Bistun or Bisotun in Kermanshah

Bistun or Bisotun In Kermanshah: In each region of Iran, you can see signs of the greatness of Iranians in different historical periods. One of the best examples is the Bisotun World Heritage Site in Kermanshah. Bisotun (Bistun) area has a long history and has valuable historical monuments. The ancient and sacred site of bistun or Bisotun in Kermanshah, with an area of about 200 hectares, contains artifacts from the Paleolithic period to the present day.

The reason for naming Bistun or Bisotun in Kermanshah

Bistun comes from the word “Baghistan” which means the place of the gods. Bistun changed over time to “Bahistan” and later “Bahistun”; It is also known as Bisotun today; However, it is wrong to read it as     “BiSotun”, meaning without columns.

Bisotun (Bistun) Inscription

The most impressive work on the Bisotun (Bistun) World Heritage Site is the Bisotun Inscription. This inscription is attributed to Darius I and shows his relief after the victory of the war.

Next to this work, there is another inscription of the words of Darius I, which is said to be the oldest existing text of the Iranian government. This trilingual inscription deals with the first year of the reign of Darius the Great.

The relief of Darius and the captives is carved in the mountain, 3 meters high and 5.5 meters wide. The image of Darius the Great is dimensioned in 181 cm with precise details. Behind him are two of his commanders, and in front of him are nine rebel prisoners whose names and places of revolt are engraved on their heads.

Gaumata or the false Berdia (leader of the rebels) is also under Darius.

In this lithograph, Darius’s right hand is raised towards Ahura Mazda (Forouhar sign) as a sign of worship.

Statue of Hercules

The statue of Hercules is one of the attractions of the historic complex of Bisotun (Bistun) in Kermanshah. This statue dates back to the Seleucid-Parthian period. The time of construction of the statue is estimated to be 153 BC, which coincides with the reign of Mehrdad I Parthian and the end of the Seleucid rule.

Hercules was one of the most beloved gods, and therefore many clay and stone figures were made of him.

A Greek inscription is carved on the back of the statue, and carvings such as an olive tree are carved.

Bisotun (Bistun) Palace

Bisotun Palace is an unfinished palace from the Sassanid period. This palace connects Bisotun (Bistun) Mountain and Bisotun (Bistun) Lake in Kermanshah.

During the investigation, the palace was left unfinished for unknown reasons and later turned into Caravanserai, which was destroyed by an earthquake.

In Iranian culture and literature, this palace was the residence of the (Shirin) lover of Khosrow Parviz, the Sassanid king, before the Arab invasion of Iran.

This palace is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Iran.

Ilkhani Caravanserai

The Ilkhani caravanserai was built on the remains of partial palace.

The materials used to build this caravanserai are brick, stone and plaster.

In addition to the central courtyard, the caravanserai had 64 rooms and a small mosque. This place was destroyed by a terrible earthquake, but the remains of its arches are still there.

Farhad Tarash

At the foot of Bisotun (Bistun) Mountain, huge walls with a width of about 200 meters and a height of 36 meters have been carved, which is known among the people as “Farhad Tarash”.

There are different theories in the content of this work.

Some believe that Farhad Tarash is one of the works of Darius I of the Achaemenid dynasty and Darius intended to crave his will here.

Others believe that this place was a stone mine.

In Persian literature, based on Nezami poems, a man named Farhad falls in love with a woman named Shirin. According to that legend, Khosro Parviz instructs Farhad to cut around Bisotun (Bistun) Mountain to reach the water, and if he succeeds, he can marry Shirin. After a while and removing half of the mountain, water is found and, in the meantime, Khosrow informs Farhad that Shirin has died. Farhad dies of this grief.

Median Fortress

The Median Fortress is another monument of the historical site of Bistun or Bisotun in Kermanshah. This fortress is located under the inscription of Darius the Great. The fortress is a platform 10.5 meters long, 7 meters wide and 1.5 meters high, which is made of uncut stones and is divided into two parts through a corridor seven meters long and 1.5 meters wide. During excavations around the fortress, pottery belonging to the first millennium BC was discovered.

Bisotun Mountain Caves

Hunters Cave: This cave, also known as Bistun Cave, is located on top of the statue of Hercules. This cave was probably a shelter for hunters to hide from wild animals

 Mar kher Cave: Because the entrance to the cave is round, the locals call it Mar kher Cave. The oldest artifacts discovered in this cave, including thick stone blades, date back to the Middle Paleolithic period; Of course, artifacts from other historical periods up to the Sassanid era have been found in this cave.

Masonry sculpture of Mehrdad Ashkani

This stone carving of the greatest Parthian kings can be considered as one of the oldest surviving works from the Parthian rule.

Mehrdad’s stone carving in Bistun or Bisotun in Kermanshah is a representation of his handover of power to the satraps (local rulers), each of whom stood in a row behind each other. There is an inscription in Greek script on the head of each person to introduce them.

This stone carving not only suffered natural damage over time, but also Prime Minister Shah Suleiman the Safavid destroyed parts of it in order to sculpt his deed of endowment.

Safavid Caravansary

Shah Abbasi Caravanserai has an area of more than 6,000 square meters, was built by order of Shah Abbas I Safavid. The caravanserai was renovated during the reign of Nasser al-Din Shah and was used as a grain warehouse in the Pahlavi period.

Shah Abbasi Caravanserai has been converted into a traditional hotel.

Seeing this historical complex with its many historical attractions will be an exciting travel experience for tourists.

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