The Falak ol-Aflak Citadel is a magnificent fortress located in the heart of Khorramabad, a city in the western province of Lorestan, Iran. This historic site, also known as Shapurkhast Fortress, has been standing tall for over a millennium and remains a symbol of the rich cultural heritage of Iran.


The Falak ol-Aflak Citadel, also known as the Shapurkhast Fortress, is a historical monument located in the city of Khorramabad, in the western province of Lorestan in Iran. It was built during the Sassanid era, initiated by the Sassanid king Shapur I, who ruled from 240 to 270 AD. Originally built as a military fortress to protect the city and control trade routes, the citadel was expanded and renovated over the years by different rulers, including the Seljuk and Safavid dynasties. It was used as a military base and a prison during the Islamic era and served as the residence of the governor of Khorramabad during the Qajar period. In 1952, the citadel was converted into a museum, showcasing the rich history and culture of the region. Made of bricks, clay, stone, and mortar, the castle has a deep well, emergency escape route, and a 12-tower fence. It has been referred to by different names throughout history, with the current name coming from a room built during the Qajar period.


The Falak ol-Aflak Citadel in Iran has a regular pentagon shape with towers of different dimensions. The walls are made of limestone and have underground paths for water drainage. Wooden cladding protects the walls, which have simple brickwork with diamond-shaped protrusions and Islamic designs. There are five gates to the Citadel and 14 towers, with a slope inward to prevent settlement and double edges for resistance. The walls were covered with straw and mud for protection, and many parts have been destroyed over time.

The Falak ol-Aflak Castle has a northwest entrance with two brick columns and an arch in the Qajar style. The first courtyard has a rectangular building with a dome and a mysterious well. The second courtyard has north-south rooms with small spaces under the southern rooms and four-part domes in the eastern part. The towers, rooms, and walls have undergone many changes due to reconstruction, with the brick tower being the only one with minimal changes. The castle showcases the architectural diversity of different historical periods.

 The secrets of Falak 0l-Aflak

The Castle of the Falak ol-Aflak in Iran is a mysterious ancient structure that has survived from various historical periods. Experts have studied the well in the castle, which is over 40 meters deep and has 150 cubic holes in zigzag patterns. Evidence of an underground canal beneath the castle has been found, but not yet proven. The well is hand-dug and its water is still drinkable. Providing access to drinking water resources was a major concern for architects of ancient castles, and the well of the Castle of the Falak ol-Aflak fully supplied the water needed by its residents. A tunnel has also been discovered in the castle courtyard, which was likely used for escape in emergencies.

Falak ol-Aflak museum

The Falak ol-Aflak Castle Museum in Lorestan, Iran, is the only anthropology museum in the province. It houses valuable historical artifacts, including manuscripts, and provides information about the lives of indigenous people from the past to the present. The museum has various sections, including the Falak ol-Aflak Archaeological Museum, which displays around 600 ancient objects, including artifacts from the Achaemenid era.

The Falak ol-Aflak Anthropology Museum also showcases traditional beliefs, practices, clothing, tools, and music of the region. Visitors can see models of daily life, wedding ceremonies, handicrafts, hunting, bread-making, and women’s activities, as well as historical and natural images. The museum also features sculptures of master craftsmen, and models of Lorestan women weaving carpets, mats, and black tents. A music hall displays various traditional instruments of Lorestan.

Last word

The Falak ol Aflak Citadel is a historic jewel of Khorramabad that represents the rich cultural heritage of Iran. The fortress has withstood the test of time and has witnessed the rise and fall of many empires. Despite the damage it has suffered, efforts are being made to restore it to its former glory and preserve it for future generations.