Friday, 30 June 2017

My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleyman - Day 16 (morning) - Takâb - The Unesco designated Takht-e Soleyman complex - The 24th of May 2017

We set off for the famous historical complex named Takht-e Soleiman, one of Takâb's oldest Zoroastrian fire temples. As we stood by the main entrance listening to Mr. Rovillé's explanations the cold wind which had been blowing since early morning started affecting some of us, particularly those who had left the hotel unprepared for such an unexpected cold weather, so after a few long minutes into his explanation Eleonore, Didier and I had to look for a sheltered place. This ultimately led to us to doing just part of the visit that followed.

Based on legendary stories, Takht-e Soleyman and its neighbouring historical attractions, which include a few mountains had been assigned to the prophet Soleyman. According to archaeological excavations there have been some settlements from the first millennium B.C to the Safavid era withing the complex, despite the fact that the most significant belong to the Sassanid (Pre-Islamic) and Ilkhanid (Mongol) periods.

The Azargoshnasb Zoroastrian fire temple is said to have been established in the Sassanid period and been mostly used by Kings and warriors for religious and national ceremonies. The Azaroshnasb fire temple, the temple of Anahita, the khosrow Ivan, the fortification and the Ilkhanid palaces are among the most considerable monuments in the complex.

We had the privilege of being approached by a group of Kurds and speak with them for a while in what turned out to be a fairly rich exhange of information regarding the three countries of the intervening actors in the conversation. 

Because of a minor problem I ended up not joining the group in the afternoon having stayed at the hotel all afternoon.

My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleiman - Day 15 (afternoon) - On the way to Takâb - The 23rd of May 2017

The rest of the afternoon was spent on our way to Takâb with a few sporadic stops to take photographs and breath in.

Upon reaching Takâb and just before having had dinner at the only local hotel we were lodged at,  Joëlle, Didier and I went out see what the rather "shy" looking village had to show us. I ended up buying an exquisite local coat, despite not being exactly my size.

My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleiman - Day 15 (morning) - Marâgheh - The Nasir Al-Din Tusi astronomic observatory - The 23rd of May 2017

We headed towards the astronomic observatory built in 1259 by the astronomy-addicted Hulagu Khan at the behest of his Minister Nasir Al-Din Tusi, who was an astronomer himself, as well as a mathematician and a poet. Very little is to be seen of what once was the famous construction and one of the most prestigious during the Medieval times, which is siad to have housed 10 astronomers and a librarian, who was then in charge of a library allegelly containing over 40,000 books. Despite its look of a certain neglect it was somehow still impressive in its own way, taking into account the number of years it has been standing.

Mr. Rovillé.


My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takth-e Soleiman - Day 14 (afternoon) - Marâgheh - The Verjuy Mithra temple cave ensemble - The 22nd of May 2017

We drove to Marâgheh and prior to checking in at the hotel visited a Mithraic temple cave located close to the local cemetry, where rituals are believed to have taken place and which was then being visited by quite a number of locals. Some of the inscriptions were worth being looked at, as well as the whole ensemble.

As I walked out of the caves ensemble I sighted some children and decided to get closer in order to talk to them and the family members they were with. I ended up having quite an interesting gesture-oriented conversation with the children's mothers, who seemed overly excited to get to know a foreigner who showed some interest in them.