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Introducing Khorramabad

Little visited by foreigners, Khorramabad is nonetheless scenically appealing and a possible base from which to discover Lorestan province, the glorious Zagros Mountains and the Lori (Lurish) people.

Khorramabad lies in a long, wide gorge sandwiched by dry, impressive crags in which have been found at least five Palaeolithic cave-dwelling sites. Historians disagree whether Khorramabad was the site of Shapurkhast or of Samha. Both are ancient ‘lost’ cities that had advanced irrigation and milling systems over 1500 years ago, judging from archaeological clues like the Gerdab-e-Sangi cistern.

In the Middle Ages a fortified central citadel was built here by the Atabegs, the powerful clan who ruled Lorestan from the 12th century until subjugated by Shah Abbas around AD 1600. The citadel later became the residence of Persian governors who developed it into a classical fortress that soared so impressively that it became known as Falak-ol-Aflak (Heaven of Heavens). In the 1830s, the governors moved into a mansion at the castle’s base (now a military academy) and the fortress became a prison. It’s now an interesting museum.