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My one day trip to Varena (Varamin)

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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: My one day trip to Varena (Varamin)
    Posted: 01-Apr-2010 at 12:21

Varamin is about 40 kilometres south of Tehran, as you probably know, the oldest part of Tehran is the southern part where the city of Rey is located, but this city of Rey which has already been absorbed into Tehran, is the Islamic city of Rey or Rayy, about 1,000 years ago it was the capital of Buyid and Great Seljuq empires, some buildings from this period are still there, like Mausoleum of Toghrïl Beg, founder of Great Seljuq empire.

But the ancient city of Rey which has been mentioned as Rages in the Book of Tobit, then as Raga in the Behistun inscription of Darius the Great, and then named as Europos by Greeks and Arsacia by Parthians and finally again as Rayy by Sassanids, was located some kilometres south of modern Rey, the first place that I visited on the road to Varamin, was 2000-year-old fire temple of ancient Rey.

About this temple: http://www.presstv.ir/detail.aspx?id=49647&sectionid=351020105

The Rey fire temple located in the province of Tehran is 2,000 years old and is regarded as the country's oldest Zoroastrian temple.

Dating back to the Sassanid era, the fire temple is highly revered by Iranian Zoroastrians. It is known as the heart of the ancient city of Rey and has been mentioned in the Avesta (the Zoroastrian scripture) as well as several other ancient Persian texts.

The fire temple is a brick and mortar structure and the main hall has two rows of square-based columns and two elliptical arches and entrances.

It has four vast arches with a height of 20 meters resting on three stands. However, two of the arches have been completely ruined and visitors can now only imagine the beauty of the original designs.

According to Tabari, a prominent Persian historian (838-923 CE), the temple housed the original sacred fire which was sent to other fire-temples.

It was believed that the sacred fire was sent to the earth from the sky and should therefore never be extinguished.

This year the temple attracted the largest number of visitors to date -- between 500 and 800 people visiting daily.

There were some interesting things inside the ruined temple, like some fish statues, these are my pics in Rey fire temple:

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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2010 at 12:46

The modern city of Varamin seems to be built by Mongols in the 13th century, most of historical buildings in this city belong to this period, one of these buildings is Mausoleum or Tomb Tower of Aladdin:

http://www.archnet.org/library/sites/one-site.jsp?site_id=2409

The tomb tower of 'Ala ad-din, completed in 1289 under the Il Khanids, is located to the north of Varamin, a small town forty-two kilometers south of Tehran. It continues a well-established Iranian tradition of funerary architecture in the form of a tomb tower, its earliest precedent being the Seluk monument Gunbad-i Qabus (1006). This type of mausoleum began as a tall cylinder with a canonical roof, marking, through sheer verticality, the grave of its patron (often a minor dynast, amir, or isfahasalar). The tomb tower puts more emphasis on the exterior, as opposed to the interior, of the sacred space, in contrast to the domed square mausoleum, the other predominant type of mausoleum in Iran.

Thirty-two right-angled triangular flanges or columns wrap around the tower's circumference. Made of high-quality baked bricks assembled in a hazarbaf (decorative brickwork, literally meaning "thousand weaving") decorative pattern, the flanges ascend from the plinth until they meet the cornice that supports the canonical roof with corbelled groin arches. Between the upper end of the flanges and the small groin arches above them runs an inscription band paralleling the zigzag shape of the flanges. The cornice displays fine tile work alternating between unglazed and glazed terracotta in light blue. As with most tomb towers, the tomb tower of 'Ala ad-Din has a double-shell dome, canonical on the exterior and spherical on the inside, above the circular interior plan.


Recent restoration of the tomb tower has preserved the interior brick dado and floor, as well as addressing the rebuilding of the lower flanges, the canonical roof, and the restoration of the northern and southwest entrances. The main northern entrance is a semicircular arched portal embedded in a pointed arch niche whose walls merge into the flanges. The southwest portal comprises two pointed arches, one on top of the other; both are plastered and filled with stalactites.


With its decorative work comprising glazed tile mosaic and bricks juxtaposed to a substantial quantity of unglazed brickwork, the tomb tower of 'Ala ad-din is an exemplary manifestation of the more austere tilework of the period.

Some pics:



Edited by Cyrus Shahmiri - 01-Apr-2010 at 12:47
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2010 at 13:04

The greatest building in the city of Varamin is certainly the Friday Mosque of this city, it can be considered as one of masterpieces of Ilkhanid period, probably the greatest one after Soltaniyeh dome:

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2010 at 13:15
Then I visited a beautiful Imamzadeh (Imamzadeh Jafar) with excellent mirror work before going to the wonderful Iraj fortress:
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  Quote TheGreatSimba Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Apr-2010 at 16:29
Thanks for the pictures Cyrus!
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2010 at 12:02
You are welcome! Smile
 
But about the very ancient Iraj fortress, have you ever seen a 22 meters (72 feet) thick wall?!! It is good to mention the great wall of china measures about 4 to 5 meters thick.

If you search for "great wall of china" in Google map then you will find it:



And if you search for Varamin (35° 19' 31 N, 51° 38' 44 E) then you will find it at the same map scale:



We read in Avesta, one of the oldest texts in the world: http://www.avesta.org/vendidad/vd1sbe.htm

17. The fourteenth of the good lands and countries which I, Ahura Mazda, created, was the four-cornered Varena, for which was born Thraetaona, who smote Azi Dahaka [Zohak].

 
It is believed that Iraj fortress was built by Iraj, son of Thraetaona (Fereydun), the forefather of the Iranians.
 
The length of each side of this rectangle fortress is about 2 km, if want again to compare it with another thing in China, then we see the Forbidden City which is said to be the largest enclosed palace in the world and consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8707 bays of rooms, covers an area of 168 acres, about the size of 140 football fields but Iraj fortress covers more than 1,000 acres!
 
Lets see some pics of this ancient fortress which already looks like a mountain range:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2010 at 14:26
Cyrus, as always I am enthralled by the variety, splendor and immensity of the sights to be seen in Iran!

We must have "Peace!"

May God protect us all!

Certainly I cannot count upon any man (or any group of men) to do so!

Regards,
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02-Apr-2010 at 23:23
Thanks opuslola, you are certainly right about the variety of historical sites in Iran, as Iraq (Mesopotamia) is called the cradle of civilization, Iran can be called as "crossroad of civilizations", you can find historical monuments from at least 50 different countries in Iran.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03-Apr-2010 at 17:17
BAck on track, so to say, I would ask anyone on this list to make any kind of explanation for any fortifications built of "mud-brick, I suppose?) to have been constructed? Its vastly thick walls, increase the possibility that they were built to substain artilery fire, that is "gun fire!" It would "give" but not fall!, or even to a great degree not even "fail!"

So, just what would determine the great size of this fortress? Against just what assailant would someone, sometime, go the the lengths to even began to build such a defensive position? And, no one, I presume could call this an offensive position!

Cyrus, were any remains found of other buildings within the enclousure? It seems that farmers have ploughed the ground for many years! Is there an enclosed "water supply?"

Has anyone ever figured out the number of cubic yards of mud brick, etc., that had to have been transferred from some other place to this place (without it seems creating a gigantic bowl) in any way?

Just how many "mud bricks" would it take? Just how many man hours? Just how many people and for what period of time?

So, many questions, and I hope many answers?

Regards,

Edited by opuslola - 04-Apr-2010 at 14:04
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2010 at 02:44
As always those are some good questions and I'm interested to know the answers too but just about the inside of the fortress, unfortunately it seems almost nothing has been left, as you said farmers have ploughed the ground for many years, of course I could just visit about one tenth of this huge fortress and there could be some places from the ancient times among the farms that I didn't visit.
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04-Apr-2010 at 14:00
Has there never been any official investigation or archaeological dig? If not, how come?

There is a new deal on certain travel sites, refering to the "New Seven Wonders of the World!"

Unless I am quite mistaken, this place which well may be able to be seen from outer space, should be included in this list!

Questions, questions, and so few answers!
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2010 at 05:51
I reviewed the pics and it seems there are some ancient buildings inside the fortress too, this is a view from the inside:
 
 
I zoomed in on the pic and found somethings in the top left:
 
 
As you read here, Twelve excavations have been carried out on the body of the monument, but the team could not find any evidence to precisely determine the purpose of the structure. 
 
It says "Archaeologists believe that the Iraj Fortress, the world’s largest adobe fortress located in Varamin, a southern suburb of Tehran, was likely abandoned shortly after construction." and then says about the people who built this huge fortress "they had to cover all towers of the fortress with earth and left it in the hopes of coming back again but most likely they didn’t return to the site." and finally says "the ruins of the fortress have been surrounded by some 7000-year-old tepes".
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2010 at 06:45
Just the job of "covering all towers of the fortress with earth" would have been a mighty endeavor!!

To get enough earth to make the bricks, and then to cover the exposed bricks with earth, may also explain the leveling of numeorous "tepes" in the surrounding area!

Still, my only word to describe what you have shown to us is "Amazing!"
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 05-Apr-2010 at 11:05
There is a new deal on certain travel sites, refering to the "New Seven Wonders of the World!"

Unless I am quite mistaken, this place which well may be able to be seen from outer space, should be included in this list!
 
But Iraj fortress is still samller than the very precise circular citadel city of Gur, the first capital of Sassanid empire, near modern city of Firuzabad:
 
 
More info: http://www.cais-soas.com/News/2009/M...05-03-plan.htm

The plan of the city was a perfect circle of 1,950 m diameter, divided into twenty sectors by a precise geometric system of twenty radial and several concentric streets. It was surrounded by a main wall of stamped clay, a ditch 35 m wide, and a fore-wall. Inside the town an inner wall set off the circular city centre, which was probably the site for official buildings.
 
 
The tower-like terbāl stands at the very centre of the city. This terbāl is a pier of rough stone masonry 9m square and more than 30m high. It was the core of a stair-tower; with a 20m width of the destroyed stairs and outer walls. It was thought to have had a winding external stairway and to have been a descendant of the ziggurat.
 


Edited by Cyrus Shahmiri - 05-Apr-2010 at 11:11
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2010 at 06:53
As you see this round city is very similar to the round city of Darabgerd, look at this thread: Mysteries of Darabgerd (Round City of Darius)
 
 
I think these huge round and rectangle buildings couldn't be built by human being, I looked at the Google Map and found that just some kms in the south of Varamin in the Kavir desert where absolutely no one lives, there are a large number of round and rectangle shapes, some of them are even larger than some modern countries.
 
I think I'm the first one who discovers it!
 
 
There is something like an arrow above it:
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
This rectangle one is several times larger than Iraj fortress:
 
 
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  Quote opuslola Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2010 at 07:57
"Great Scott" Cyrus! Just what else are you going to find in those barren wastelands? Since I am not into aliens performing acts like this, nor do your examples really resemble something like the Nazca Lines; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nazca_Lines Since they involved very little in the way of earth manipulations being only a few feet or inches in height and width!

Could these retangles and circles, which seem to be pushed up into large mounds many feet in height and diameter, by what seems to be bull-dozers, really be the result of old military practice areas?

Or was there someone with a bull dozier or three, with lots of time and money who spent all of their time just playing?

It seems you have uncovered a mystery that needs to be solved? Where is H. Poirot when we need him? Laugh!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hercule_Poirot

Could you find a good geologist in your area and show him the photos? Or maybe a military historian? Or both?

Edited by opuslola - 06-Apr-2010 at 08:00
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2010 at 08:44

Iraj fortress was really the most wonderful building that I have ever seen, I read in a Persian website that the head of Iran's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization has said 10,000 people should work for 100 years to reconstruct this building, so who were the people who abandoned Iraj fortress shortly after construction?! Where could be safer than this strong fortress for them?

There are some other buildings which is said to be built in the shape of a rectangle, for example the Sassanid Saryazd Citadel in Yazd: http://www.allempires.com/Forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=24967
 
 
But this is not better than this:
 
 
I think it is very difficult to build exactly a large rectangle building, maybe if I didn't see those images from Google Map then I couldn't imagine that this fortress is an accurate rectangle.
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  Quote Cyrus Shahmiri Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 06-Apr-2010 at 09:10
opuslola, I know that at least from 3,000 years ago no one has lived in those regions, those are in the deep desert and I see really no reason that some people want to built somethings there, I just don't know that they can be natural or not, like meteor craters.
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  Quote pouyakhani Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 24-May-2011 at 20:59

Hello...I know it's a bit late to reply but...

anyway

I am from Varamin myself... unfortunately most of People of Varamin doesn't even know that Varamin is an ancient city ..they don't know that Masjed Jame's is a very unique mosque..they don't even know that carpet which is woven  in Varamin has a unique pattern and is very expensive..

and when you tell someone not from Varamin "Let's visit some  place here:....they just say: "Varamin?Eh..." ...This bad view of the city was made about 100 years ago when a murderer....umm... let's forget it..


and about those round circles...

according to local villagers these fortress were used by Zoroastrians during Arab invasion (and as you know these castles are called Qale' Gabri ... Gabr is an archaic word for Zoroastrian) ...


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  Quote johnbriner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01-Jun-2011 at 22:48
Cyrus, thanks for sharing those wonderful photos. Looking at them makes me feel as though I've traveled back in time. The ancient structures are simply stunning and they are well preserved. I can see that Iran has a lot to offer to travelers. I think I should visit there.
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