0634 GMT September 18, 2021
The historical Sar Yazd Castle is one of the oldest and largest Iranian castles dating back to the Sassanid Era.
Located in Sar Yazd Village in Mehriz, in the central province of Yazd, the three-story citadel, with 468 rooms, dates back to the third century CE, covering an area of 7,790 meters.
In an exclusive interview with Iran Daily, Deputy Head of Yazd Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts Department Ali Asghar Samadiani elaborated on the features of the castle, describing the ancient fortress as the oldest treasure in the world, with safe deposit boxes.
“The castle had the capacity to store grains and food for a long time in critical times,” he said.
“People took refuge in this castle during war. Each family was assigned a room,” said Samadiani, explaining that each room was a complete suite with different sections such as a fireplace and storage space.
In a room on the upper floor of the castle, he said, there are shelves, each with a lock and key. Each shelf belonged to an individual or family to safeguard valuables like gold and jewelry, when the region was under assault, and the guards were in charge of protecting them.
“The secret of survival in the castle is revealed when you reach the foot of the castle walls and encounter a large moat around it,” said the deputy head of the provincial department.
The fortress is surrounded by the moat with a width of approximately six meters and a depth of three to four meters.
This moat was considered the castle’s first line of defense, a barrier designed to stop assaulters from reaching the wall. The moat was connected to the inside of the castle through a large drawbridge. In times of crisis, the wooden bridge was pulled up by ropes and pulleys, while guards blocked the main gate of the fort.
According to Hossein Ali Fahraji, a veteran guide and guard of the castle, when the castle was under assault, the ditch was filled with water to prevent the attackers from approaching the walls.
“When the main door was broken and the enemy was entering the castle, there was a second door that actually played the role of a protective door,” he said.
The enemy, in fact, had not done much by crossing the gate because the Sar Yazd Castle was double-walled; when the invaders passed through the main gate, they were trapped in a narrow corridor behind the next wall that continued around the castle.
“The assaulters then came under attack by stones being thrown from the top of the castle,” the veteran guide said. “The second wooden door of the historical fortress has been destroyed.”
The castle also has a third door covered with metal pieces to protect it from the blazing fire which was ignited by the enemy in those days.
On the top of the iron door, there is a hatch that was used to pour boiling water and molten oil on assaulters who were struggling to break the door down.
And if the third door was broken down, the only way left for the invaders to enter the watchtower and the upper floors of the castle was the two openings on either side behind the metal door, while guards waited for the attackers on top of these openings.
The narrow passages allow only one person to pass at a time. The castle was built to make it difficult to enter and navigate.
The height of the roofs on all floors is short in order to prevent the attackers from entering the castle on horseback, the guide said.
Taking these measures would make the conquest of the castle remain only a dream. The construction of this castle, despite the passage of centuries, is still stable, without extensive destruction, and reveals the secrets of ancient times.
Today, the gates of the historical Sar Yazd Castle are open to domestic and foreign tourists, who can walk through the spiraled corridors, dreaming up stories of ancient times that tell us how our ancestors used their creativity to defend the land and protect their honor.