Housed in the northeast of Takab Town, in west Azerbaijan Province, the ancient compound of Takht-e Soleyman, literally Throne of Solomon, includes historic remains and craters.
The 3000-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site is of note both for its archeological ruins and for its importance in Iran’s history and mythology.
Excavations have uncovered remains from the early Sassanid era through the Ilkhanate era, and new excavations are underway to relate the history of the site to the earlier times of the Achaemenids after studies verified Parthian traces.
The historic site involves a limestone mountain on top of which a crater spring, about 100 m in diameter, is nestled. The mountain has been formed over many years by calcareous deposits in the waters of the lake. Currently, several small hills are also gradually forming around the mountain.
The surviving site includes the remnants of massive castles and monuments where priests resided during the flourishing Parthian and Sassanid eras. They were damaged after the devastating invasions of Arabs and Mongols.
Some of the embossed tile remnants from a mosque built in the site by Hulagu Khan’s nephew, who was a Muslim convert, are now kept in Reza Abbasi Museum.
There are beliefs and myths about the mysterious history of the site; the most notable is perhaps the prison crater where the legendary King Solomon is supposed to have imprisoned those who disobeyed him.
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