Shahrasb Castle, A Historical Settlement in Abarkuh
Abarkuh is one of the cities of Yazd province with over 400 historical monuments. This beautiful city has twelve villages named after the months of the year. One of these villages is called Azar (the 9th month of the Iranian Solar Calendar). Today, this village is known as Shahrasb or Shahr Asb village. We will introduce the Shahrasb village in this article.
Shahrasb was one of the elders of the Iranian Hazaraspids tribe. His name is written on the Gonbad Aali in Abarkuh. Ferdowsi, one of the prominent Iranian poets, has mentioned his name in his Shahnameh.
Features of Shahrasb Castle of Abarkuh
The village covers around 35 hectares housing 174 families with approximately 750 people. Initially, Shahrasb village was enclosed and guarded by barbicans (fortified walls and watchtowers above a gate). As its population grew and with the improvement of security in the area, the castle inhabitants moved out and built their houses outside the old enclosure, thus expanding the village.
We find the same type of ancient settlement in Shahrasb village that is common in many other areas of Iran. High walls and watchtowers enclose all residential buildings. Such settlements are traditionally known as castles but are a village or a city enclosed by barbicans.
Fortified citadels were built in the middle of certain houses in such settlements, which were the residence of the governor, ruler, king, etc. Shahrasb Castle used to be the largest residential settlement in ancient Iran after Bam Citadel.
The houses in Shahrasb castle’s village are made of adobe, and the roofs are built with cupolas. The reason for utilizing adobe in the construction of this village is the hot climate. The material keeps the houses cool in hot weather. Adobe material is primarily used in the construction othe f Shahrasb castle of Abarkuh as well.
Furthermore, the houses in Shahrasb village are primarily small and simple. Although there are larger houses in the village. These larger houses are decorated with plasterwork, muqarnas work, and arabesque designs of flowers and bushes.
The streets and houses in the village are designed in a checkerboard pattern. Most of the houses have one or two floors with cupola roofs. These houses are adjacent, located on both sides of the alley.
Today, carpet weaving is the dominant handicraft in this village. The women of Shahrasb are often busy weaving carpets in their homes. In addition, agriculture and pastoralism are the main occupations of Shahrasb village.
Shahrasb castle includes several tourist attractions. Here is a list of must-visit attractions in the area:
- Ancient Mosque of Shahrasb Castle
There are 50 castles in Abarkuh, and the most famous and significant among them is Shahrasb Castle. This enclosed village and castle date back to the Safavid period and have stood tall for many years after that.
There are graves inside the castle that do not face the Qiblah (direction of prayer for Muslims). This shows that the castle building dates back to the pre-Islam period.
When nomadic tribes decided to create settlements in the region, they usually banded together in castles and citadels. Even during the Safavid era, many people lived in the Shahrasb Castle. The number of residents increased during the Qajar period. As a result, the settlers decided to expand the castle and add 25 meters to its area.
People believe that the castle of Shahrasb village was a horse breeding settlement. Based on their stories, the khans (rulers) of the village used to breed horses in the castle, and a thousand horses were kept there. This explains the castle’s namesake, as Shahr means city and Asb means horse, and Shahrasb roughly translates to the city of horses.
Architectural Style and Features of Shahrasb Village Castle
Shahrasb Castle is a large castle with an area of 17,000 square meters. This castle has a high portal. There are eight watchtowers in the four corners of the castle. The materials used to build the castle include mud, stone, brick, timber and adobe.
Shahrasb Castle has a high castle outside and a citadel with two concentric fences at the center. The outer castle and the inner citadel have a total of 16 towers, creating a safe settlement.
There is a vestibule, residential houses, a bathhouse, a granary and stables inside the village’s castle. These structures show that this castle used to be a functional and orderly settlement in the past. Today, the people of Shahrasb village live in houses outside the castle.
Do Not Miss Visiting This Attraction
Shahrasb village is a beautiful village located close to Abarkuh city. This village has several tourist attractions that you can visit. Shahrasb Castle of Abarkuh is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of Abarkuh.
If you travel to Abarkuh on any of the Iran tour packages or on your own, visit its Shahrasb village. Destination Iran invites you to visit the castle of Shahrasb village. It is a peaceful experience to watch the grace of this magnificent citadel in a remote village.
Where Is Shahrasb Village?
Shahrasb village is one of the tourist attractions in Abarkuh city in Yazd province. You can see the location of Shahrasb citadel in the village:
Frequently Asked Questions About Shahrasb Castle
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Why is The Village Called Shahrasb?
There were twelve villages in Abarkuh city, each named after solar months. One of the villages was called Azar, which was later changed to Shahrasb. Shahrasb was a member of the Hazaraspids (Thousand Horses) tribe. His name is written on the Gonbad Aali Abarkuh, and also mentioned by Ferdowsi in his Shahnameh (Book of Kings).
How Are The Village Houses Built?
Since the village is located in a hot and dry area, the houses are built with adobe and have dome roofs. The architecture of the houses helps in keeping them cool. Village houses are often small and simple, but there are a handful of larger houses in the village. They are decorated with muqarnas work, plasterwork and arabesque designs of flowers and bushes.
What Was the Function of Shahrasb Castle?
Like most ancient settlements, the castle was a settlement for the villagers. All the houses are enclosed and protected by the high walls of the castle and watchtowers. There is also a fortified citadel at the center of the castle, which was the residence of the ruler of the region.
What Are the Attractions of The Castle in Shahrasb Village?
The castle, the cellar, the hothouse and the mosque are among the attractions of the castle.