When you travel to Shushtar, you must visit Band-e-Kaisar which is also known as Caesar’s dam. It was the first combination of a bridge with a dam. The arch bridge was built with the efforts of the Roman workforce. The rulers of the Sassanid dynasty ordered this Roman bridge and dam to be built in the heart of Iran.
The unique combination of dam and bridge design inspired the civil engineers in Iran which also further helped them to develop the famous Sassanid water management methods. The dam has been made on the river Karun, which was responsible for meeting the water needs for agriculture in the south west of today Iran. You must see this engineering structure when you visit Iran.
Sassanid Period Structure
The Band-e-Kaisar forms the basis for Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System. The UNESCO declared it as a World Heritage Site in 2009. The road on the bridge connected the main communities of antiquities, Pasargadae and Ctesiphon, the erstwhile capital of Sassanid empire. The unique structure was in use till the end of the 19th century but it was repaired many times during that period.
The Sassanid king, Shapur I, defeated Valerian and deployed the entire Roman workforce to build Band-e-Kaisar. About 70,000 men worked on the engineering marvel in Shushtar, which was well known for its agricultural produce in Iran. To further help in irrigating fertile land, two other structures were also constructed namely Ab-i-Gargar, a canal, and another dam Band-e-Mizan.
This helped to change the course of the water in the river Karun through the canal. Shushtar waterfalls have also been made as a result of such water redirection. Almost 40 watermills were functioning until recent decades grinding wheat into flower for the people in the south and west of the country.
Creativity At Its Best
The Band-e-Kaisar became a model for many other such dual dam and bridge construction which is evident when you visit Iran. These types of constructions were carried on till 1000 AD. The design has been hailed as a creative masterpiece by many. There are many other buildings of interest here which include the Salasel Castle. There are also many water mills and a tower where measurement of water level is done. All these architectural wonders are worth seeing when you travel to Shushtar. SABUNG AYAM