Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran has finally come up with the money needed to pay the Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) to free a historic castle, which is a national heritage site.
The Falak ol-Aflak Castle or fort was built during the Sassanid period (224–651) on a hill, surrounded on two sides by a river, in Khorramabad in Western Iran. It is one of the most important structures remaining from the pre-Islamic period of Iran, built by bricks, stones and wood.
Iran’s heritage authorities wanted to free the castle to prepare it as a world heritage site, but the IRGC demanded $16.5 million dollars to vacate the historic building. The official government news agency IRNA reported November 9 that finally the Cultural Heritage Organization has put together the last installment to pay the Revolutionary Guards.
Falak ol-Aflak, also known as Shapur-Khast fortress, served as a prison until 1968, when the government of Mohammad Reza Shah converted it to a museum. It is not clear exactly when the IRGC and the army occupied the castle, but the army has already vacated it responding to the request of national heritage authorities.
The hill and the castle are now located at the center of Khorramabad, the bustling capital of Lorestan province. The foundation of the structure measures 300 by 400 meters (980 ft × 1,310 ft). The castle itself covers an area of 5,300 square meters or 57,000 sq ft.