Sunday, December 9, 2012

Espakhoo Fire Temple

Espakhoo Fire Temple (معبد اسپاخو) is one of the oldest structures in Iran's North Khorasan province which according to the studies and excavations, belongs to the Sassanid era. The Fire Temple is situated by a village of the same name and in the vicinity of Maneh and Solghaman, 115 kilometers off of the Bojnourd to Golestan road and 65 kilometers west of Ashkhaneh. The Temple is built on top of a high hill adjacent to a forest of pines and cedar trees.

Beyond its entrance into a rectangular yard, a corridor leads to a domed room in the eastern part of the structure. The Fire Temple has a domed roof and consists of stones and mortar, further strengthening the assumption of its Sassanid origins. It is believed that the Fire Temple gets its name from the Pahlavi Persian word Hasb which gradually evolved into Asb (meaning horse). The area and village in particular appeared to have been a training ground for horses.

The locals refer to the Fire Temple as a church although there has been next to no evidence of any past Christian residents. Furthermore the domed roof, its scattered slits (presumably to allow smoke to escape), and its round altar give the Fire Temple theory more credibility. 

In 2010-2011 studies were being made to research the feasibility of renovations to the Fire Temple. The Espakhoo Fire Temple has been registered as a national heritage site by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Department.

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