Landscaping, clean-up project completed on ancient fortress in Rey

Tehran – A landscaping and restoration project was recently completed for the ancient Rashkan Fortress in the historic city of Rey, which is south of Tehran Province.

The mission was carried out in collaboration with three non-governmental groups (NGOs) working in tourism and cultural heritage, Rey’s tourism director Amir Mosayeb Rahimzadeh said on Sunday.

Some volunteers also worked together to clean up and collect rubbish from surrounding areas of the fort, the official added.

The Rashkan fortress dates back to the Parthian period (247 BC – 224 AD) and was built on a solid mountain with plaster of paris, limestone and marble to protect the city from intruders. The main parts of the castle stood until the Qajar era (1789-1925), but have since fallen into disrepair.

Several excavations at the historic site have uncovered the remains of several other structures from different historical periods. From ancient times to modern times, defensive walls were often necessary for cities to survive in an ever-changing world of invasion and conquest.

Fortresses were primarily designed to defend war zones and were also used to consolidate power in a region in times of peace. Many of the fortifications of antiquity were built from mud bricks, so that for today’s archaeologists they were often just mounds of earth.

Rey was one of the capitals of the Parthian Empire and was conquered by the Muslim Arabs in AD 641. During the reign of the Muslim caliph al-Mahdi in the 8th century, the city gained importance until it was only rivaled by Damascus and Baghdad in western Asia.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, it has been described by Islamic writers as a city of outstanding beauty, built largely of fired brick and brilliantly decorated with blue faience (glazed earthenware). It continued to be an important city and was briefly a capital city under the rule of the Seljuks, but in the 12th century it was weakened by the fierce disputes between rival religious sects. In 1220 the city was almost destroyed by the Mongols and its residents were massacred. Most of the survivors of the massacre moved to nearby Tehran, and the abandoned remains of Rey soon fell into complete disrepair.


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