Facts and Data

Official Unesco Page

Basis Data:
Unesco World heritage since: 2003
Size of heritage: 10 ha
- Buffer zone: 7,438 ha

Longitude: 47,235°
Latitude: 36,604°


The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman, in north-western Iran, is situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sasanian period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Anahita. The site has important symbolic significance. The designs of the fire temple, the palace and the general layout have strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture.

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Takht-e Soleyman: A UNESCO World Heritage Site in Iran

Takht-e Soleyman, located in the Western Azerbaijan Province of Iran, is a UNESCO World Heritage site that holds immense historical and cultural significance. This ancient complex, also known as the Throne of Solomon, is situated on a remote volcanic plateau at an altitude of 2,000 meters.


The history of Takht-e Soleyman dates back to the pre-Islamic era, with evidence of human settlement in the area as early as the 1st millennium BCE. However, it was during the Sassanian period (3rd to 7th century CE) that the site flourished and became a major center of religious and cultural importance.

The complex is centered around a large crater lake, known as Zendan-e Soleyman or the Prison of Solomon, which is believed to have been formed by a volcanic eruption thousands of years ago. The lake's mystical appearance, surrounded by rugged mountains, adds to the site's allure.

Takht-e Soleyman became a significant religious site during the Sassanian dynasty, as it was believed to be the dwelling place of the Zoroastrian deity, Ahura Mazda. The Sassanian kings built a grand fire temple, known as the Azargoshnasb, on the site to honor this deity. The temple was a place of pilgrimage and an important center for Zoroastrian rituals.

Over the centuries, Takht-e Soleyman faced numerous invasions and destruction. The site was sacked by Arab invaders in the 7th century and later fell into decline. However, it regained prominence during the Ilkhanid period (13th to 14th century) when a new city, known as Soltaniyeh, was established nearby.

Current State

Today, Takht-e Soleyman stands as a remarkable archaeological site, showcasing the remnants of its glorious past. The most prominent structure within the complex is the Azargoshnasb fire temple, which has partially survived the ravages of time. The temple's circular design, with its impressive walls and columns, reflects the architectural brilliance of the Sassanian era.

Other notable structures within the complex include the Anahita temple, dedicated to the goddess of water and fertility, and the Zendan-e Soleyman, a fortified structure believed to have served as a royal residence. The remains of a palace, a mosque, and a caravanserai can also be found within the site.

Visitors to Takht-e Soleyman can explore the archaeological ruins and gain insights into the ancient Zoroastrian religion and Sassanian culture. The site's remote location and serene surroundings provide a unique and tranquil experience for visitors.

Efforts have been made to preserve and protect Takht-e Soleyman, with ongoing restoration projects and conservation measures in place. The site was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 2003, recognizing its outstanding universal value and the need for its safeguarding.

Takht-e Soleyman stands as a testament to Iran's rich cultural heritage and serves as a reminder of the country's ancient past. Its historical significance, architectural grandeur, and natural beauty make it a must-visit destination for history enthusiasts and travelers seeking a glimpse into Iran's glorious past.