About this activity
Introduction to Behestan Castle in Zanjan
Behestan Castle, situated in the vicinity of Zanjan, Iran, is an impressive historical fortress that dates back to the pre-Islamic era. Perched on a rocky hill, this ancient castle offers a glimpse into the region’s rich and diverse history. The fortress, made primarily of stone and mortar, is a testament to the architectural ingenuity and strategic planning of ancient civilizations in Iran. Over the centuries, Behestan Castle has witnessed various historical epochs, from the Sassanian Empire to the Islamic era, each leaving its mark on the structure and surroundings.
The significance of Behestan Castle lies not only in its historical value but also in its architectural features. The castle’s strategic location, on a high altitude overlooking the surrounding plains, indicates its historical role in surveillance and defense. The remnants of towers, walls, and gates provide insight into the fortress’s layout and functionality. Despite the ravages of time, the castle retains a sense of grandeur and mystery, appealing to history enthusiasts and those fascinated by ancient civilizations.
Visiting Behestan Castle is an experience akin to stepping back in time. The site’s serene and relatively untouched setting offers a tranquil retreat from modern life. As you wander through the ruins, you are enveloped by a sense of history that is palpable in every stone and pathway. For anyone traveling in the Zanjan region, a visit to Behestan Castle is a unique opportunity to connect with Iran’s ancient past and to marvel at the enduring legacy of its early architects and builders.
Visit Plan to Behestan Castle
- Early Start: Begin your journey early in the morning to make the most of the cooler temperatures and softer light for photography.
- Guided Tour: If available, opt for a guided tour to gain comprehensive insights into the castle’s history and architecture.
- Explore the Ruins: Dedicate time to exploring the various sections of the castle, including the towers, walls, and gates.
- Hiking and Views: Enjoy a hike around the surrounding area. The castle’s elevated position offers spectacular views of the landscape.
- Picnic: Pack a picnic to enjoy in the serene surroundings. The quiet ambiance of the area is perfect for a relaxing meal.
- Sunset Views: If time allows, stay until sunset to witness the stunning views as the sun sets over the castle ruins.
Entrance Fee and Transportation Costs
- Entrance Fee: Information about the entrance fee for Behestan Castle can be obtained from local tourist information centers in Zanjan, as it may vary or be subject to change.
- Taxi or Bus from Downtown Zanjan: The cost of a taxi or a bus ticket from downtown Zanjan to Behestan Castle depends on several factors including the mode of transportation and current rates. A taxi would offer more convenience and direct access, whereas a bus might be a more economical option. It’s advisable to confirm current rates with local transport services or at your accommodation.
Nearby Places to Visit
- Zanjan Bazaar: Explore the traditional bazaar in Zanjan, known for its handicrafts, especially hand-made knives and traditional footwear.
- Rakhtshoy Khaneh Museum: A unique museum in Zanjan that used to be a traditional laundry house, offering insights into local history and culture.
- Soltaniyeh Dome: An impressive UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its stunning architecture and historical significance, located within a reasonable distance from Behestan Castle.
- Saltmen Museum: This museum displays naturally mummified remains found in the salt mines of the region, providing a fascinating glimpse into ancient preservation methods.
- Colorful Mountains of Tabriz: A natural geological formation featuring colorful rock layers, ideal for nature enthusiasts and photographers, located a bit further away but worth the visit.
These nearby attractions offer a diverse and enriching experience, from historical sites to natural wonders, making for a well-rounded day trip in the Zanjan region.