-->
-->

Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil

Helpful information about world heritage sites in Iran like name, introduction, maps, requirements and...

Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil

Postby Mehdi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:12 am

Introduction:Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil (Persian:مقبره شیخ صفی الدین اردبیلی )

Built between the beginning of the 16th century and the end of the 18th century, this place of spiritual retreat in the Sufi tradition uses Iranian traditional architectural forms to maximize use of available space to accommodate a variety of functions (including a library, a mosque, a school, mausolea, a cistern, a hospital, kitchens, a bakery, and some offices). It incorporates a route to reach the shrine of the Sheikh divided into seven segments, which mirror the seven stages of Sufi mysticism, separated by eight gates, which represent the eight attitudes of Sufism. The ensemble includes well-preserved and richly ornamented facades and interiors, with a remarkable collection of antique artefacts. It constitutes a rare ensemble of elements of medieval Islamic architecture.

Sheikh Safi al-Din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble was built as a small microcosmic city with bazaars, public baths, squares, religious buildings, houses, and offices. It was the largest and most complete khānegāh and the most prominent Sufi shrine since it also hosts the tomb of the founder of the Safavid Dynasty. For these reasons, it has evolved into a display of sacred works of art and architecture from the 14th to the 18th century and a centre of Sufi religious pilgrimage.

The Sheikh Safi al-Din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil is of Outstanding Universal Value as an artistic and architectural masterpiece and an outstanding representation of the fundamental principles of Sufism. Ilkhanid and Timurid architectural languages, influenced by Sufi philosophy, have created new spatial forms and decorative patterns. The layout of the ensemble became a prototype for innovative architectural expressions and a reference for other khānegāhs. As the shrine of a prominent Sufi master, who also was the founder of the Safavid Dynasty, the property has remained sacred in Iran up to the present day.

Criterion (i): The conception of the entire ensemble layout, the proportions of the internal and external spaces and of the buildings, their design and refined decoration, together with the climax created by the sequenced path to Sheikh Safi al-Din’s shrine, all combined, have concurred to create a unique complex in which aesthetics and spirituality are in a harmonious dialogue.

Criterion (ii): The architectural spaces and features of the nominated property have integrated influences of the Ilkhānid and Timurid periods with the religious message of Sufism and the taste for exquisite ornamentation and interior spaciousness, thus giving rise to fresh architectural and artistic forms.

Criterion (iv): The Sheikh Safi al-Din ensemble is a prototype and an outstanding example of a 16th century religious complex, combined with social, charitable, cultural, and educational functions, which contains all the significant elements that since came to characterize Safavid architecture and became a prototype for other khānegāh and shrines.

Integrity and Authenticity
The property contains all the elements that convey its Outstanding Universal Value. Most of the elements of the property are in good condition and, despite several transformations, the site continues to present an image of harmonious composition, in which the material realization of the spiritual path through the architectural design is still clearly legible. The State Party has taken steps to restore the original access to the ensemble, which will strengthen the connection between the architecture and the Sufi spiritual messages.

The design form of the entire complex and of individual buildings has been retained and their religious functions have been maintained in most cases. Where they have changed, the new uses are appropriate to the architectural structure in general, and the material and technical authenticity has been retained, as well as the spiritual character of the place. It is, however, important to reduce the tendency to go too far in conservation work.

Protection and management requirements
The nominated property has been protected under the Iranian legislation since 1932. According to the law currently in force, special protection provisions are in place for the property, the buffer zone and for a wider area called the ‘landscape zone.’ These provisions, already in place, are also being incorporated into the revised Master Plan for Ardabil, final approval of which is scheduled for September 2010.
Any project concerning protected monuments in Iran must be in accordance with the provisions of the law and must be approved by ICHHTO, the authority in charge of the protection of Iranian monuments. The management framework established for the nominated property integrates the regulations for Sheikh Safi al-Din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble and the provisions of the Ardabil Master Plan.
Management of protected monuments is the responsibility of the High Technical Council of ICHHTO, which approves budgets and all major conservation works. Minor works and day-to-day maintenance is ensured by a steering committee which can avail itself of a multidisciplinary team (the ICHHTO Sheikh Safi al-Din Ensemble Base), which is headed by a urban planner and includes on its staff engineers, architects, conservation architects, and archaeologists.

Historical Description
Sufism (tasawwuf, from sūf ‘wool' in Arabic or safā ‘purity') is generally considered to be the inner mystical dimension of Islam rather than a distinct sect. It began to develop into a spiritual movement in the 9th and 10th centuries. Sufism is claimed to have been a definitive factor in the spread of Islam and in the creation of an integrated Islamic culture in Africa and Asia. Sufism flourished between the 13th and 16th centuries throughout the Islamic world as a vigorous religious and intellectual culture with specific directions given by the different tariqats or orders founded by Sufi teachers. Sufism has left a number of physical artistic manifestations, particularly in central Asia.
When Iran underwent the Islamic conquest, Ardabil was the largest city in north-western Iran, and it remained so until the Mongol invasions, which left the town shattered for three centuries until the advent of the Safavid Dynasty, of which Sheikh Safi al-Din (1252-1334) is the eponym.

Sheikh Safi al-Din followed Sheikh Zāhed e-Gilāni's teachings and after his master's death took his place and developed his own tariqat, which acquired its name and from which Safavi Sufism originated. He founded a khānegāh in Ardabil, which was later to become his shrine.
The ensemble functioned initially as a small, selfcontained city with bazaars, public baths and meydāns, religious facilities, houses, and offices.
During the reign of the Safavi rulers, the role and function of the nominated property changed to one of political and national importance as the important shrine of the founder of the Safavid Dynasty. Shah Ismail, Sheikh Safi al-Din's successor as Sufi leader of the khanegah, became the first shah of the Safavid Dynasty and declared Shi'ism the state religion.

The Safavids spared no expense in enriching and decorating the structure of the shrine of their ancestor with many works of art. The shrine became a focus for pilgrims from around the world and a religious ensemble containing outstanding works of art, ornamentation, and archaeology from the 14th to the 18th centuries.

Four main building phases have been identified by researchers in which the most important structures were built or substantially modified:

 1300-1349: In this period the layout of the shrine was laid down: Sheikh Safi al-Din Ardabili Khānegāh, Haram-khānā, Allāh Allāh Dome, Sāhat, Dār al-Huffāz Hall, Shāhnishin, the Middle Courtyard, and the New Chilla Khānā were built.

 1349-1544: In this period Shah Ismail and Shah Ismail's mother's sepulchres, Dār al-Hadith, Jannatsarā, Shahidgāh, and the sepulchre yard south of Sheikh Safi al-Din tomb were built. Most of the building activity has been dated to the 16th century.

 1544-1752: The Chini-khānā in its present form, the Shāh Abbāsi Gate, and the Garden Courtyard were created.

 1752 to the 20th century: The school, the toilets, the engine room, and the greenhouse were built, most of them in the 20th century.
The nominated property has maintained its role as a place of worship and pilgrimage.


-------------------------------------------------



Location: Ardabil, Ardabil province

Days of trip: (Without air plane) 2-3 Days from Tehran to Tehran (Without heavy traffic you need About 10-12 hr driving from Tehran to Ardabil)
Attention: In holidays there is heavy traffic in all roads around Tehran.

Best time to visit: February to October

Daily time visit: No permission at night

Difficulty level: Easy

Requirements: (Depend on your plan) Guide or GPS track, water, food, warm and waterproof clothes and tent

Legal permission need: No, Just need a ticket


-------------------------------------------------


Overall risk: -

Animal risk: No

Lost risk: No

Rescue: Yes, you can call 115

GSM Mobile Antenna: Yes


-------------------------------------------------


Hotel: Yes

Shop: Yes

Gasoline: Yes

Village: Located in Ardabil city


-------------------------------------------------


How to get there:
1- Go to Baihaghi or west terminal of buses in Tehran (more info),
2- Take a bus ticket to Ardabil.
3- Take a taxi to the site

Nearest airport: Ardabil airport

Nearest train station: No station less than 100 km


-------------------------------------------------


Location on map:




Pictures:

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image

Image
User avatar
Mehdi
Site Admin
 
Posts: 231
Joined: Sun Aug 04, 2013 10:13 am
Has thanked: 25 times
Been thanked: 12 times

Re: Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:54 am

Variant Names Shaykh Ishaq Safi Shrine, Imamzadah Shaykh Ṣafi al-Din Ardabili, Majmuʻah-i Shaykh Ṣafi al-Din Ardabili, Aramgah-i Shaykh Ṣafi al-Din, Aramgah-i va Khanaqah Shaykh Ṣafi al-Din, Shaykh Ṣafi al-Dīn Shrine, Shaykh Ishaq Safi Shrine, Shrine of Shaikh Safi, Sheikh Safi Mausoleum, Shaykh Safi al-Din Tomb, Shrine of Shaykh Safi al-din Ishaq Ardibili, Shrine of Sheikh Safi, Mausoleum of Shah Safi
Street Address 40 kilometers west of the Caspian Sea
Location Ardabil, Iran
Date 1334/734 AH, c.1350-94/751-96 AH, c.1448-60/852-64 AH, 1627-28/1038-39 AH, through the 17th century
Style/Period Safavid, Timurid
Centuries 14, 15, 16, 17
Building Types funerary, religious
Building Usage mausoleum, shrine

Shaykh Abu'l-Fath Ishaq, known as Safi al-Din Ardabili (b. 1252/3), is the eponymous founder of the Safawiyya order of Sufiism and is hence considered the founder of the Safavid Dynasty. Upon his death in 1334, he was buried in a tomb tower adjoining his khanqah outside the city walls of Ardabil. His burial site became a center of pilgrimage soon after, one richly endowed by Safavid rulers, many of whom were also buried there. Caravanserais, hospices, khans, baths and soup kitchens were built in Ardabil to serve the pilgrims, supported by wealthy waqfs. Following the Afghan invasion of Iran in 1722 and subsequent divestment in the shrine and the city, pilgrimage traffic dwindled. The shrine fell into disrepair; neglect and war damage took their toll until repairs were undertaken in the second half of the nineteenth century. The Iran Archaeological Service undertook extensive restoration of the shrine in the 1940s; the site continues to draw over a hundred thousand pilgrims and tourists every year.

The overall plan of the complex was developed, modified and renovated over many centuries. It consists of tombs and shrine structures clustered around a single rectangular courtyard centered on a fountain. The exterior of the complex is irregular and features plain brick and tiled walls. The main entrance to the shrine courtyard is through a small forecourt, which is located at the end of a long and narrow walled garden established in the fifteenth century. The garden is aligned northwest-southeast, whereas the shrine buildings (with the exception of the Chinikhana) are aligned with qibla slightly east of south.

The original gate, a Safavid structure built in 1647-48 at the northwest end of the gardens, is replaced today by a contemporary brick structure containing shops. Entering the gate, a thirty-meter-wide garden centered on a tree-lined path extends southeast for one hundred and twenty meters before the portal of the shrine forecourt. The forecourt meets the gardens at a thirty degree angle and leads directly into the shrine courtyard.

The north and south façades of the courtyard are similarly composed, featuring tall central iwans flanked by arched niches. The central iwan on the south is used as the Dar al-Hadith, while that on the north leads into a large octagonal hall known as the Jannatara. Behind the eastern façade is the Dar al-Huffaz, a rectangular prayer hall adjoined by four halls of different sizes: the Chinikhana (east), the Tombs of Shaykh Safi and Shah Isma'il (south), and the Haramkhana (southeast). The latter three are articulated as cylindrical tomb towers with domes on the exterior. The west side of the courtyard, which contains the entrance, is occupied by the ruins of two Chilakhanas.

Dar al-Hadith and Masjid-i Jannatara:
The north and south sides of the shrine courtyard were probably built around 1537 by Safavid Shah Tasmasb I (1524-1576), and have tripartite facades composed of a central iwan flanked by arched niches and decorated with polychrome tilework above a stone dado and a band of sandstone. The deeper iwan to the south is the Dar al-Hadith; it is blocked by a wooden lattice screen. It is flanked by smaller halls that were entered separately from the courtyard, now closed. The shallow iwan to the north is also enclosed with a wooden screen and leads into the Jannatara, a large octagonal structure covered with a shallow dome that projects into the Shahidgah cemetery to its north. Two smaller rooms on either side of the iwan provide alternative access into the room. Inside, the Jannatara is about twenty-one meters in diameter. Its walls, which are about six meters thick, are carved with deep semi-octagonal niches on five sides. Four of its niches face the exterior, while the northern niche, which is located across from the courtyard entrance, faces the interior. The plain exterior reveals a stone base and brick wall construction, while its interior is adorned simply with decorative brickwork. Two of the niches have doors leading out into the cemetery, while a third gives access to a staircase leading up to the roof. Known as the Masjid-i Jannatara, and used currently as a mosque, the hall may have been a funerary structure or a royal loggia.

Dar al-Huffaz:
The Dar al-Huffaz was built after Shaykh Safi's death at the end of the fourteenth century by his son or grandson. The rectangular prayer hall is 8.9 meters by 5.8 meters, but with the approximately 3-meter-deep alcoves on either of the long sides, the dimensions of the entire structure are approximately 11.5 meters long by 6 meters wide. There are three equal alcoves along each of the long sides that have corresponding loggias on the top floor. In addition to the three bays of alcoves, there is an entrance bay at the north end, followed by a second smaller bay preceding the alcoved bays, and a bay at the south end which serves as a transition space between the prayer hall and the Shahnishin. In total, and as articulated by the courtyard façade, there are five bays that make up the interior space of the Dar al-Huffaz with a sixth bay as its entrance. At this entrance bay, the Dar al-Huffaz is entered perpendicularly from the northwest by a large pishtaq. There is a second story above the entrance bay that is accessed through a spiral staircase tucked in the wall of the room located directly behind the entrance pishtaq.

Tomb Tower of Shaykh Safi:
The tomb tower is connected to the Dar al-Huffaz prayer hall by a semi-octagonal bay known as the Shahnishin. The Shahnishin is believed to have been built together with Shaykh Safi's tomb tower, revealing the tomb tower to have been a freestanding structure that was entered from the north through the open exterior portal (now the Shahnishin). The Shanishin is raised thirty centimeters from the floor of the Dar al-Huffaz and has two windows on either side, with the one to the east serving as an entrance to the tomb of Shah Isma'il. The second oldest element of the complex, the tomb tower of Shaykh Safi himself, was built in 1345. Although Shaykh Safi had requested to be buried in a cemetery west of Ardabil, Sadr al-din Musi, his son and successor, chose instead to bury the Shaykh at his zawiya, following the advice of elders. The cylindrical tomb tower, with a 22 meter circumference and a total height of 17.5 meters, including its dome, stands in its place. It is easily recognized from its height and decoration: it is the tallest of the cluster of three domes to the southern side of the complex, and its exterior glazed brick decoration spells out "Allah" in large hazarbaf script. The cylindrical brick body of the tower is raised on a 1.5 meter tall stone plinth, and although there is a door facing the south cemetery side of the complex, this height implies that it is not a door to be entered, but was instead representative of the direction of the qibla.

Tomb of Shah Isma'il:
Located between the tomb tower of Shaykh Safi and the Haramkhana, and recognizeable from the exterior as the smallest of the three domes to the south of the complex, is the tomb of Shah Isma'il. It was built by his wife, Tajlu Khanum, sometime between 1524 and 1529. The tomb tower of Shah Isma'il is articulated from the exterior by a tall octagonal drum, a transition zone of a circular drum, and a dome. Both the cylindrical drum and the dome are ornamented with glazed tile, while the octagonal body is of glazed plain brick. The interior space is entered through an opening on the east side of the Shahnishin. The interior is a small square in plan, and most of the space is occupied by the wooden cenotaph of Shah Isma'il. One small window faces the tomb tower of Shaykh Safi. Dark blue tiles with gold painted floral medallions cover the walls up to two meters, above which are bands of painted stucco floral decoration and epigraphy. The ceiling is also painted blue stucco with gold floral motifs. The transition between the octagonal body and the dome is articulated in the interior by corner squinch arches that are subdivided into kite arches, rising to form a star-shaped canopy at the center.

Haramkhana:
The oldest element of the complex was built by Shaykh Safi himself, as a tomb for his oldest son, Muhiy al-Din, who died in 1324, during the Shaykh's lifetime. Now known as the Haramkhana, it is unusual in one aspect: three-dimensionally, it is articulated by a five-square-meter plan, and its dome is separated by two distinct transition zones: a circular band and then beveled squinch arches that expose the transition from square to circle on the exterior. Presently (2006) the exterior is decorated with glazed turquoise colored brickwork, while the interior is whitewashed with an inscription band around the circumference stating the name of Muhiy al-Din. In addition to Shaykh Safi's eldest son, his wife, daughter, and perhaps other relatives are also buried in the Haramkhana. It can be assumed that the structure already functioned as a memorial during Shaykh Safi's lifetime.

Chinikhana:
Another element of the complex which was originally freestanding, but which is now connected to and entered through the Dar al-Huffaz, is the Chinikhana (also known as the "Dome of the Princes" or the "Porcelain House"). As a whole, its exterior is expressed as a solid octagonal extrusion of baked brick on a stone foundation with two openings (one above the other) on every other side. Semi-cylindrical buttresses are attached to the alternate sides between openings. The structure is topped with semi-circular domes on each of the fenestrated sides and a large central dome. The point where the Chinikhana connects to the Dar al-Huffaz was originally an entrance iwan facing west. Within, deep alcoves are found below the semi-circular domes, and the central space is square in plan with beveled corners. While the exterior lacks any decoration and is articulated only with backed brick and a slightly projecting, thin perimeter band dividing the elevation horizontally into two equal parts, the interior is lavishly articulated. A dado of glazed tile encircles the room up to almost six feet in height, and above this are numerous plaster-carved niches of different sizes and shapes, presumably meant to house and display various artifacts. Notably, the Chinikhana (unlike the rest of the complex, which is oriented to qibla, slightly east of south) is oriented east-west. Although the Chinikhana is believed to have originally been the mausoleum for the princes, following the seventeeth century renovation ordered by Shah 'Abbas I, it became a kind of museum for the display of china.

The Chilakhanas:
West of the courtyard and opposite the Dar al-Huffaz are the ruins of the two Chilakhanas, both believed to have been built in the 14th century by Sadr al-din Musa. The southernmost one was renovated in the 16th century. Nothing remains of the northernmost Chilakhana, but a square enclosure belonging to the southern Chilakhana still stands. The wall facing onto the shrine courtyard has large windows, and it is believed that this Chilakhana was composed of two stories of small rooms around its square perimeter with a large dome covering the entire footprint. According to historical texts, the Chilakhana had a total of forty rooms and served both as a hostel and trading centre.

Sources:

"Ardabil". Encyclopedia Iranica. http://www.iranica.com [Accessed September 6, 2013].

Bina-Motlagh, Mahmud. "Scheich Safi von Ardabil." Ph.D. diss., Georg-August-Universität zu Göttingen, 1969.

Golombek, Lisa and Donald N. Wilber. The Timurid Architecture of Iran and Turan. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1988. 362-364.

Hillenbrand, Robert. "The Tomb of Shah Isma'il, Ardabil." In Safavid Art and Architecture. Edited by Sheila R. Canby. London: The British Museum Press, 2002. 3-7.

Hutt, Anthony. . "Iran." In Architecture of the Islamic World. Edited by George Michell. New York: Thames and Hudson, 1978. 252.

Morton, A. H. "The Ardabil Shrine in the Reign of Shah Tahmasp," Iran 12, 1974, 31-64; 13, 1975, 39-58.

Mousavi, Mahmoud. "Excavations in the Western Part of the Monumental Complex of Shaykh Safi, Ardabil." In Safavid Art and Architecture. Edited by Sheila R. Canby. London: The British Museum Press, 2002. 16-19.

Rizvi, Kishwar. "Transformations in Early Safavid Architecture: The Shrine of Shaykh Safi al-din Ishaq Ardabili in Iran (1501-1629)." Ph.D. diss., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Architecture, 2000.

Rizvi, Kishwar. "The Imperial Setting: Shah Abbas at the Safavid Shrine of Shaykh Safi in Ardabil." In Safavid Art and Architecture. Edited by Sheila R. Canby. London: The British Museum Press, 2002. 9-15.

Sarre, Friedrich Paul Theodor. Ardabil: Grabmoschee des Schech Safi. Berlin: E. Wasmuth, 1924.

http://archnet.org/library/sites/one-si ... e_id=10781


Image

Image

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:55 am

Image

Image

Image

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Apr 29, 2014 3:56 am

Image

Image

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times

Re: Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Apr 29, 2014 4:04 am

Image

Image

Image
Parvaneh
Site Admin
 
Posts: 4429
Joined: Wed Nov 06, 2013 9:11 am
Has thanked: 13 times
Been thanked: 43 times


Return to World Heritage Sites of Iran

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

cron