Qamchqay Castle

Qamchqay Castle


Qamchqay Castle

Few Clouds

Qamchqay Castle is located sixty kilometers north of Kordestan Province, on a high mountain, facing Valley of the Kings in north of Qamchqay village in Karani district and inside the protected area of Bijar.

Qamchqay Castle of Bijar has a stone relief in Hiratic writing system. Hiratic is the same system that was written in after Hieroglyph in history. It is speculated that the first founders of Qamchqay Castle were the ancient Sumerians.

Even though Qamchqay Castle has historical signs from one thousand years B.C., Sassanid dynasties, as well as Seljuk and Ilkhanate dynasties, some of the specialists believe that the basic structure of the castle goes back to two thousand and five hundred to two thousand years B.C.

Qamchqay Castle was functional during the Parthian Empire and Sassanid dynasty. This function lasted until the attack of Heraclius, the Roman Emperor, to Azargoshnasp Fire Temple in Takht-e Soleymān one hundred kilometers north of Qamchqay Castle, after which it was destroyed.

Qamchqay Castle spreads more than five thousand square meters and its walls are as tall as two hundred meters. This castle leads to the valley from three sides, and was sheltered by the heights. It needed protection only on northern side. That is why there remains in north signs of a wide and rough wall made from stone and rubble trench and mortar with half-cylinder towers as guiding posts. The method of making these structures match those of Azargoshnasp. The entrance gateway of the castle is located in the north, too.

At the feet of the rubble trench remaining from the defense walls on the north, there are other walls from middle centuries spread on the bed of the river. The underground shelter of Qamchqay Castle was as deep as forty-one steps. They are made of stone and go to underneath of the castle. The only path connecting the castle with the outside is a narrow pathway. There is also an Ab Anbar or traditional water reservoir in Qamchqay Castle. A corridor has been constructed that leads to Ab Anbar. This structure matches the Ab Anbar of Azargoshnasp Fire Temple in Takab, too.

It is not easy accessing this castle and a local guide is necessary to reach it. The deep valley and its bend, next to Qamchqay Castle creates an exceptional and magnificent view.

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