(Persia Digest) – The ancient Belgheis Esferayn Fort, which has come to be known as the Belgheis Citadel, is one of Iran’s largest adobe structures located 3kms to the southeast of present-day city of Belgheis.

The old city measured 150 hectares and the area of the Citadel is over five hectares. The city has been built in the Sassanid vernacular architecture and includes the Citadel, fortifications, and surrounding village and stables. It has been constructed mainly with adobe bricks. Belgheis city comprises various sections, parts of which remain fully identifiable. Other parts have been destroyed and require extensive archeological excavations.

Apart from the Citadel, its fortifications, and surrounding village and stables, the place also has a moat and rampart. Inside the rampart, a mosque, the mausoleum of Sheikh Azari, and a bazaar existed which can be clearly seen in an aerial photograph shot by Professor Schmidt.

But its most important, magnificent feature which has earned it the reputation of Iran’s largest adobe structure after the Bam Citadel in southern Iran and Iraj Fort in Varamin, is the fortress itself. This huge mud brick structure which has been excavated on numerous occasions has an estimated area of 51 thousand square meters, housing 29 towers of varying sizes and 11 meters in height safeguarding it. The main gate is in the northeastern corner of the structure. Belgheis fortress is in the most southwestern part of the Citadel, constructed on three floors in the midst of a vast plain with mud bricks as the main construction material. It is surrounded by a moat, and stables and homes. The stable area is much older than the fortress itself.

Belgheis Citadel has been registered as a national heritage site of Iran under no 4297.

Photos: Vahid Khademi/IRNA News Agency

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