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Photographer's Note

Niasar Fire Temple, which is the first Sasanid monument, dates back to 1,800 years ago.

A building with a dome over a rock at the highest point of Niasar village can be seen from distance. This is the same penthouse that has remained intact since the time of Sassanid dynasty. The book, Qom-Nameh reads: "Niasar which has been founded by Ardeshir Babakan, is also known as Niansar."

The road to Niasar is divided into two ways beside the orchards of Niasar. The left route leads to the village and the right one built for access to the stone mine goes past the fire temple. This stretch of road has become rugged and bumpy as a result of the transport of heavy duty mining equipment to the region. Villagers call the upper part of Niasar "Talab" and the lower part "Darab". The fire temple overlooks Talar.

The penthouse is 14 by 14 meter building which contains a chamber with a dome over it. There are no walls on the four sides of the chamber. The fire temple has been made of stones put together with a mortar of plaster. The stones used in the lower part of the building are normal and those used in the arches and in the upper parts are square-shaped, looking like big bricks.

The lower parts of the building have been coated with plaster in recent years. All walls surrounding the fire temple are likely to have been decorated with stucco carvings in the past.

The main dome of the fire temple collapsed in previous eras. Before the revolution, the dome was reconstructed thanks to the efforts of Colonel Bahonar from the Ministry of Culture and Art. However, the dome of the temple has been modeled on Islamic era domes while according to the famous French archaeologist Andre Godar, the main dome had been like an egg.

Around a number of fire temples there used to be a number of other premises where Zoroastrian monks gathered together for worship. Although it is not known whether this building was used for this purpose, there are rows of stones laid together near the fire temple which are remnants of a building belonging to the Sassanid era.

Since the fire over the Niasar penthouse could be seen from distance, the building might have had a symbolic role. One of such fire temples, is Kohneh Dezh or Khorram Dasht penthouse around the city of Kashan. Nothing has been left of the dome of the fire temple but its slanting ceilings were reconstructed a few years ago.

Magnificent premises used to surround the fire temple of which only some small pieces of stone can now be seen on the ground. A few meter down the fire temple, a spring of cool and clear waters flows through the Talar mosque and goes on to the village. It is surprising that running waters exit beside many other fire temples. Some of them bear signs of worshiping Anahita, the goddess of cultivation and fertility.

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Additional Photos by Hamid Sedghinejad (h_sedghi) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 27 W: 36 N: 126] (880)
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