|Some historians believe that the root to name “Shushtar” originally comes from the word “Shusha” or “Sus” which literally means “pleasant”.
Other think that the original names was “Shushtar” which really meant “the king city”. The Arabs used to call this city as “Testar” and others as “Shush dar” which translates to “six gates” as it used to have this number of gates around the city: which were as follow: the “Maparian” gate in the north, the “Dezful” gate in the northwest, the “Adineh” gate in the west, “Lashkar” gate in the southeast, and finally the “Gargar” gate in the east of the city.
The most ancient findings, which were discovered in an area along the northeast of Shushtar, belong to the prehistoric civilization where people used to live in caves made of earth work.
These findings, which were excavated by professor “Girshman” in 1941, seem to belong to three distinct era of the neo-stone age. According to the recent investigation carried out by number of archaeologists, there is still a large unexplored area around Shushtar with many precious and interesting objects from different stages of prehistoric civilization and also from periods belonging to different dynasties such as: Achaemenians, Parthians and Sassanians.
Masjed e Jameh
The construction of this mosque dates back to 833 A.D during the reign of the Abbassi’s Khalifeh.However this building was repaired and renovated over and over again. The last recorded one was back in 1972.
From it’s arches, it’s iwan and also it’s Shabestan (praying quarter), one can easily recognize the dominant architectural style of Sassanian period and it construction is obviously belonging to the early post Islamic Persia.
The minaret of the mosque was built in 1400 A.D and it’s height up to very recently (1952) was about twenty six meters but since then only sixteen meters of it has remained intact.
The castle of Salaasel
This castle which was built on a huge rock is positioned over the north of Shushtar . It is said that this ancient castle was constructed during the early years of the Sassanian’s kingdom (200 A.D) and was mostly used as a major military base of Shahpoor 1 and other kings ruling after him. It is also believed that Valerian (the Roman Emperor) after his defeat by Shahpoor 1 spent his captivity in this castle.
According to a text this castle was badly destroyed during the invasion of Persia by the Arabs. However three hundred years later a patron called “Abi-ol-Salaasei” reconstructed a large portion of the castle and ever since then, this castle was named after him.
The ancient water mills (Sika)
Around the southern edge of the Gargar weir and along both sides of the river banks, there are sixteen ancient water mills with distinguishable Sassanian architectural style.
The water was first stored behind the weir’s wall and then was channeled to a number of deep weirs and from there a constant supply of water for the mills to grind the wheat and other agricultural products.
It still is fascinating to see the early water technology in operation and realize how ingenious was this simple process.
The Shadorvan weir or bridge
This bridge which is also called the Shahpoori bridge is located about 1500 meters away in the western of the Mizan weir.
The width of the bridge’s piers is around seven meters and the width of it’s channels is nearly eight meters and the height from it’s base up to the crown of the bridge is ten meters.
The material used in the construction are the mixture of local stones, rubbles and ashes mortar.
It’s believed that the bridge was constructed during the kingdom of Shahpoor 1. It amazing that after nearly eighteen centuries the main construction has remained intact despite many heavy floods.
Band e Mizan or Shahpoori weir
The weir which is on the north-east of the city, actually divides the Karoon into two main streams, one leading to the Gargar on the east side of the city and the other Shotait on the west. The original construction of this dam, according to a number of historical documents, goes back to the Sassanians kingdom, when Shahpoor 1, in the battle of “Epuda” defeated the valerian’s army (Roman Emperor in 260 A.D).
It is said that the defeated and captive soldiers of the Roman’s emperor were forced to construct the weir.
The length of this weir is about 520 meters and it’s main piers were mainly built by granite stone reinforced with steel bar between.
Kolah Farangi tower
Along the Shotait river, there is still remains of a small hexagonal tower belongs to Shahpoor 1 (241-272 A.D).
The Lashkar weir or bridge
On the west of Emamzadeh Abdullah tomb, a dam with a length of 183 meters and width of four meters is constructed which is known as Lashkar dam.
The material used in this dam is the mixture of the local stones, some rubble stones and lime and ashes mortar.
The art of haltering river in ancient Persia
The ancient Persians understood very well the importance of water in their every day’s life and gradually developed an art for restoring it, redirecting it and applying it’s pressure by replacing it from one reservoir to the another one for heavy griding operation as well as irrigating a very large agricultural land throughout the year.
Throughout many centuries the world famous production of sugar cane in this province has only been possible with the aid of these construction and process of irrigation.
The majority of these old construction and networks still exist around Shushtar.
The mausoleum of Emamzadeh Abdullah
This is situated at top of valley along the southern edge of the city and has a lovely panoramic view from the city. The construction of this building dates back to 1208 A.D.
The mausoleum of Sayed Mohammad e Gyakhar
This building which was built during the Safavieh period (1750 A.D), is located on the northeast of Shushtar along the banks of the Karoon.
The mausoleum of Boraa ebn Maalek
This building which incidentally is considered to be the most ancient Islamic one in Shushtar and probably in Iran, is positioned in the north of the city and right opposite to the Salaasel castle. The mausoleum has a dome in the style of Safavie architectural style but the tile work belong to the Qajar period. The building was renovated by the governor of the province in 1899.
Nahr e Daarion
Dariyoon river which is one of three branches of Karoon, divides into two branches on north of Lashkar weir in the vicinity of Imamzadeh Abdollah, one of them is called “Dastova Canal” and passes beside Shah Ali bridge and the rest of it irrigates “Miyan Ab”.
The other branch passes Lashkar bridge and joins GarGar river.
Afzal karvansara (Inn)
One of the biggest and oldest inns in Shushtar is located in Taleghani street.
The ancient and previous name of this inn was Tasbit.
This house has a nice view to Shotait river and ancient Shadorvan bridge. There is a vestibule decorated with bricks and decorating columns.