Firuzabad Ensemble

Also known as: Gur City, Shahr-e Gour

The ancient Firuzabad, also called Gur City, is situated about 100 km Southwest of Shiraz, Fars Province, in the south-central Iran.
Some historians believe the city dates back to Achaemenid Empire and has been destroyed by Alexander the Great; after centuries, it was rebuilt by Ardashir I (AD 224-241).
About 224 AD, Ardashir I, founder of Sassanid Empire (AD 224-651), revived the destroyed city in a tribute to his victory over the Parthian king, Artabanus.
The Sassanid capital was known as Ardashir-Khwarrah which means Glory of Ardashir and had been built precisely in circular plan. It is also good to know that the name "Firuzabad" was given to Gur City in 10th century AD, by Fana Khosrow emir of Buyid Dynasty as "Gur" means grave in Persian. Also there is a modern city near the ancient Firuzabad, in Fars Province, with the same name.
Ancient Firuzabad had four gates in each main direction and there was a road from each one to the center of the circular city, where in the junction of the roads there was a tall tower called Minar (Minaret) in Persian.
Firuzabad Minaret also known as Terbal is like an enormous column with square stand and 33 meters height. But the function of Firuzabad Minaret is still unknown. The city was being protected against invasions with two large walls all around it and a wide ditch amongst them.
In vicinity of the minaret there are remnants of some other structures such as an observatory, a palace or a temple and also a colored wall painting of four Sassanid prince and princesses. Out of the city, you can visit the glorious Palace of Ardashir-e Babakan and also the Maiden Castle near the palace, on a hill. The Palace of Ardashir or Firuzabad Fire Temple has been built in vicinity of a pond with a fire temple in close proximity to the palace.
With eye catching stuccoes and majestic halls and chambers, the palace is one of the substantial remains of Sassanid Architecture.
On the hills near the palace, there is an old castle, the Maiden Castle of Firuzabad, which is believed to be used for defending the city and Ardashir Palace. Maiden Castle or Ghale Dokhtar consists of spiral stairs to the main structure, porches and porticoes with several rooms all around the structure and also a covered room with a round dome.

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