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Description

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The Niasar Fire Temple or Niasar Chahar Taghi (Four Arches) is a structure with a dome over a rock at the highest point of Niasar Village, located 28 kilometers west of Kashan city, Isfahan province.
The fire temple, which can be seen from quite a distance, has remained relatively intact since the time of Sassanid dynasty, Historicaliran reported.
Those traveling by road from Tehran to Niasar pass through Ravand (12 kilometers northwest of Kashan).
At Ravand, an asphalted road branches from the main road towards the west and after 20 kilometers reaches the Niasar-Mashhad Ardehal Junction, Cais-soas.com reported.
From this junction, one needs to travel eight kilometers to reach Niasar Village.

Structure
The fire temple is 14 * 14-meter building which contains a chamber. There are no walls on the four sides of the chamber.
The fire temple has been made of stones bonded with mortar. The stones used in the lower part of the building are normal and those used in the arches and 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 have been decorated with stucco ...see more carvings.
The main dome of the fire temple had previously collapsed. The dome was reconstructed in lights of efforts of Colonel Bahonar from the Ministry of Culture and Art.
However, the dome of the temple was modeled on Islamic domes while, according to the famous French archeologist, Andre Godard, the original dome was egg-shaped.
There is an interesting point in the structure of the fire temple: some of the stones used in the building have older and different cut than others.
This stones had been quarried from a cave down the temple for use in the construction of the fire temple. This reveals the fact that the Niasar cave is older than the fire temple.

Archaeological Excavations
Archaeologists have revealed generally there would be a number of other premises around fire temples where Zoroastrian monks used to gather 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.
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 meters 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.
Reza Moradi Ghiasabadi forwarded a theory in 2000, regarding the function of Niasar Fire Temple as a cylindrical structure that works with sunlight.
According to him, in each season the sunrays protrude from different angles and one can tell the time of the year.
Niasar Cultural Heritage and Tourism Department organizes a ceremony for Iranian pilgrims each year to mark the observance of sun’s birth in the early days of the two seasons.

Damage Risk
Construction of an observatory for University of Kashan at distance of 50 meters off from domed monument of Niasar in 2007 intruded the cultural landscape of the building.
The Research Center of Niasar Cultural Heritage, Handicraft and Tourism Department repeatedly voiced its objections to construction of the observatory. But, the university ignored all the objections and continued its work at a close distance to the Sassanid monument.
Moreover, since the architectural style used in construction of the observatory is remotely different from that of Niasar monument, the building has blemished the historic texture of Niasar.
The activities of Ministry of Industries, Mines, and Trade are another threat to the Niasar Fire Temple.
The jolts created as a result of exploiting stone from a nearby query have caused cracks on this monument.
Experts have warned that nothing would remain from this historic monument in a few years should construction activities continue in the region.

Source:
Iran Daily
http://english.irib.ir/radioculture/art/architecture/item/150908-niasar-fire-temple-a-unique-sassanid-monument

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