Shoushtar county, with local area
of 3538 Sq. Km, is located in the central part of Khuzistan
province. Geographically, this county is encircled by counties of
Dezfoul and Masjid Soleimanin the north, counties of Ahwaz on the
south. The population of 210,108 live mostly in two cities of Shoushtar
and Gotwand, as the major cities of this county. The main source of
income in this area is from the agricultural activities,
particularly the large and extensive sugar-cane farms and also the
industrial complex of Caroun, which produces the main bulk of sugar
Shoushtar city, with an approximate area of 18 Sq. Km, is the major
city of the county and it is located roughly 85 Km away from Ahwaz,
the central city of the province. Shoushtar is about 150 meters
above the sea level and 850 Km away from Tehran. According to the
last population census (1991), its population is 77,900. The
temperature varies between 50C in summer and 1C during the winter.
The city is characterized by flow of Caroun river along two major
routes, which in fact make the central area of the city looks like
an island. Caroun, the largest river in Iran, is divided into two
major routes along the northwest of Shoushtar. From one side, the
"GarGar" route enters the city from the northwest, and
cuts through Mizan Dam, and along its route, it creates many
beautiful waterfalls in various parts of Shoushtar. From the other
side, the "Shotait" branch cuts through the northwest of
the city and then passes through "Shadorvan Dam" and it
flows towards the southeast of the city. These two routes rejoin
again in Qir Dam and therefore creating the image of an island in
Congregational Mosque of Shoushtar
The construction of this mosque dated back to 833 AD, during the
reign of the Abbasi's Khalifeh. However, this building was repaired
and renovated over and over again. The last recorded one was back in
1792. From its arches, its veranda and also its Shabestan (praying
quarter), one can easily recognize the dominant architectural style
of Sassanid era. Obviously, its construction is belonging to the
early post-Islamic Persia. The minaret of the mosque was built in
1400 AD, and its height, up to very recently (1952), was about 26
meters, but since then, just 16 meters of it has remained intact.
The Castle of Salaasel
This castle, which was built on a huge rock, is positioned over the
north of Shoushtar. It is said that the ancient castle was
constructed during the early years of Sassanid Kingdom (200 AD), and
it was mostly used as a major military base of Shapour I and other
kings ruling after him. It is also believed that Valerian (the Roman
Emperor), after his defeat by Shapour I, spent his captivity in this
castle. According to a text, this castle was badly destroyed during
the invasion of Persia by Arabs. However, 300 years later, a patron
called "Abi-ol-Salaasel" reconstructed a large portion of
the castle and ever since then, it was named after him.
Sika Ancient Water Mills
Around the southern edge of GarGar Dam and along both sides of the
river banks, there are 16 ancient water mills, with distinguishable
Sassanid architectural style. The water was first stored behind the
dam, and then it was channeled to a number of deep wells, and from
there a constant supply of water for the mills to grind the wheat
and other agricultural products. It still is fascinating to see the
early water technology in operation and realize how ingenious was
this simple process.
Shadorvan Bridge (or Dam)
This bridge, which is also called the Shapouri Bridge, is located
about 300 meters away in the western of Mizan Dam. The width of the
bridge's piers is around 7 meters and the wide of its channels is
nearly 8 meters. Its height from its base up to the crown of the
bridge is 10 meters. The material used in the construction are the
mixture of local stones, rubbles and ashes mortar. It is believed
that the bridge was constructed during the Kingdom of Shapour I.
It's amazing that after nearly 18 centuries, the main construction
has remained intact despite many heavy floods.
Mizan Dam (or Shapouri Dam or Valerian Dam)
The dam, which is on the northeast of the city, actually divides
Caroun river into two main streams. One leading into GarGar on the
west side of the city and the other Shotait on the west. The
original construction of this dam, according to a number of
historical documents goes back to Sassanian Kingdom, when Shapour I
defeated the Valerian's army (Roman Emperor in 260 AD) in Epuda
Battle. It is said that the defeated and captive soldiers of the
Roman's Emperor were forced to construct the dam. The length of this
dam is about 520 meters and its main piers were mainly built by
granite stone reinforced with steel bar between.
Kolh Farabgui Tower
Along the Shotait river, there is still remains of a small hexagonal
tower belongs to Shapour I (241-272 AD).
The Art of Haltering River in Ancient Persia
The ancient Persians understood very well the importance of the
water in their every day's life and gradually developed an art for
restoring it, redirecting it and applying its pressure by replacing
it from one reservoir to the another one, for heavy grinding
operation as well as irrigating a very large agricultural land
throughout the year. Throughout many centuries, the world famous
production of sugar cane in this province has only been possible
with the aid of these construction and process of irrigation. The
majority of these old constructions and networks still exists around
Lashkar Dam (or Bridge)
On the west of Imam-zadeh Abdollah Tomb, a dam with a length of 183
meters and wide of 4 meters is constructed. The materials used in
this dam is the mixture of the local stones, some rubble stones and
lime and ashes mortar.
The channel brings part of the Shotait river flow to the little
island of Shoushtar. This channel was originally constructed during
Darius Kingdom (486-522 BC). It passes through the Lashkar Bridge.
GarGar Dam (or Bridge)
This dam is located after Mizan Dam, over GarGar river. The ancient
water mills are located on the beyond of this dam.
Dastova Ancient City (or Mahi-bazan Zone)
The "Mahi-bazan" district or the ancient city of "Dastova"
was a city about 3 kilometers away from the east of Shoushtar amd
that can not be too untrue since the river, which passes through the
area is known with the same name. The actual area, which is a square
of 2 kilometers on each side, is surrounded by 2 rivers of GarGar
and Darioun. It is also known that the entire city was once
completely sank under mud, caused by a heavy flood and for that
reason, many archaeologists predict that there must be many
interesting constructions and also objects waiting to be excavated
from periods of Elamite, Parthian and Sassanian dynasties.
Imam-zadeh Abdollah Mausoleum
This is located on the top of a valley, along the southern edge of
the city. Its construction dates back to 1208 AD.
Seyed Mohammad Giah-khar Mausoleum
This building, which was built during Safavid era (1750 AD), is
located on the northeast of Shoushtar, along the banks of Caroun
Saheb Zaman Mausoleum
It is actually located inside a cemetery on the top of a valley and
it is in fact part of GarGar district on the northeast of Shoushtar.
The building's dome is an octagonal type (Roak). It was constructed
in the late 19th century, and it was repaired and renovated in 1970.
Bora ebn Malek Mausoleum
This building, which incidentally is considered to be the most
ancient Islamic one in Shoushtar and probably in Iran, is located in
the north of the city and just opposite to Salaasel Castle. The
mausoleum has a dome in the style of Safavid architecture, but the
work belongs to Qajar period. The building was renovated by the
governor of the province in 1899.
There are many other ancient buildings in and out Shoushtar, which
mostly are either mausoleums or tombs belonging to different
religions and sects, as Jew, Sunni, Dervish... One of the
characteristic elements of these buildings, which has its root in
the vernacular architecture of Khuzistan, is the form of their
domes, which are called "Roak".
Jew: Toms of Rubil, Mordekha & Shoaib
Sunni: Tombs of Sad & Said
Dervish: Tombs of Sheikh Shamseddin & Pir Khamsein
Shiite: Tombs of Seyed Mohammad Bazaar, Seyed Saleh
Susa City (Shush)
Shush as the most ancient city of the human civilization was
originally built about 4000 BC. There are many interesting and
ancient monuments as Daniel Temple, Shapour Palace, Shush Museum and
Shush Castle. Shush is about 90 km away from Shoushtar. For more
info, visit Shush (Susa) city.
It is one of the most astonishing archeological wonders of the
world, dates back to 1250 BC. Chogha Zanbil is located 45 km away
from the southeast of Susa (Shush). This ziggurat shaped building
used to be the religious temple of Elamite. It was built by "Untash
Gal", one of the kings of the dynasty about 3200 years ago. The
wonderful temple was originally built on a square base measuring
105x105 Sq. meters and 53 meters height in five stages.