DestinationsIran TourismZanjan

Dash Kasan: Zanjan’s Dragon Temple

Exploring Dash Kasan Temple in Zanjan

Dash Kasan, also known as the Dragon Temple, is an archaeological site in Zanjan renowned for its fascinating legends, exceptional craftsmanship, and architectural splendor. Commanded by the Mongol King Öljaitü in the early 14th century, the temple presents an insightful view into the cultural and artistic amalgamation characteristic of the period.

The Enigmatic Construction of Dash Kasan


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A Collaboration of Cultures

The Dragon Stone of Dash Kasan Caves stands as a symbol of cultural amalgamation, built by four Chinese craftsmen who brought their unparalleled skills to the Iranian landscape. This collaboration highlights the expansive Mongol Empire‘s cultural diversity and its influence on the region’s architectural heritage.

Zanjans Dragon Temple
Zanjan’s Dragon Temple

The Dragon Temple’s Architecture

Resembling an incomplete rectangle, the architecture of Dash Kasan caves showcases the meticulous planning and unique design sensibilities of its creators. The site’s layout, combined with its historical significance, makes it a fascinating destination for history buffs and architecture enthusiasts alike.

The Dragon Motifs

Dragon Reliefs on Dashkasan Temple
Dragon Reliefs on Dashkasan Temple

The Dragon Temple is renowned for its dragon reliefs, some of the few in Iran, measuring 5 meters in length and 1.5 meters in width. These impressive carvings not only demonstrate the site’s artistic achievements but also reflect the far-reaching influence of Far Eastern culture during the Ilkhanid period.

Exquisite Muqarnas and Islamic Motifs

Ruins of Dash Kasan Temple in Zanjan
Ruins of Dash Kasan Temple in Zanjan

Adorning the temple’s alcoves, muqarnas (stalactite decorations) and varied Islamic motifs reveal the site’s religious and cultural layers. The intricate designs and symmetry across the temple underscore the craftsmen’s expertise and the harmonious blend of Mongolian, Chinese, and Islamic artistic traditions.

Visiting Dash Kasan

Accessibility and Preservation

Recently improved accessibility, including paved roads and signage, makes visiting Dash Kasan more convenient than ever. While much of the original structure has withstood the test of time, ongoing efforts ensure the preservation of this historic site for future generations.

Facilities and Guidance

Visiting Dashkasan Dragon Temple of Zanjan
Visiting Dashkasan Dragon Temple of Zanjan

Visitors to Dash Kasan can find guidance and information at the site, courtesy of the dedicated custodian living on the premises. A small prayer room and facilities for an extended stay enrich the visitor experience, making Dash Kasan not just a site to behold but a place to reflect and explore deeper.


Dash Kasan, with its storied past, breathtaking dragon reliefs, and architectural wonders, stands as a testament to the rich tapestry of Iran’s history and the cultural crossroads that the nation has historically been. As you walk through the temple’s remains, you’re not just exploring ancient ruins; you’re stepping into a narrative that spans continents, cultures, and centuries. Whether you’re an archeology aficionado, a lover of myths and legends, or simply in search of beauty, Dash Kasan awaits to tell its tales.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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