Shushtar is a historical town located in southwestern Iran, in the vast and ancient Khuzestan Province, and is approximately 92 kilometers away from Ahwaz (Ahvaz) the center of the province with a population of about 139,000. Because of being located in Khuzestan province, which is home to the great Karun River and a very fertile region in Iran, Shushtar is an important agricultural center and much of its past agricultural productivity derives from the irrigation system which centered on the Caesar Dam -Bande Keisar, the first dam bridge in Iran. Sugar cane is the main crop in Shushtar, which its cultivation dates back to 226 AD.
Like most other parts of the Khuzestan Province, Shushtar’s history dates back to the Elamite Period (3200 – 539 BC) which was a great pre-historic era in the history of Iran, and this city was known as Adamdun. Later, the city's name was changed to Surkutir during the Achaemenid Period (550-330 BC). The modern name (Shushtar) is attached with the name of Susa (Shush) which is another ancient city in the province and means better than Shush. The city of Shushtar received most of its glory during the Sassanid Era (224-650 AD) when glorious monuments were built. During that period a moat was formed around the city by diverting the water of the river into several channels. It was at the same time when bridges like the Caesar bridge (dam) and main gates into Shushtar were built to the east, west, and south of the town. Several rivers nearby are conducive to the extension of agriculture; a system of subterranean channels called Ghanats, which connected the river to the private reservoirs of houses and buildings, supplied water for domestic use and irrigation, as well as to store and supply water during times of war when the main gates were closed. Traces of these Ghanats can still be found in the crypts of some houses
Shushtar is located between the foothills of Zagros Mountain Range and the Dez River, and 150 meters above sea level. Shushtar has a hot semi-arid climate with extremely hot summers and mild Mediterranean winters. Rainfall with an average of 600 mm in a year, is almost limited to the period from November to April.
Known as one of the most significant UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iran, Shushtar Hydraulic System is a genius series of bridges, dams, mills, waterfalls, canals, and huge tunnels used for leading water which dates back to the time of King Darius the Great during the 5th century B.C. This system also involved the creation of two main diversion canals on the river Karun one of which, the Gargar canal, is still in use providing water to the city of Shushtar via a series of tunnels that supply water to mills.
Band-e Kaisar or the Caesar bridge (also known as Bridge of Valerian or Shadirwan) was built during Sassanid Period and most probably the Roman prisoners captured by king Shapur I, were involved in the construction of this bridge which is also a dam.
Mostowfi house was constructed during the Qajar Period (19th century). The Mostowfi house is a complex containing a mosque, a public bath, and a bridge. The walls and ceilings of this house have been adorned by handsome brickwork. The visitors can have a lovely view of the Shateit River and its surroundings from its garden.
The Jameh or Friday mosque of Shushtar is known as one of the oldest mosques of Iran is a remnant of the early Islamic period. The construction of this mosque was started by one of the Abbassid caliphates. This old mosque was repaired several times and some major restorations were done during the Safavid period (1501-1736 AD). The current structure of the mosque consists of a large domed prayer hall a vast courtyard and minarets which are decorated with glazed bricks.