Located on the ridge of a mountain overlooking the nice Roulkhan village in an area of 2.6 hectares, the Roudkhan village is considered as one of the most amazing historical monuments in 25 km southwest of Fuman in the northern province of Gilan, attracting a large number of domestic and foreign tourists.Being above sea level in an altitude ranging from 665 meters to 715 meters, the castle is situated near a river by the same name, making it to be named Roudkhan which literally means a castle near the river. The fort has also been called ‘One Thousand Steps’, ‘Hesami’ and ‘Saksar’.
Originally built between 1496 and 1498 CE in the Sassanid era, the castle was rebuilt under the Seljuk rule and has a historical precedence as it was a base for Ishmaeelieh fighters and then local rulers until the Zand period. Thus, due to being the center of Gilan government for a long time, Fuman gained more significance.
Surrounded by 42 watchtowers and a 1,550-meter-long wall, the castle includes two sections: the first is a citadel allocated as the residential area for the king and his close household and the second is the barracks used for soldiers. The castle contains two wings. The smaller eastern wing is on a 670-meter hill and is separated by a gateway from other parts. It has various sections such as entrances, a prison, an emergency exit, and residential units. And the western wing is on the steep slope of mountain which includes entrances, water storage facilities, the king’s seat, and a number of residential units.
The whole castle has been built with stone and bricks while the more vulnerable sections were built with stone and mortar. Also, some parts of rooms, towers and dome-shaped ceilings were made with bricks and plaster. The castle’s big entrance gate includes five platforms made of stones as high as one meter which is flanked by two guardhouses. The magnificent tower and the enormous bridge draw the attention of visitors at first sight.
On the thick walls mostly made with brick, there are loopholes through which archers used to defend the castle against assailants or pour molten metal over enemy soldiers. Also, there existed a spring in the midst of the castle used by the inhabitants for emergency times in the past. In those old days, the enemy was never able to take over the fort which shows its strengths regarding its military architecture.
Ascending on the cobbled stairs in the midst of dense forest trees while hearing birds singing is the most exciting sightseeing for art lovers who visit the impressive castle. Another dazzling point is that how architects have benefitted from the natural mountainous function of the area to build the strong fortifications, making it worthy of visiting.
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