The fortress was built in the 7th century, when Lahij was the capital of the state of Girdman. Located 37 km east of the district center, on the left bank of the Girdman Rriver, it was one of the imp­regnable fortresses in ancient Albania.


The ruins of the ancient town of Sadun and the traces of an old Girdman town are still there. Lahij, which is believed to be 2,000 years old, was built by Meh­ran, the founder of the Mehrani dynasty, in late 6th and early 7th centuries. The Mehranis were the last rulers of Albania. Lahij was first the political center of the last Albanian state of Girdman, and then the political and administrative of the state of Laziyan. It was also a summer residence for Javanshir, the last ruler of Albania.

Javanshir (616-680)

Javanshir was the last king of Albania, and also the last representative of the Mehrani dynasty. He ruled the country for 44 years. Javanshir left the army of the Sassanids, who were on the wane at the time, and alig­ned with the Arabs. He met the caliph Mu’awiyah I in Sham in 664 and agreed to be his vassal.


It is said that Lahij was founded by Sas­sanid Shah Keykhosrov I. During his rule, Iran was fighting a war with Turan. Tired of the long and exhausting war, Keyk­hosrov I abdicated and left Iran. He ap­pointed his nephew as king and went to Lahij. Keykhosrov was so impressed by the beauty, climate and nature of Lahij that he decided to stay here until the end of his life. He named the area Lahij after Iran’s Lahijan region. It is even said that Keykhosrov’s grave is in the old ce­metery in Lahij.