Sunday, February 12, 2023

Furg Citadel

Furg Citadel is a castle in South Khorasan Province and one of the attractions of Darmian County. This castle was built in the 18th-century citadel and located in Furg Village. It sits at an altitude of 1,840 meters on the edge of the heights of Darmian Valley, leading to the Asadiyeh plane. The citadel is made of stone, brick, clay, gypsum, lime and mortar and it has a commanding view of the village, farms and roads in the area.

Furg Citadel covers about 9,200 square meters, extending from east to west. The main entrance of the citadel is in the eastern walls, the lowest point of the citadel. It consists of 18 towers some of which still stand today. One of the key features of the citadel is its physical and spatial structure, which follows the topography of its location. The main weakness of this location is the close proximity of the citadel to the mountains for which it could be threatened by the fire load from the highlands of the north and west.

The citadel today has three major sections. The first section of the citadel contains a barn on the east side that served as living quarters for the staff, as a cattle barn and as a dock warehouse. This section also includes a citadel entrance, guard towers, water storage and other spaces. There are remnants of ramparts in this section. The second section was where military personnel and guards lived and where military equipment was stored. It contains a tall central area that is 50 meters from the storage areas, armory and barracks. The citadel has a brick tower with cruciform or lozenge design decorations in the northeast corner. The third section was where the lord of the citadel and his family and confidents resided. It encompasses two floors overlooking the village and roads of the area. It is located in the west and is separated from section two by two towers and fortified long walls. Section three is considered the alcove of the citadel and has more untouched spaces than the previous two parts. The existence of spaces like the vestibule, connecting corridors, stables, food storage, watchtowers and spaces with other applications are the most important features of this section. Most of the second floor has been destroyed.

The citadel has a tunnel with an exit door. It was designed for water supply during a siege or for evacuation. The tunnel has approximately 100 usable stairs. It was allegedly used during the battle between Mirza Rafi Khan with Mir Alam Khan and his son Amir Asadollah Khan.

Construction of the Furg Citadel began in early 1781, during the reign of Nader Shah Afshar, by Mirza Bagha Khan, son of the First Mirza Rafi Khan. The citadel was completed by his son, the Second Mirza Rafi Khan. An inscription carved on the mortar surface of the water storage of the citadel indicates the lunar date of 1217. This suggests that the building was repaired by an artisan named Abosaeid Jaiki in the early Qajar era.

Furg Citadel was registered in the List of National Works on March 18, 2001.

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