it which probably were used by courtiers. This method of architecture is derived from Parthians, An Arian tribe settled to the northeast of Iran known as Arsacids, and continued after the advent of Islam specially in the plan of mosques.

Sassanid palace

To the east there is another domed-building which seems to be a fire temple and has a quarto vault entrance and a dome at the top, it is smaller then the main hall. After the invasion of Arabs the function of some fire temples changed to a mosque, by closing three vaults, some of them were destroyed and some others, as this one remained intact.

As Sassanid palace does not have a symmetrical plan and the existence of four entrances on each side lead us to conclude that here could not be a palace. Some historians believe that it was a mansion within a garden, in the sketch of Persian gardens. According to them Mehr Nerseh had built it and planted about 30000 evergreen trees in the area. Probably that’s why the city near it, is called Sarvestan which means the land of evergreen trees. Moreover they say the area near the palace and the mountains were hunting areas as the king, Bahram the 5th , is known as Bahram the Gur, The hunter. Actually according to Iranian’s costume it was not just a matter of enjoying. Because when someone goes hunting they should be prepared for an imminent danger. Also they have to wake up early, sleep and eat less then usual. So it could be a kind of practicing of war.

Sassanid palace, among other Sassanid monuments, is registered in the UNESCO’s world heritage list in 2018 and its bricked-dimes are the oldest ones in Iran.

About the author

Hamid Noori is a local tourist guide in Iran. He borned in 1991 june 22end. First he studied industrial engineering at Shiraz university and worked in that field for a while but later he decided to pursue his dreams dealing with history. Now Hamid is a professional tourist guide.

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