The inscriptions were carried out by the World Heritage Committee, which has been holding its 27th session, under the chair of Vera Lacoeuilhe (Sainte-Lucie) at UNESCO Headquarters since June 30. The World Heritage List now numbers 754 sites, including 149 natural, and 582 cultural and 23 mixed sites “of outstanding universal value”.
Brief description of Takht-e Soleyman
The archaeological site of Takht-e Suleyman, in north-western Iran, is situated in a valley in a volcanic mountain region. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sasanian period (6th and 7th centuries AD) dedicated to Anahita. The site has important symbolic significance. The designs of the fire temple, the palace and the general layout have had significant influence on the development of Islamic architecture.
Located in Western Azerbaijan Province
N36 36 14.0 E47 14 06.0
Inscribed: 2003 Criteria: C (i) (ii) (iii) (iv) (vi)
Justification for Inscription:
- Criterion (i) — Takth-e Suleiman is an outstanding ensemble of royal architecture, joining the principal architectural elements created by the Sasanians in a harmonious composition inspired by their natural context.
- Criterion (ii) — The composition and the architectural elements created by the Sasanians at Takht-e Suleiman have had strong influence not only in the development of religious architecture in the Islamic period, but also in other cultures.
- Criterion (iii) — The ensemble of Takht-e Suleiman is an exceptional testimony of the continuation of cult related to fire and water over a period of some two and half millennia. The archaeological heritage of the site is further enriched by the Sasanian town, which is still to be excavated.
- Criterion (iv) — Takht-e Suleiman represents an outstanding example of Zoroastrian sanctuary, integrated with Sasanian palatial architecture within a composition, which can be seen as a prototype.
- Criterion (vi) — As the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary, Takht-e Suleiman is the foremost site associated with one of the early monotheistic religions of the world. The site has many important symbolic relationships, being also a testimony of the association of the ancient beliefs, much earlier than the Zoroastrianism, as well as in its association with significant biblical figures and legends.