Since the very beginning of human settlement, the existence of castles and citadels seemed crucial for protecting and defending inhabitants from enemies.

During the history, particularly in prehistoric and early historic times, castles have played an important role in fortifying countries. They were normally maintained by authorities along significant routes or cities and most of them were located in uncovered heights with steep slopes or cliffs. Such locations have always served as a natural defense against enemies and offered a panoramic view over the surrounding lands, so the cities and their surroundings lands could be defended. Most of the castles in Iran had springs or wells, except for those which were already surrounded by water. These structures are considered to represent an important aspect of the country’s history and thus, are worth visiting as a tourist historic attraction. So, let’s discover some of the most famous castles in Iran together.

Falak-ol-Aflak Castle

This amazing castle, dates back to Sassanid era and is located on top of the Falak-ol-Aflak hill in Khoram Abad city in Lorestan province. This gigantic structure covers an area around 5300 square meters and the height of the entire structure, including the hill, reaches to more than 40 meters above its surrounding lands.

Alamut Castle

Although today only ruins of this magnificent fortress have remained, it was once a very glorious structure, located in the mountainous region of Alamut in the southern part of Gilan province near Rudbar. Built around 865 AD, Alamut castle was considered to be impregnable to any attack and was famous for its paradisal gardens and libraries where, scientists, theologians and philosophers could debate in intellectual freedom.

Shush Castle

Situated in the ruins of the ancient city of Shush in Khuzestan province in the southern Iran, this beautiful castle resembles medieval monuments in France, as it is constructed by French archaeologist Jean-Marie Jacques in the late 1890s. The castle is relatively well-preserved and is a great example of the pre-scientific era.

Dokhtar Castle

Dokhtar Fortress- which literally means girl-, is one of the oldest constructions worldwide and is situated in Firuz Abad in Fars province. It was built in 209 AD on a mountain slope under the order of Ardeshir I at the end of the Parthian period. According to the name of this castle, it is thought that it was dedicated to Goddess Anahita, to whom the term “Maiden” refers. It is among the most attractive destinations in Fars province.

Babak Fort

This castle is located in one of the most beautiful landscapes in Iran, on top of a mountain in Arasbaran forests, 6 km southwest of Kalibar City in northwestern Iran. It is also known as immortal or republic castle and is considered to be a national Iranian symbol, as it is the stronghold of Babak Khoramdin who fought the Abbassids. The fort is accessible through a long series of broken steps.

Izadkhast Castle

Located in Fars province, the castle is situated in Izadkhast complex which consists of a castle, a caravanserai and a bridge. The castle dates back to Sassanid era and was registered as a Unesco World Heritage site in 2007.

Rudkhan Castle

This brick and stone medieval castle of Rudkhan is one of the few castles in Iran which located in an astonishing landscape in forest. Built during the reign of Sassanid, the castle is situated 25 kilometers southwest of Fuman city in Gilan province. This well-preserved splendid castle is accessible via a mountainous winding route in the middle of a forest with more than 1000 stone steps.

Rudkhan Castle

Rudkhan Castle; also Roodkhan Castle, is a brick and stone medieval fortress in Iran that was built by the Talyshs to defend against the Arab invaders during the Arab/Islamic invasion of Sassanian Iran.

Arg-e Bam

Located in Bam city in Kerman province, Arg-e Bam is the largest adobe structure in the world which unfortunately, was largely destroyed during the Bam earthquake in 2003. It originally dates back to Achaemenid era and was a significant site on the silk road. This enormous citadel has been registered as a UNESCO World heritage site and covers near 180,000 square meters.

Arg-e Bam in Kerman

Rayen Castle

This is another great monument located 100 kilometers of Kerman province. This medieval adobe castle is similar to Bam castle and represent all the architectural elements of a deserted citadel. This extremely well-preserved castle dates back to more than 1000 years ago and although it was inhabited until 150 years ago, it is believed by some that it has origins in the pre-islamic Sassanid era.

Portuguese Castle

Also known as Fort of Our Lady of the Conception, this castle is one of the main attractions of Hormuz island in the south of Iran. This red stone castle is among the last survivals of Portuguese colonial rule in Persian Gulf. It was built in 1507, when Hormuz was an important maritime city and a small kingdom near the entrance to the Persian Gulf.

Narin Castle

Situated in the beautiful city of Meybod in Yazd province, Narin is a mud-brick fort, dating back to Achaemenid and Sassanid dynasties. The height of the ruins of this castle reach 40 meters and it is possible to watch over 70 kilometers in every direction from the top of the roof. The castle also has a large underground chamber which was possibly a prison.

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