Fairy chimneys and ancient monuments


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Middle East » Iran » North » Tehran
September 27th 2013
Published: September 27th 2013
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Tabriz to Qazvin


Today I visited the Cappadocia like fairy chimneys at Kandovan, the main differences between the two sites is that in Kandovan people still live in these dwellings, the town is smaller and not really set up for tourists, still it was a pleasant place to visit.

Next it was a long drive through dull unattractive landscape and towns to Takab the closest destination with a decent hotel to Tahkt e Solieman or in English the Throne of Soliman which I will visit in the morning. I went for a walk looking for some dinner when I was approached by a young English student who wanted to chat, the next thing I knew I was in his class meeting his teacher, luckily it was women's night or I would have ended up taking the class.

Eventually I managed to escape and found a pizza bar, quite a surprise as Takab is not a big town by Iranian standards. The pizza was quite good if you ignored the peas and corn.

The next morning after breakfast we headed on to the millenia old Sasanid ruins Takht e Solieman a world heritage listed site that stands on a hill top in a lovely valley within sight of Zenden e Soleiman (Prison of Solimon) a large whole in an extinct volcano used as a prison.

The site could use some restoration work as many of the ruins are being held up with scaffolding but it is still an interesting site with it's lake and later Mongol ruins. Next it was on to Zanjan an attractive city with an interesting bazaar, a lovely bridge and an interesting two century old laundry mat.

The next morning it was time to visit the magnificent tomb built by a Mongol sultan Oljietu Khodabadeh who was buried here in 1317. The Gonbad e Soltaniyeh has a stunningly huge blue tiled dome but unfortunately the interior is filled from floor to ceiling with ugly scaffolding and has been for well over a decade.

From the top of the Gonbad I noticed a small blue tiled dome in the desert on the edge of town so we went for a look but the gates were locked so I climbed over fence for a look, the tomb is the final resting place of an important Sufi.

About a hour later we arrived in Qazvin and went to visit Qajar era palace the Chehel Sotun which had a few interesting paintings on the walls and ceilings. Then it was on to see a couple of interesting mausoleums, the first had a conical roof and the second was decorated with tiles inside and out. The interior tiles were mirrored so the whole room glittered.


Additional photos below
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Takht e SolimeinTakht e Solimein
Takht e Solimein

1900 year old Sasanid fortress
Fortress wallsFortress walls
Fortress walls

Takht e Solimein
Sasanid RuinsSasanid Ruins
Sasanid Ruins

Takht e Solimein
A storage tunnelA storage tunnel
A storage tunnel

Takht e Solimein
Zoarostrian fire templeZoarostrian fire temple
Zoarostrian fire temple

Takht e Solimein


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