Narin Qal'eh

Narin Qal'eh
Seen in the background (in order to capture its full size), the ruins of Narin Ghal'eh are not even registered with Iran's Heritage Organization, and is currently used as a garbage dump for the locals.
The ruins of the structure stand 40 meters tall from base to tip.

The Narin Qal'eh (In Persian: نارین قلعه) or Narin Castle is a mud-brick fort or castle in the town of Nain, Iran. Structures like these constituted the government stronghold in some of the older (pre-Islamic) towns of central Iran. Some of these castles incorporate mud bricks of the Medes period and of the Achaemenid and Sassanid dynasties.

The ruins of the structure stands 40 meters (130 ft) high from its base. Although built some 2000 years ago, it contains what seems to be a type of plumbing system made out of mortar ("sārooj") built into its massive walls. It is also peculiarly similar in design to Ali Qapu palace of Isfahan; it has a terrace high on top of the structure whose circulation is provided by two helical stair wells (whose walls have caved in, making it inaccessible). The structure also has a large underground chamber (filled now by rubble), possibly a prison. Four towers surround the entire compound, and a large gate furnishes access to a large courtyard. The structure seems to have been the victim of numerous earthquakes throughout the ages.

Some believe that the Narin castles are descendants of ancient fire-temples; some of the castles in Narin and Meybod, in Yazd province, are also called nareng castles (orange castles), possibly by folk etymology. The castle at Meybod is currently under study. Yet this castle has not been faring very well.

Unfortunately today, the ruins of Narin Gahl'eh is nothing more but the site of a local garbage dump, and what is even more depressing is that Iran contains thousands of such structures, decaying in their own rubble.

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