Dokhtar Fortress (Qiz Qalasi)

Dokhtar Fortress (Qiz Qalasi)

The Dokhtar fortress is located in the district of Hakhāmanesh in the province of Myāneh (eastern Azerbājān region). The exact date, the reason and the purpose of its construction are not clear and in this regard many legends of this kind circulate: according to some, at the time of King Artaxerxes I (Achaemenid) the building would serve as a prison for a rebel princess, according to others date back to the beginning of the Sasanian period, or to the seventh century of lunar Hegira; according to another tradition, the fortress was built by a merchant to defend his daughters from the Mongol invaders; it is considered by some to be a place of worship of the female goddess Nāhid or Ānāhita, protector of water, is attributed to the period of the Mongolian Ilkhanids, or finally to Sasan, one of the famous generals of Bābak Khoramdin.

The Dokhtar fortress, with two entrances, was built on a rock spur with a non-regular multilateral form in stone and clay near the homonymous bridge and is divided into three parts: 1-the outer walls (the castle was guarded thanks to 24 sighting towers) 2-the inner walls (which preserved the main part of the castle), 3-the inside (place of command of the fortress).

At the center of the castle there are two large springs and some wells. Besides the Dokhtar fortress of Myāneh, there are others with this name (dokhtar in Farsi means girl) in different cities and areas of Iran such as: Kermān, Firuz Ābād, Fereshtegān and Fahlyān Fārs, Khorāsān, Qom, Shahr-e Setānak Tehrān , Chālus, Nāiin, Bushehr region, Aligudarz, Sāveh etc ... which are usually built on high ground and difficult to cross areas with considerable defensive capacity and with features of buildings related to the pre-Islamic era.

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