Located in Ilam Province, Seimareh city is the largest historical site of western Iran.
Seimareh city is among the first archeological sites registered in the list of National heritage sites of Iran. This ancient city which dates back to the late Sassanid era and early Islamic period of Iran is considered to be one of the most unique and beautiful historical sites of the west part of Iran.
Location of the Seimareh
Located in southeastern of Ilam province, 840 kilometers from Tehran, the historical city of Seimareh covers an area more than 200 hectares near Darreh Shahr. Due to the abundance and diversity of historical castles and forts in Darreh Shahr, this city (which literally means the city of Valleys for residing in a wide valley) is known as the city of fortresses in Iran.
In addition, from a geological perspective, the valley of the city is also considered to be the largest geopark in the world. Because of vast fertile lands, rich water resources, pastures, and dense forests, Dareh Shahr is one of the most important and ancient cities of Ilam province.
As the ruins of so many Sassanid monuments and buildings can be observed in Seimareh valley, the city has probably been an important place during the Sassanid and Parthian eras and was a thriving city at that time with an advanced urban setting.
Seimareh city (Also known as Madakto) was, in fact, the center of Mehrjankdak state, the capital in that period. It was used as the summer residence among Sassanids and today, it is the largest historical site in the province of Ilam.
Archeologists have estimated that Seimareh city once had more than five thousand houses and an operational sewage system. It seems that the city became destroyed and vacant due to a huge earthquake which occurred around 950 AD. However, the ruins of walls, buildings, palaces, and bazaars have still remained and can be visited by tourists.
Excavations have also revealed a very old, long canal in this area which extends from a waterfall to the city. Remains of crosses, alleys, and passages with their specific order demonstrate the urban development in that time.
Moreover, stucco reliefs and other decorations of the houses in the city are really unique in their kind and through 9 archeological excavations, many buildings such as mosques, mansions, and floodgates have been discovered in this area.
Because of the availability and abundance of gypsum in Seimareh valley and also the simplicity of using it, all buildings are constructed from abraded rubble stones and gypsum here.
Due to its unique position and natural, social and economic characteristics, Seimareh has always been an important center during the history of Iran and as well as a Kufic inscription dating back to the early Islamic era, some coins have been unearthed here which belong to Khosrow III era and his successors.
The site is waiting to be inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List after making the necessary repairs.
However, it is still among the most important archeological sites of the country and attracts many visitors, especially during the spring when the weather is mild and the natural resources of the region are very abundant.