The Ancient Narin Castle (Narin Qal’eh) in Yazd, Iran

The Ancient Narin Castle (Narin Qal’eh) in Yazd, Iran

Peering over the town from the high hilltop, Narin Castle or Narin Qal’eh, is the oldest and most cherished reminiscence of ancient adobe architecture in the small historical city of Meybod, Yazd in Iran.

Is it an ancient castle, or a ziggurat from many millennia ago? Perhaps it’s both! Having been around for thousands of years, the Narin Castle still remains a hot spot for tourists travelling to Iran.

As with all of Iran’s fascinating historical destinations, this antiquated Qal’eh also has some mysteries and wonders of its own. Come along with goingIRAN to uncover what’s hidden under the rubble at one of Iran’s oldest structures!

The Historical Narin Castle in Yazd
The Historical Narin Castle in Yazd

History of Narin’s Castle

It is among the handful of castles, such as Arg-e Bam and Arg-e Rayen, remaining from ancient times in Iran. Prior to reign of Islam, this region was one of the earliest areas of inhabitance of the province of Yazd.

Withstanding the punishments of time, the currently castle at Narin, itself, isn’t the only thing of importance. Built on top of three layers of construction, the amazing structure’s foundation reveals evidence of settlements dating back about 4,000 years!

The Narin Castle was originally erected during the ancient Parthian Empire, some two millennia ago, and partially repaired during the Muzzafarid Dynasty.

Narin Castle (Narin Qal’eh) in Yazd, Iran
Narin Castle (Narin Qal’eh) in Yazd, Iran

Truths and Mysteries of the Qal’eh (Narin Castle)

The Narin Castle originally had four cylindrical watch towers and a multitude of rooms place throughout the compound. Of which, only one tower and a few intertwining rooms remain intact today. All in all it encompasses three hectares of land.

Narin Castle has five floors to it. Due to the tremendous amount of ancient sites in Iran and the lack of enough excavation programs, much of the lower floors remain covered. Many rooms and areas within the ancient qal’eh have been filled by the fallen hallways and ceilings.

Nowadays the castle takes on a very simple appearance, perhaps even partially reminiscent of a sand castle you may have built on the beach once! Among its worn exterior, though, tourists have always adored the beautiful brickwork and construction patterns seen in ancient Persian architecture.

Interestingly, this is yet another astonishing feat of genius Persian engineering that can be found here. An ancient plumbing system has been discovered at Narin Castle, that’s made entirely of sarooj. The same waterproof-adobe material used in the construction of Iran’s ice houses.

The rest of the structure is constructed entirely out of adobe bricks. It’s fascinating that the Persian had even thought of having such technology for plumbing, let alone implementing it!

Now what’s an ancient site in Iran, that doesn’t come with some controversy? Many historians know Narin Castle to have been a military establishment, located on the Silk Road to ensure the safety of the passer-byers. During many different eras of various Persian empires, this castle has been inscribed as having endured many wars and battles.

However, on the other hand, it’s five-story plan and layout has left some researchers to see it from another perspective. One that shows it have been a five-stepped ziggurat dating back over 7,000 years. Given its previous foundations, it is actually possible for both of these theories to be correct. With time and future excavations may we be able know the truth!

City/Town: Meybod, Yazd
Street Address: Narin Castle, First of Imam St., Shahedari Sq.,
Operating Days: Every day
Operating Hours: 8am to sunset (early evening)
Typical Price: 150.000 Rls. (15.000 Tomans)
Neighbourhood: Meybod Water Reservoir – Shah Abbasi Carvanserai

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