Zahhak Castle, as well known as Narin Qalah by locals. Zahhak Castle history goes back to 3000 years ago, which was an important place for ancient Iranian people of Mannaeans, Medes, and later on Parthian and Sasanian. This castle is near Hashtrud city in East Azerbaijan province and is one of important and spectacular historical places of this region. Zahhak castle is located in the altitude of 2300 meters and you will need at least one hour hike to get to castle from your vehicle stop point.
For the first time, the castle was discovered by Monteith, a British army officer in 1830. He noticed that the ruins were quite ancient, dating back at least two thousand years. The castle with 10 km length, 1-3 km width and height of 150-250 m includes a square shaped hall made of bricks built during the Parthian period.
The important part of castle which is preserved very well, is 4 arches hall (Chahar Taghi) which is represent of four elements in Zoroastrianism, this hall has a 11X11m square-shaped hall, walls 2.5m thick, and 4 entrances to 4 corridors built with bricks, which was decorated with beautiful plasterworks of human which unfortunately now you cannot see many plasterworks in it, except beautiful bricks work, vegetation and geometrical designs. During this time, Zoroastrianism was the religion of the ruling kings, who likely used this part of the castle for a fire temple. And according to archeologist it is one of few Mithraism sites found in Iran (one out of 3 or 4 places found so far).
Unfortunately there was a big damage for this beautiful Chahar Taghi which happened by order of Monteith. According to the story of local people, when Montith found this castle, he believed that under the 4 columns of Chahar Taghi, there are hidden treasures. So he ordered to destroy them in seek of treasures. But fortunately since he couldn’t find anything, he stopped destroying the other columns. Now this part of Chahar Taghi is rebuilt although one of the arches has been entirely blocked by bricks when they reconstruct this part.
After all, this part of castle is the best part and point of it, that you can see it from far away on the edge of highet of this mountain and its cliff which has a breath taking view.
Over visit from Zahhak castle