Lorestan province is one of the most beautiful, yet neglected tourist destinations in Iran. From numerous waterfalls, mountains and breathtaking landscapes to historical monuments, the list of amazing places to visit in this part of the country is endless. In addition, the hospitality of the warm, friendly people of this region is another reason why you should include this part of the country in your itinerary to Iran!
One of the most beautiful attractions of Lorestan province is located in Khorramabad city. It is, in fact, a historical stony whirlpool from Sassanid era. It is called Gerdab-e Sangi or Gerdau Bardineh as they call it in the local dialect. Gerdab-e Sangi is among the oldest historical attractions of this city. It is also the oldest stone water reservoir in the world. This ancient structure is also registered on the list of National Monuments of Iran in 1976.
What makes Gerdab-e Sangi interesting is its magnificent architecture which dates back to at least 1600 years ago. Constructing such a huge whirlpool is a complicated, time-consuming process, even today! But This amazing circular building made of stone and mortar was being used since then. It was used to regulate the water out of the well and then transfer it through the channels to various parts of the ancient city.Sassanians had designed this stony whirlpool to manage and transfer the water that was coming from a spring in the middle of it.
The fact is that water has always been a very important element for founding and building the cities in the world and this is also true about Iran. That´s why you can see many different kinds of qanats and water reservoirs in different parts of Iran. They can especially be seen in central parts where normally it doesn´t rain a lot. In such locations, it is very important to preserve water for the summer. Each of these structures has its own characteristics. So, it can be interesting to take a deeper look on its design. Join us in this article to discover more about this invention of Sassanids and its applications at that time.
As mentioned earlier, this stony whirlpool was a means to transfer the water coming from natural resources to the town and the city. In constructing this structure, many rocks and stones have been used. These stones are stick together using plaster of lime and ashes or sand (mortar).
Gerdab-e Sangi is a building with a diameter of 18 meters and a width of 3 meters and a height of 12m. The structure of has been built around a seasonal well. This well feeds the Gerdab-e Sangi and it has water only from mid-winter to mid-summer. It was one of the oldest springs of the Sassanid era, and the water was channeled from here to the city of Shapurkhast using the channels surrounding it. Shapour Khast was, in fact, a Sasanian city located in the current location of Khorramabad city.
On the east side of this rocky structure, there is a small, beautiful lake. A sliding block allows the water to flow easily from here to the channels on the other part. This block is also made of stone and completes the magnificent design of the Gerdab-e Sangi. During the rainy seasons like spring, the spring can produce 170 liters of water in just a second. It is one of the interesting characteristics of this historical attraction. The water flows from the well to the channels throughout the city and it also makes the weather around this structure very pleasant and fresh. For this reason, it would be better to visit the city of Khoramabad and Gerdab-e Sangi in the spring and summer. During these seasons, the city and its surrounding nature turn to very beautiful, green landscapes and you can enjoy great weather as well.
Using such structures was common at that time. In fact, there is a valley called “Baba Abbas” 12 kilometers away from Gerdab-e Sangi where you can see the ruins of an old water mill there. The channels surrounding this water mill resemble those around the Gerdab-e Sangi. So, we can conclude using such buildings was a common method for water management at that time. In addition, the water from Gerdab’e Sangi was being used in other parts of the city as well.
To visit this old, interesting structure, you should go to the historic texture of the city. Gerdab-e sangi is located near 17 Shahrivar street, Takhti Square. Because of its unique architecture, you will see many other tourists and travelers visiting Gerdab-e Sangi each day. To get there, you should go to the northwestern part of Khorramabad city. It is more convenient to take a taxi there.