northern gate of the historical site of Takht-e
Soleyman, West Azarbaijan province, is undergoing
restorations for the first time ever after 12
years of pathology and archaeological studies.
The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman
includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary
partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid period (13th
century) as well as a temple of the Sassanid
period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to
Goddess Anahita. It was inscribed on UNESCO World
Heritage List in 2003.
After 12 years of extensive studies on the
materials of the structure and pathology studies,
the project to restore the heritage has now
started from its northern gate.
According to head of the project, Ibrahim Heidari,
the significance of the northern gate is due to
the fact that Zoroastrian pilgrims used it as the
main entrance to their annual prayer ceremony held
in summer and the deployment of management forces,
including guards, Zoroastrian priests, attendants,
“The northern gate is similar in form to the
eastern one and is just 20 centimeters shorter.
Both gates date back to the Sassanid era, however,
the northern gate has been vastly damaged during
the years,” explained Heidari, adding that the
vicinities of the gate have been archaeologically
excavated and many of its collapsed building
Takht-e Soleyman is the largest religious social
complex of the Sassanid dynasty discovered in Iran
proper. It was nearly deserted when Arabs invaded
the country and with the Ilkhanids reigning the
region, the site underwent extensive repair works
and constructions to transform it into a
historical capital and recreational center. Later
on, the city lost its importance, yet survived
until the 17th century, when the site was deserted
and preserved due to a popular belief that known
it to be related to mythical King Solomon.