Zahhak Castle; Historical Part of Parthian Empire

Zahhak Castle; Historical Part of Parthian Empire


Zahhak Castle; Historical Part of Parthian Empire

Zahhak Castle is located in Hashtrud and it was built before Parthian era and during the reign of Parthian Empire.

This castle is located on mountains and it shows that it was used as a military base. This castle is also known as Narenj Castle located 20 kilometers southeast of Hashtrud city in East Azerbaijan province. Some historians believe that this historical place had different functions such as; prison or military base.

Although the castle dates back before Parthian Empire, because of its function in this era, historians believed that it was an estate of Parthians. Towers of the castle look intact from the past until now.


Zahhak is an imaginary king of Shahnameh Ferdowsi who had two snakes on his shoulders and in every day, he killed two youths and gave their brains to his snakes.


A blacksmith with name of Kaveh arose against him with help of Fereydoun. Some people believed that Zahhak was a king of Mad Empire who failed in the war against Cyrus the Great.


Some researchers believe that here was the castle of Zahhak. In Greek books, this castle is named as Fanaspa which means a fast horse. In Greek history, it has been written that a commander of Roman Empire lost a battle against Parthian King in a twenty-seven-day battle near this castle. The reason of his failure was because of hard ways to pass from this region.


The castle has 10 kilometers length and 2 kilometers width. As we explained, it was mostly used as a military base. The castle ends in the valley from 3 sides. There are different parts in the castle like cistern, stone stockpile, mill, bath and etc.

There are different shapes on the walls of this castle like animals, human, and plants. Only external parts such as a gate, made of plaster and brick, has remained intact. Half of the halls of the castle are roofless and near here, there are holes in a mount used as cisterns. Water was transferred by canals from the cistern to castle. In the castle, some stones in the shape of crow on a bull, head of lions, a man in a flower and a goddess have been found.

How to Get There?

From Hashtrud, Follow the way to Arablu point on map to reach the castle.

Address: Iran, East Azerbaijan Province, Hashtrud City, Zahhak Castle

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