Close this search box.

Gur City Shows Sassanid Power

Gur city Sassanid capital at its development era, which was called Ardashir Khurreh Furnace, during Sassanians empire.
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Introduction to Gur

Firuzabad is one of the most significant sights of Shiraz, which has many valuable historical monuments in its heart. While many people only know the Achaemenids and the works of Karim Khan Zand’s period as historical symbols of Shiraz, the beginning of the Sassanid dynasty was also from Fars in Gur (Ardashir Khurreh) city.

So many people consider the city as a symbol of the architecture of the Sassanid period, but, for various reasons, few people are familiar with the stunning and attractive city. The ancient city of Ardashir Khurreh (Gur) in Firuzabad, was the center of a part of Fars province at its development, which was called Ardashir Khurreh Furnace, during the Sassanid period.

History of Ardashir Khurreh

Firuzabad is the eighth populous city of Fars province, considered the center of Fars, and was founded in the early third century A.D by Ardashir Babakan. In various historical books, the city has been named Gur, Jur, Ardashir Khwarrah, and Ardashir Khurreh. The name of Khurreh in ancient Persian means glory, so Ardashir Khurreh meant the glory of Ardashir.

According to legends, in ancient times, there was a city in the Firuzabad plain where Alexander the Great had destroyed by making the flood inundating the attractive flat. Then during the Sassanid Empire, architects and urban planners to create Ardashir Khurreh drained a part of the swamp and then dried it by order of Ardashir Babakan, the first Sassanid king, and found the new city, which became the headquarters of Ardashir. Finally, they expanded agriculture around the city by creating a division in the plain and transferring water from the Tangab River.

Ardashir Khurreh Founder

Ardashir Babakan was a man with unique dreams and thoughts. He was very interested in urban planning and founded many cities, but the most significant of them was Ardashir Khurreh. The interest in building cities was inherited among the Sassanids, and many of them founded large cities and settlements.

Gur Name, Garden and Buildings

The fame of Gur rose gardens had gone beyond the borders, and India, China, Rome, and even Yemen had been asking for the distillate of its pure rose. Also, an observatory in the historical and ancient city indicates that knowledge had been of great value to its people and residents. Ardashir Khurreh was highly regarded by the rulers, in the Post-Islamic period and during the Buyid dynasty (Al-e Buya), and the name had changed from Ardashir Khurreh to Firuzabad. Various centers such as the Grand Mosque, library, Hospital, and a place for acquiring knowledge, were built that date back to the 10th century A.D. Most of the ancient inhabitants of Gur were Zoroastrians who converted to Islam after the arrival of Islam in Persia. The old Firuzabad was built with the central core of Ardashir Khurreh(Gur), and the current Firuzabad was formed and developed from the 12th century A.D around a small settlement called Kushk. In the past, Kushk was a place for trade and business, which gradually became more prosperous and open with the gradual abandonment of Ardashir Khurreh (Gur). Current Firuzabad is located three kilometers from the historic city of Ardashir Khurreh, and most of its residents speak Persian with different local dialects; Of course, some Azeri-speaking Qashqai tribes also live in the area.

Architecture of Ardashir Khurreh

One of the majesties of Ardashir Khurreh is its unique architecture. You can use the satellite maps app to see the circular structure of the place, the first circular city in Persia and one of the first circular cities in the world. The city of Gur was founded by Ardashir-e Babakan. The diameter of the city is about two kilometers, and it has an impressive division. The city is divided into 61 parts using special wall arrangements.

The three concentric circle walls and twenty walls built on the radius of the circles form these parts. The central part of the city is integrated and circular with a diameter of four hundred meters. There are many ancient monuments in the city, but the most important historical monument is the central stone tower called Tirbal, Minar, or Minaret, in the Gur region. The Takht-e Neshin building is another historical monument of the city, which some have introduced as a fire temple and contains many similarities to the gates of Persepolis.

Gur Defensive Structure

The specific features of the ancient city of Ardashir Khurreh are the defensive form and the existence of a large moat around the city. Moreover, it has not been excavated by expert groups and antiquities researchers. The place was registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2018, along with the sites belonging to the Sassanid period located in Firuzabad, Sarvestan, and Kazerun.

Table of Contents