Saturday, October 23, 2010

Gor City


Gor City is located 50 kilometers east of Meymand and 6 kilometers north of Firouzabad in Fars province. As Iran’s first round city it’s considered an ancient wonder. Historically the City is traced back to the Achaemenid Dynasty. Gor has a diameter of 2 kilometers and is surrounded by brick wall and a moat 50 meters across. The City had 4 entrances named Hormoz Gate (north), Ardeshir Gate (south), Mehr or Mithra Gate (east) and Bahram Gate (west). The City conatins an inner circle with a diameter of 450 meters which was separated from the rest of the city by a wall. The inner circle was for government buildings and homes of the upper class.


At the center of the City a structure 30 meters high and spiral in design existed which is suspected that it was for safekeeping of burning fires. The city contains a number of historical relics such as motifs of a number of Sassanid Princes on the remains of a Castle dating back to the time of Ardeshir Babakan. Ardeshir Babakan is depicted receiving a royal ring from Ahura Mazda. Other regional historical remains in and around the City include a motif of Shapur I (victorious over the Roman Emperor Valerian), Dokhtar Castle, Ardeshir Castle and a number of fire temples. The City is also adorned with many other paintings and artifacts dating back to the Sassanid era. Even after approximately 2,000 years, many of the paintings of the city have retained their original unfaded colors. As recent as 2006 a number of graves of Sassanid Princes in tub like coffins accompanied by paintings were discovered.


Gor was chosen by Ardeshir Babakan of the Sassanid Dynasty as the capital of their empire. In fact, and perhaps as a result, the City is also known as Khor Ardeshir. The round feature of the City and further renovations are attributed to the Parthian Dynasty although Ardeshir can be credited for repopulating it. During the Sassanid Period, Gor contained one of the largest libraries of the region containing many rare and priceless books. Its importance grew due to its strategic location of being on the commerce routes between China and India towards and Rome.


The original Gor City was destroyed when Alexander the Great ordered the closing of a dam and the redirecting of the flow of water into the City and ultimately the City being flooded. . The resulting lake he created remained until Ardashir built a tunnel to drain it. Following the collapse of the City and its eventual takeover by the Arabs, it was renamed Jor City. The city's importance was revived again in the reign of Azud al Dowleh of the Daylamite dynasty, who used the city as his frequent residence. It is at this time that the old name of the city had come to mean grave. Azud al Dowleh found it distasteful to reside in a grave and the city's name was changed to Pirouzabad.

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