Espakhu Fire TempleMane va samanghan
The fire temples are reminiscents of ancient times and until today they stand alone on the top of the mountains, in the heart of the plains. Even though they are not lit anymore, the glory and grandness of their history can be sensed through their arches. Espakhu fire temple is one of the oldest buildings that still exists in the North Khorasan.
The archeological excavations indicate that Espakhu fire temple belongs to the Sassanid dynasty. There is a village close to this temple that bears the same name. Espakhu is the changes form of Hesp or Esp that is originally a word from Pahlavi language. It has gradually changed into Asb (horse).
Some belief Espakhu to be a church rather than a fire temple. But there is no available document to prove this claim. But the circular form of altar, fireplace, holes in the ceiling of the dome, and holes there were for the smoke to exit the building are all indicators that prove Espakhu was in fact a fire temple.
The internal space of the temple is in form of a square. There are three entrances in the north, east and south sides. The north and south entrances are the exterior entrances, and the east entrances connect the main room to the terrace. One of the most important things about this structure is the blind windows in north and south façade that are very similar to the Achaemenid models.
The architectural elements of Espakhu are combinations of religious and governmental buildings, with more impression from Sassanid style. Considering its geographic location and religious function, it has a crucial role in the archeological researches of this area. Espakhu was discovered in 1975 by a team of archeologists and later was registered as a national heritage. In the past, the land surrounding this temple were viable and filled with gardens and fields. But today remains only a few fruit gardens. This stone building is located one hundred and fifteen kilometers away from Bojnurd on the path to Golestan forest and is more than fifty kilometers distant from Ashkhaneh city.