Shavvaz village is one of the historical old villages of Yazd province, consisting historical and natural attractions such as Asbaghgteh fire temple, Shavvaz castle, historical cemetery, and waterfall. Shavvaz castle is one of the most important mountain castles of Yazd.
Where is Shavvaz Village?
Shavvaz village is one of the attractions of Taft, in southwest of Yazd province. It is 95 km from Shavvaz to Yazd.
Shavaz Castle is the most important attraction and historical monument of Shavvaz village which has registered in the national heritage list of Iran in November 2016 under number 31623. This castle is one of the most important and oldest castles in Yazd province and has remained standing since ancient Iran. Shavvaz castle used to be a residential place and like a strong fortress against the attacks of enemies and invaders. This castle is built on a sedimentary rock at a height of 100 meters from the ground and completely surrounds the area.
Shavvaz castle is built in Sassanid architecture style and has an area of five thousand m2. This castle is made of sedimentary rocks and there are sharp dangerous cliffs around it, which made it difficult for the enemy to reach the castle. Shavvaz castle has three floors, the ground floor was for keeping cattle and livestock, the first floor was for living, and the second floor was for storing supplies and equipment storage.
Clay, mud and stones are the materials used in the construction of Shavvaz castle. This castle has adobe towers for observation and protection. In order to increase the strength and resistance of these towers, there are stones used in facades which also belongs to Sassanid architecture. The exterior of Shavvaz castle and its walls are made of stone, and the interior is made of clay. On the ceiling of one of the rooms, there are evidences of Russian olive wood beams. This wood is resistant to deterioration, moisture and termites.
Arches similar to Parthian, Sassanid circular arches, and post-Islamic cross arches are among Shavvaz castle characteristics, which is also seen in Azargoshnasp fire temple. According to the remains of the water well inside this castle, it is possible that Shavvaz castle was residential or at least a long-term residence of the people of the adjacent village. Inside the castle, there are spaces carved in the middle of the stone, which are similar to shops and similar examples in Meymand, Kerman and Larijan in Mazandaran.
Iraj Afshar says about this castle in the book ” Monuments of Yazd”:
The most important mountain castle built in Yazd is the high, strong, imperial, beautiful Shavvaz castle. This castle is built on top of hard sedimentary rocks at a height of one hundred meters, surrounded by steep cliffs and embankments, and it has been a residential place.
One of the most important findings of Shavvaz castle is an inscription that probably dates back to the 6th century AH. This inscription is written on one of the walls, in a place that is not visible and the writings are carved in primitive form.
This inscription is important because according to the studies conducted on the Islamic stone inscriptions of Yazd province, no inscription belonging to the 6th century AH has been found in a building like a castle, mosque or school. All the inscriptions belonging to this period are tombstones and mihrab stones which can be seen in Shavvaz cemetery.
The Age of Shavvaz Castle
The age of Shavvaz castle is not precisely known. Due to the location of the castle on a high hill, the thick bricks, the gray pottery found in it, the stone facades of the towers, the rooms and corridors and the stone inscriptions discovered in the stone body of one of the inner walls, it is possible that this castle was built in the late Parthian and early Sassanid periods.