IRAN Tour Packages | Bishapur city was one of ancient cities of Sasanied era and the king of Sasanied built this city 266 AD by Shapur King.
When you visit this beautiful site, you will find out Iranians had a very good relation with other countries. This is why you can see the best combination of Persian and Roman art in Bishapur architecture.
Bishapur city was on the ancient road between Persis and Elam. The road linked the Sassanid capitals ,Estakhr which was very close to Persepolis and Ctesiphon. It is located south of modern Faliyan in the Kazerun County of Pars Province, Iran.
It’s contemporary in age, both very old since they bear marks of Elamite and Parthian occupation. Extending on a plain surrounded by mountains, it ends at the edge of a regional desert crossed by the river Shapour which flows into the Persian Gulf.
Formerly, Bishapur was on they way to connect Firouzabad and Estakhr on the one hand, and Mesopotamia, Susa and the Sassanid capital, Ctesiphon on the other hand. This combined with the geographical location of this city, with waterways to the high seas, attracted the attention of Shapour I, Sasanian emperor, who ordered the Roman army prisoner to turn it into a metropolis rivaling Antioch.
The Sasanian king Shapur I (r.241-272), ordered to build the construction of Bishapur city; but it was built by Roman POWs, captured after the defeat of the Roman emperor Valerian in 260.
Although some of its monuments, like the so-called Temple of Anahita, are distinctly Iranian, many other aspects of Bishapur’s architecture look Roman and do not belong to Iranian building traditions.
An example is what specialists call the “Hippodamian street plan”, which means that the city looks like a gridiron. Another “Roman” aspect is the use of mosaics in the palace. Under the impetus of the Roman craftsmen sent by Philip the Arab as part of the peace treaty signed in 244, the new plan given to this Parthian city turned it into a patchwork of various architectural styles, from Roman to Sassanid, through the Achaemenid Parthian style and Mesopotamian influences.
The walls of the city form a rectangular shape with a SW-NE orientation. The northeastern section, near the modern parking place, has been restored. On many other places, you can still discern the foundations of towers; they are round, which suggests that they were designed as batteries for the use of catapults. At the Northeastern end, you can still see the remains of a city gate.
This Temple is in fact an unidentified structure that they attribute it to the ancient deity Anahita. There are guesses that it may be older than the other buildings and goes back to Parthians era. While the material of the other buildings is monolithic stone, to build the temple they used carved stone metal clamp. The use of metal clamp is to bridge the stones.
You an only reach the temple by using a long stairway; in the stairway you’ll find a small square, which maybe have been an undeep pool, surrounded by high walls. On the top of some of these walls we can see a triangle shaped sculpture which maybe supported roof.
As we said before, Anahita temple is an unidentified structure; and is also, one of the greatest archaeological secrets because of what archaeologists have found and usually call it religion. But if we accept that the square was a pool then we can attribute it to Iran’s water deity, Anahita. Many actually believe it was a water garden for the deity.
The city had various neighborhoods and the great patrician houses were built inside large parks. His dwellings possessed certain architectural features of which remains today vestiges:
On the left bank of the river, there is the ceremony of the victory of Shapour I on Valérien. We can see the Roman soldiers and captives represented on one hand, and Iranian conquerors on the other hand.
We distinguish Valerian, kneeling before Chapur, holding out a supplicating hand, and two men wearing the high Iranian headgear offering him a crown.
The second series of engravings on the left bank depict the victory ceremony of Bahram the Second, the feather in the hat, the captives bringing him camels and horses. There is also a bas-relief depicting the coronation ceremony of Bahram I (273-277). He takes his crown from the hands of the representative of Ahura Mazda.
The most important point about this city, is the combination of Persian and Roman art. It has an architecture that you can find something like that before Bishapur construction.
Before building Bishapour, almost all the main cities in Persia/Iran had a circular shape; such as the old city in Firuzabad or Darab. Bishapour is the first city with vertical and horizontal streets. We can also see tile work adapted from Roman Art in the city, specially in interior design.
What do you think about Bishapur city? Would you like to visit it? Let us know by commenting your opinion.