The small, fifth-century Sasanian building east of Sarvestan (satellite photo) is usually called a palace, but no one knows what the building really is. It may have been a hunting lodge or a religious site; but it may as well have been a palace, because it resembles the Qalah-e Dokhtar and the palace of Ardašir at Firuzabad. Whatever the function of the ruin near Sarvestan, it is well-preserved, and worth a visit. It will take an afternoon, if you rent a car in Shiraz. And if you don’t like to go to Iran, your photos are here.
Sarvestan Palace7 February 2010
Sarvestan24 October 2009
The Sarvestan Palace (satellite photo), built in the fifth century by the Sasanian king Bahram V, is about an hour and a half east of Shiraz. The trip itself is half the fun, because the road passes along a salt lake and through some orchards (the pomegranates are now ripe). Finally, you reach an immense plain, where the only sounds you hear are the ones you produce yourself, and where your only company consists of an occasional twister. The palace is in the center of the plain, splendidly isolated.
The monument is made of bricks and used to have three domes, of which two survive. Just like the Qalah-e Dokhtar and the palace of Ardašir, both near Firuzabad, the Sarvestan Palace is being restored. There were large scaffolds in the great dome. On our way back, we bought some pomegranates, and enjoyed the chaotic traffic of Shiraz. All in all, the visit was extremely worthwhile.
If you want to go to the Sarvestan palace, too, it may be useful to know that it is not near the town called Sarvestan; it is in fact ten kilometers east of it, close to a small village. I read the sign while we were passing along it in the car and I could not read it well – it may have been Mohsenabad. Amusingly, I wrote in my notes “Mohinabad”, Nothingville.