The archaeological site of Takht-e Suleiman, northwest Iran, is located in a valley, in the middle of a volcanic region. The site includes the main Zoroastrian sanctuary, partially rebuilt during the Ilkhan (Mongolian) period in the 13th century, as well as a temple dedicated to Anahita dating from the Sassanid, century 6th and 7th. The site has an important symbolic value. The design of the fire temple, of the palace and the general layout of the site strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture.  

The archaeological complex named Takht-e Suleiman (“Solomon’s Golden Throne”) is located on a plain in the middle of a mountainous region in West Azerbaijan Province, Northwestern Iran. The site has strong symbolic and spiritual significance in relation to fire and water – the main reasons it has occupied since Antiquity – and is exceptional evidence of the permanence of a cult associated with fire and water over a period of about 2500 years. The remains of an exceptional royal architectural ensemble from the Sassanid dynasty of Persia (3rd to 7th centuries) are found there in a harmonious composition inspired by the environment. nature. An exceptional example of a Zoroastrian sanctuary integrated into palatial architecture; This composition by Takht-e Suleiman must be considered a true archetype.

An artesian lake and a volcano are essential elements of Takht-e Suleiman. At the center of the site is a solid oval platform about 60 meters above the surrounding valley and measuring about 350m x 550m. The foundation includes a fountain lake, a Zoroastrian fire temple, a temple dedicated to Anahita (the water god) and a Sasanian royal sanctuary. The site was destroyed at the end of the Sasanian era, but found new life and was partially rebuilt in the 13th century. About three kilometers to the west, an ancient volcano, Zendane Suleiman, is high. about 100 m above the surrounding land. At its top are the remains of sanctuaries and temples dating back to the first millennium BC. Takht-e Suleiman is the main holy site and the most important site of Zoroastrianism, the state religion of the Sassanids. This ancient monotheistic religion had a profound influence on Islam and Christianity; likewise, the design of the fire temple and royal palace, as well as the general layout of the site, had an important influence on the development of religious architecture during the Islamic period and became a major architectural reference to other cultures both in the East and in the West. . The site also has strong symbolic links, as it is associated with beliefs much older than Zoroastrianism, as well as important biblical figures and legends.

The 10-hectare property also includes Tepe Majid, an archaeological tomb culturally related to Zendane Suleiman; A mountain to the east of Takht-e Suleiman served as a quarry for the site, and Mount Belqeis is 7.5 km northeast, on which remains the ruins of a Sassanid citadel. The archaeological heritage of the Takht-e Suleiman complex is enriched by the (unexcavated) Sasanian city within a 7,438 hectare landscape buffer. 

The elements that constitute the site’s Outstanding Universal Value are found within the boundaries of the site, notably lakes and volcanoes, archaeological remains associated with Zoroastrian reserves, and royal architecture. family of the Sassanid dynasty. The built roofs have collapsed in places, but the configuration and function of the buildings are still clear.

The region’s climate, especially the prolonged rainy season and extreme temperature changes, as well as seismic activity, are major threats to the integrity of the original rock and masonry. Potential future risks include pressure to develop and construct visitor facilities in the buffer zones around the sites. Furthermore, there is a potential for conflict between the interests of farmers and the interests of archaeologists, especially in the case of excavations carried out in the fields of the valley. 

The Takht-e Suleiman Archaeological Complex is authentic in form and design, materials and materials, location and setting, and to some extent in the use and spirit of the fire temple. Because of recent excavations, restoration and reconstruction of the property has been relatively limited to date; part of the outer enclosure near the south entrance has been reconstructed, mainly using original stones found among the ruins of the wall; and part of the brick vaults of the palace structures were rebuilt with new bricks but arranged in the same manner as in the original structure. In general, these interventions can be considered necessary and do not affect the authenticity of the property, which retains the historic aspect. The ancient fire temple is still used by pilgrims performing Zoroastrian rituals.