Vali Castle is an important tourist attraction in the province of Ilam in western Iran as this site has been turned into a museum for a decade. Vali Castle, dating back to the Qajar dynasty, became famous as a symbol of indigenous culture and art after becoming an anthropological museum.
The castle used to be a residential and military building in functional aspects. The castle is built on a land area of 4687 square meters. The castle has three gates on the south, east and west sides. The south wing’s main entrance is built in the Greek architectural style.
The other two gates of the castle were used for personal purposes such as special guests and were connected to the inner courtyard by roofed corridors. The facade of the castle, which viewing the courtyard from different sides, is decorated with sash windows and decorative wooden windows, including color glasses in various shapes. The interior part of the castle is decorated with mirror work, mostly on the ceiling of the rooms.
The castle, which is inscribed on the list of Iranian cultural heritage, houses the Anthropological Museum of Ilam Province. The project to turn Vali Castle into a museum began in 2006 and has been completed in several stages.
The cultural heritage treasury includes various sections that show the customs of local people, the traditional clothing of the province’s ethnic people, traditional occupations such as agriculture, felt making, woodworking, weaving, kilim weaving, felt, carpet and rug, life in black tents (woven with goat’s wool and used by nomads)wedding ceremonies, and statues of famous people from the past.
The Ilam Anthropological Museum displays a rich collection of anthropological items in various sections, introducing different ethnic groups such as Kurds, Lurs, Laks, and Arabs.