Espakho

Village in Golestan National Park

Beyond the national park's eastern edge, 5.3km north of the highway, ridge-backed Espakho is a small, Khorasani village retaining several traditional-style mud houses, some lovely old trees and – most famously – a sturdy former fire temple that locals misleadingly name kelisa (church). With walls 2m thick and pierced by keyhole-shaped openings, it's said to be the last remaining Sassanid-era monument still standing in Northeastern Iran.

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