The great wall of Gorgan in the province of Golestan, which is referred to as “the Great Wall of Alexander” or the “Red Wall” in historical books, is said to be as old as the Great Wall of China. The world’s largest brick wall in Iran
It is difficult to determine the exact age of the great wall of Gorgan. In some books, experts have attributed the wall to a variety of eras including the Medes, Achaemenids, Parthians, and Sassanid. Nevertheless, 429 – 615 AD seems to be the most probable date for the construction of this wall.
Most historians, however, unanimously agree that this wall has been constructed and rebuilt by Anoushirvan Sassanid (531-579 AD).
The wall is 200 kilometers long and Iranian authorities have registered it in the national heritage list in 2008. People also know the great wall of Gorgan by the name “Red Snake”. They do so because of the red bricks used in the middle of the wall.
The reasons for construction of the world’s largest brick wall
Experts believe that, just like the Great Wall of China, Iranians built this wall to defend the borders of the country against enemies. In fact, historians believe that the great wall of Gorgan and the Great Wall of China have been constructed to defend against the attacks of hephthalites from the north.
Interestingly, this wall is known as the world’s largest brick wall. Besides, it’s the third largest wall after the Great Wall of China and the wall of Semiz in Germany. Some parts of this old wall are much older than the wall of China. And this fact makes the wall even more prominent as an ancient monument.
Characteristics of the world’s largest brick wall
The wall consists of Square fortresses spacing at intervals of 50 m. The fortresses were probably used as a post by guards and soldiers who protected the wall. Ferdowsi has also described the wall in detail in Shahnameh as well as some geographers in their sources. According to some historians, the wall extended from east of Iran to Merv. Some archaeologists, however, believe that the great wall of Gorgan originally extended from eastern Iran up to Sarakhs. And it has been partly ruined in various historical events.
There are controversies over the height of the wall (6 – 10 m). Nevertheless, archaeologists are mostly confident that the wall is 6 meters high. Further explorations, however may provide adequate proofs regarding the 8-10 m height of the Gorgan wall.
Furthermore, the archaeologists have discovered about 36 castles with a surface area of 5 to 20 hectares behind this wall. Considering the defensive components of the castles, experts believe that then citizens used them to defend the region against enemies. As we approach the mountains and hills in the east, however, the castles stand much closer to each other. In addition to citadels, walls and fortifications, the castles encompassed gutters that were used as brick kilns. The largest gutter explored in this area covers an area of about 330 hectares!
The best time to visit the great wall of Gorgan
Considering the geographical location of this area, spring or early fall seems to be the best time to visit the wall. Nevertheless, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it is impossible to visit the wall during the summer or winter. In fact, those who intend to visit the area during winter or summer should expect scorching hot or freezing cold weather. It might take you a couple of hours to visit the great wall of Gorgan. As a result, you’d better take some food and potable water with you. The local houses in this part of Gorgan could be the best choice for your accommodation. The world’s largest brick wall in Iran