Fortress, located in Varamin, 40 Kms southeast of Tehran, is one of
the biggest defensive earthen fortresses of the world, belonging to
the Sassanid era. After many years of being neglected, it is now
going to become a key cultural entertainment center of the country.
The historical fortress dates back to more than 2500 years ago, and
its name has been mentioned in Vandidad, one of the chapters of
Zoroastrianism book, Avesta, providing a proof to this claim.
The Fortress is built in an area of 1440x1280 square meters and the
walls are 8 to 12 meters wide. The size of the adobes which have
been used in the construction of the walls, are 12x46x46 cms. The
Fort which is considered as the biggest defensive earthen fortress
of the world is situated north of Varamin to Pishva road. On each
side of the fortress, there is a gate. Today, from these four gates,
just the northeastern one is left intact.
Despite the importance of this historical fortress, it has been
ignored and no research has been carried out on it so far, keeping
the mysteries behind the fort which is surrounded by agricultural
Until 6 months ago when the fortress was introduced as one of the 10
big projects of Tehran province to the preservation and restoration
office of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Iran; it
was then agreed that after doing studies on the fortress, it be
appointed as one of the main national projects of Iran.
The reformation and restoration of this military fortress is under
consideration now, and according to Alireza Anisi, deputy of the
preservation office of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism
Organization of Iran, the restoration project of Iraj Fortress will
begin very soon by allocation of the necessary budget, turning it to
one of the biggest tourism centers of Iran.
Iraj Fortress, as the historical shelter of Fereydoon killer of
Zahak in Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh (Letter of Kings), is a unique
fortress, which was used as a defensive location. .
Due to its vast area and the existence of an airport, which is being
used for crop-dusting, the special situation of the historical
fortress for attracting tourists can not be denied.
“Iraj Fortress is one of the most important historical sites of
Iran, which underwent serious damages within the last few years. But
with reformation and restoration activities, this historical site
will be saved, will regain its dignity and will become a tourist
attraction,” says Mohammad Ebrahim Tarighat, head of Cultural
Heritage and Tourism Organization of Tehran.
The thick walls of the fortress where chariots passed along are
damaged due to lack of necessary preservations and a lot of cracks
have appeared on them.
Tarighat knows these walls as a symbol of Iran’s historical
identity and believes that they should be reformed and restored to
indicate Iranian identity.
This fortress enjoys some valuable characteristics, such as its
brick aqueduct. “This military fortress enjoys an aqueduct with
200 to 300 meters of brick pipes, which provided the fortress
inhabitants with sufficient supply of water during war time and when
they were under siege by the enemies,” says Ali Akbar Soltanian,
head of the Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization of Varamin.