The Rudkhan Castle is a medieval fortress located in Gilan province, 20 kilometers away from Fuman Town, near Rudkhan Village. This stunning fortress is hidden in the middle of dense northern forests on the heights of Alburz Mountain Range, about 700 meters above sea level. Just like other historical fortresses, Rudkhan is a mysterious place because of its architectural form and military function that caused it to be an impenetrable place, with so many wonders and secrets.
Rudkhan Castle - Fuman, Iran
The History of Rudkhan Castle
Inspite of its massive construction, the Rudkhan Castle was undiscovered until 1830, when Mr. Alexander Borejko Chodzko, the Polish Iranologist referred to this castle in his books:
“There is a fortress on a mountain over a river with the same name with two towers on both sides and an inscription on the entrance saying that this fortress was reconstructed between 918 to 921 by the order of Sultan Hesam al Din Amir Dabbah Ibn Amir Alaeddin Ishaq.”
The inscription mentioned by Chodzko is the only historical document of the Rudkhan Castle that has been discovered so far, and it is kept in Museum of Rasht.
Regarding the history of Rudkhan Castle it should be said that the exact date of constructing this castle is not mentioned anywhere and there are different ideas about the antiquitis not mentioned anywhere and there are different ideas about the antiquity of the building. It is believed that the fortress was first built sometime between late Sassanid era to early Islamic era. Then it was rebuilt during Seljuk era. Also it was used by the Ismailiun as a military center for battle against Mogul invaders. This fortress was also used by many of the commanders of Gilan region during its history until Zand Era, when Hedayat Khan the governor of Fuman amended this fortress in 1175 Hijri during his rebellion against Karim Khan Zand.
How Many Stairs to the Rudkhan Castle?
The route for reaching the Rudkhan Castle includes climbing so many stairs, therefore this is also known as the thousand-stairs castle in mythical stories. The original stairs of the castle that have been discovered after excavations, are 935 stairs, however today there are 1600 stairs that should be climbed to visit the wonderful Rudkhan Castle.
Trekking to Rudkhan Castle - Fuman, Iran
The Arcitecture of Rudkhan Castle
The Rudkhan Castle covers an area about 2.6 hectares with 65 towers and 1500 meter walls, and the main material is stone and bricks. This castle is divided into two main parts including the fortress and the arsenal, which is the military part of castle used for manufacturing and keeping ammunition and residing soldiers. The fortress is located on the west side and is a two story building made with bricks and the arsenal is on the east side with numerous lightwells and windows that were used for watching around the castle. Since the constructions are built on two hills it is divided into three parts:
The eastern part: This part which is separated from other parts by a gate, is located on a 670-meter-high hill and most parts including the prison, emergency gate, some barracks, and two large towers, were military buildings.
The central part: Located on the lowest part of the castle, the central part includes the main entrance gate.
The western part: The buildings of this part are located on a steep slope and it includes an entrance gate, water cistern, governor’s house, and residential houses.
The whole castle’s area is surrounded with watching towers. Each tower is topped with an octagon shaped room with a dome ciling and small windows for shooting and watching the area. Some of the towers have two floors and some of them have facilities like stoves and chimneys. The most significant part of the Roodkhan Castle is the governor’s house located on the highest part. It has two floors with a balcony with a view to the whole castle.
Rudkhan Castle - Fuman, Iran
When to visit the Rudkhan Castle
During spring the freshness of forest, beauty of blossoming trees and the mild spring weather makes the Rudkhan Castle trekking a pleasant experience, therefore for many visitors spring is the best time of year for visiting this medieval castle.
Since summer is a travel peak season in Iran, Rudkhan Castle is more crowded than the rest of year. On the other hand, considering the warm and humid weather of north of Iran in summer, visiting the Rudkhan Castle during other seasons seems like a good idea, however if you are in north of Iran during summer, do not miss visiting this wonderful heritage.
Hidden in the heart of giant trees with golden and orange autumn leaves, the Rudkhan Castle offers a mesmerizing beauty during autumn. Since during autumn the weather is rainy and foggy almost every day, you need to be prepared and quipped for this trekking.
Visiting the Rudkhan Castle during winter is more adventurous than other times of year, therefore you need to be equipped and be accompanied by a local guide. In winter the silent forest is covered with snow and offers stunning views to visitors, and the castle has a surreal and mysterious beauty.