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Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

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Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby Mehdi » Mon Aug 05, 2013 9:13 am

Introduction: The mausoleum of Oljaytu was constructed in 1302–12 in the city of Soltaniyeh, the capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty, which was founded by the Mongols. Situated in the province of Zanjan, Soltaniyeh is one of the outstanding examples of the achievements of Persian architecture and a key monument in the development of its Islamic architecture. The octagonal building is crowned with a 50 m tall dome covered in turquoise-blue faience and surrounded by eight slender minarets. It is the earliest existing example of the double-shelled dome in Iran. The mausoleum’s interior decoration is also outstanding and scholars such as A.U. Pope have described the building as ‘anticipating the Taj Mahal’.

Criterion (ii): The Mausoleum of Oljaytu forms an essential link in the development of the Islamic architecture in central and western Asia, from the classical Seljuk phase into the Timurid period. This is particularly relevant to the double-shell structure and the elaborate use of materials and themes in the decoration.

Criterion (iii): Soltaniyeh as the ancient capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty represents an exceptional testimony to the history of the 13th and 14th centuries.

Criterion (iv): The Mausoleum of Oljaytu represents an outstanding achievement in the development of Persian architecture particularly in the Ilkhanid period, characterized by its innovative engineering structure, spatial proportions, architectural forms and the decorative patterns and techniques.

Long Description
As the ancient capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty, Soltaniyeh represents an exceptional testimony to the history of the 13th and 14th centuries. The Mausoleum of Oljaytu forms an essential link in the development of Islamic architecture in central and western Asia, from the classical Seljuk phase until the Timurid period. This is particularly relevant to the double-shell structure and the elaborate use of materials and themes in the decoration. It is outstanding by virtue of its innovative engineering structure, spatial proportions, architectural forms and the decorative

patterns and techniques
Soltaniyeh is located some 240 km from Tehran in north-western Iran. There is archaeological evidence that the site had been occupied at least from the 1st millennium BC. The construction of the settlement was only started by the Ilkhanid dynasty, around 1290. The fourth Mongol ruler in Persia, Arqun Khan, decided to build a summer residence in this region, because it offered good hunting grounds and rich pastures for horse breeding. His son, Qazan Khan, had a mausoleum built over his tomb, now known as Tappeh Nur. There is little information about the beginnings of the new settlement until Oljaytu (later Sultan Muhammad Khodabandeh) came in to power in 1304 when he decided to enlarge the city and make it his capital, naming it Soltaniyeh (Imperial). Together with Tabriz, Soltaniyeh became a major trading centre on the route between Asia and Europe. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Soltaniyeh gradually declined and remained in ruins. Only a rural village was built over the remains.

The Mausoleum of Oljaytu, the principal monument of the city, constructed in 1302-12, stands in the middle of a rural settlement, surrounded by fertile meadows. The building is octagonal in form, rising to a stunning high-profile dome, covered with turquoise-blue faience tiles. This structure represents the earliest existing example of the double dome in Iran. The dome has no buttresses nor any additional thickness, and it is surrounded by eight slender minarets as a decorative feature. A wide band of square Kufic around the drum makes a transition between the light blue and the lapis lazuli blue of the main stalactite cornice. The second-storey galleries of the mausoleum open outwards, anticipating buildings such as the. Taj Mahal. Structurally the building is considered a masterpiece. The interior walls were originally faced with light golden-toned bricks and dark blue faience tiles to form large inscriptions in Kufic. However, in 1313, it was redecorated with plaster, using a rich variety of fine ornaments, often worked in low relief. The second phase of the decoration belongs to the period when the use of the monument as a Shi'a shrine was given up. The decoration of the exterior belongs to the first phase.

The immediate surroundings of the mausoleum consist of a stone terrace in the form of a citadel (Arg). Originally, the citadel was surrounded by a 30 m wide moat. Today this is an archaeological site.

Other monuments and sites in the World Heritage site include the Old City of Soltaniyeh, founded as the capital of Oljaytu in succession to Tabriz; the Mausoleum of Sultan Chelebi Oghlu, a brick structure from the 1330s with an octagonal tower; The Mausoleum of Mullah Hassan Kashi, a religious figure and poet at the court of Oljaytu; and the remains of Ghazan's tomb at Tappeh Nur, which, together with its adjacent remains known as the Tappeh Nur Kuchak, form an archaeological monument.

In historic texts the area of Soltaniyeh was called the 'Prairie of the Alezans' or the 'Falcon's Hunting Ground'. The special nature of these meadows is due to the soil, which prevents the entire absorption of rain water. As a result, it was especially fertile pasture, particularly appropriate for horse breeding. This was also one of the reasons for the establishment of the city in this location.

Historical Description
In the 13th century, Persia was devastated by the Mongol invasions. They captured Baghdad in 1258, terminating the Abbasid caliphate there. They also founded the Ilkhanid Empire in Persia with the capital in Tabriz, in the northwestern part of present-day Iran. The title "ilkhan" indicated: ‘subordinate or peaceful khan' in deference to the Great Khan in China. After Kublai Khan died in 1294, and the Ilkhanids converted to Islam, the links with China became weaker. The Ilkhanid dynasty governed Persia until 1335.
There is archaeological evidence that the site of Soltaniyeh had been occupied at least from the first millennium BC. The construction of a settlement however only started by the Ilkhanid dynasty around 1290. The fourth Mongol ruler in Persia, Arqun Khan, decided to build a summer residence in this region, because it offered good hunting grounds and rich pastures for horse breeding. His son, Qazan Khan, had a mausoleum built over his tomb, now known as Tappeh Nur. There is little information about the beginnings of the new settlement until Oljaytu (later Sultan Muhammad Khodabandeh) came to power in 1304 and decided to enlarge the city and make it his capital, naming it Soltaniyeh, the "Imperial". Together with Tabriz, Soltaniyeh became a major trading centre on the route between Asia and Europe. The principal phase of construction was completed by 1313.

The Ilkhans had converted to Shi'ism, and they are believed to have wanted to transfer the relics of Calif Ali and his son, Hussein, from Baghdad to Soltaniyeh. This never happened, though, and the shrine became the mausoleum of Oljaytu instead. After the death of Oljaytu in 1316, the city started losing in importance, and later it fell in the hands of small local dynasties. In 1384, Tamerlan's army seized the city and sacked it, but spared Oljaytu's mausoleum. In the following years, the city suffered, though it continued to function as a commercial centre comparable to Tabriz. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Soltaniyeh gradually declined and remained in ruins. Only a rural village was built over the remains. Some restoration was undertaken in Oljaytu's Mausoleum in the 19th century. At the same time, the plain served as an instruction camp for the army of Qajar kings.


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Location: Zanjan province

Walking path length: Just a few hundred meters

Days of trip: 1-2 Days from Tehran to Tehran (Without heavy traffic you need about 5-6 hr driving from Tehran to Soltaniyeh)
Attention: In holidays there is heavy traffic in all roads around Tehran.

Best time to visit: May to October

Daily time visit: No permission at night

Difficulty level: Easy

Requirements: Guide or GPS track, water, food, warm and waterproof clothes and tent, waterproof shoes, headlamp

Legal permission need: No, just a ticket


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Overall risk: -

Animal risk: No

Lost risk: No

Rescue: Yes, you can call 115

GSM Mobile Antenna: Yes


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Hotel: Yes

Village: Located in Soltaniyeh city

Shop: Yes

Gasoline: yes


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How to get there:
1- Go to west terminal of buses in Tehran (more info)
2- Take a bus to Zanjan
3- Take a taxi from Takab to Soltaniyeh


Nearest airport: No airport less than 100 km

Nearest train station: No station less than 100 km


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Location on map:




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Soltaniyeh Dome

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:49 am

This structure has 8 elevated porticos and about 50 chambers, including an area which is also similar to a chamber. The dome of this construction weighs 200 tons and is situated on pillars, bearing an area of 50 sq.m. each if separated or cut across. This structure is made of a mixture of gypsum and to a lesser proportion limestone. Gonbad Soltanieh is erected in three floors which are defined as follows. The ground floor consists of the eight portions. The first floor comprises of the halls which run throughout this floor. On the third floor is the foundation column of the dome and the octagonal pillars supporting the minarets. The entrance to the cellar is from the southern portico. The layout or plan of this cellar is a complex one, consisting of 7 segregated sections, each part independent of the other. The principle factors regarding the artistic effects revealed in Gonbad Soltanieh are the inlayed brick-work, plaster moldings, engravings and tile works. All these together create harmony that is worth appreciation and artistic value. For example, the spectacular engraving here that stands 360 cm. high in which a verse from the Holy Qoran (Sureh Fath) has been inscribed in the beautiful script of 'tholth'. On the upper or second floor of this structure engravings can also be observed, one of these inscribed with the (Ayeh 125 Sureh Mobarakeh Baqareh) from the Holy Qoran inscribed in the "Kufic' script.

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Re: Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:55 am

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Re: Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby Parvaneh » Mon Apr 07, 2014 5:57 am

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Re: Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby Parvaneh » Tue Apr 08, 2014 7:16 am

The Soltanieh Dome was erected between 1302 to 1312 and is located in Zanjan province. It is the earliest existing example of the double-shelled dome in Iran and the third largest dome in the world after domes of Florence Cathedral and Hagia Sophia. Much of its exterior decoration has been lost, but the interior retains superb mosaics, faience, and murals. People have described the architecture of the building as “anticipating the Taj Mahal.” It is outstanding by virtue of its innovative engineering structure, spatial proportions, architectural forms and the decorative patterns and techniques. It has 8 elevated porticos and approximately 50 chambers.


The Soltanieh Dome stands in the middle of a rural settlement, surrounded by fertile meadows. The building is octagonal in form, rising to a stunning high-profile dome 50 meters high and covered with turquoise-blue faience tiles. The dome, consisting of two parallel and separate brick layers, is surrounded by eight slender minarets as a decorative feature. A wide band of square Kufic around the drum makes a transition between the light blue and the lapis lazuli blue of the main stalactite cornice. The interior walls were originally adorned with light golden-toned bricks and dark blue faience tiles to form large inscriptions in Kufic. However, in 1313, it was redecorated with plaster, using a rich variety of fine ornaments, often worked in low relief. The second phase of the decoration belongs to the period when the use of the monument as a shia shrine was given up. The decoration of the exterior belongs to the first phase.


Sultan Muhammad Khodabandeh of the Ilkhanid dynasty came to power in 1304 and decided to enlarge the area and make it his capital, naming it Soltanieh. Soltanieh became a major trading center on the route between Asia and Europe in the 14th century. Originally the Soltanieh Dome was meant to house the relics of Imam Ali and his son, Hussein, from Baghdad to Soltanieh. This never happened, though, and the shrine became the mausoleum of Muhammad Khodabandeh instead. After the death of Khodabandeh in 1316, the city started losing in importance, and later it fell in the hands of small local dynasties. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Soltanieh gradually declined and remained in ruins. Some restoration was undertaken in the Soltanieh Dome in the 19th century.


The Soltanieh Dome has been undergoing extensive renovation periodically. In 2008 Iran's Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts, and Tourism Organization (ICHTO) refurbished the brick structure's exterior with azure tiles made in traditional kilns over a four-year period. Some 100,000 tiles were used to restore the structure.


In 2005 the World Heritage Committee approved to include the Soltanieh Dome in its list of World Heritage.

http://historicaliran.blogspot.com.ar/2 ... -dome.html

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Re: Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby Parvaneh » Sun Apr 13, 2014 5:31 am

Justification for Inscription

Criterion (ii): The Mausoleum of Oljaytu forms an essential link in the development of the Islamic architecture in central and western Asia, from the classical Seljuk phase into the Timurid period. This is particularly relevant to the double-shell structure and the elaborate use of materials and themes in the decoration.

Criterion (iii): Soltaniyeh as the ancient capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty represents an exceptional testimony to the history of the 13th and 14th centuries.

Criterion (iv): The Mausoleum of Oljaytu represents an outstanding achievement in the development of Persian architecture particularly in the Ilkhanid period, characterized by its innovative engineering structure, spatial proportions, architectural forms and the decorative patterns and techniques.
Long Description

As the ancient capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty, Soltaniyeh represents an exceptional testimony to the history of the 13th and 14th centuries. The Mausoleum of Oljaytu forms an essential link in the development of Islamic architecture in central and western Asia, from the classical Seljuk phase until the Timurid period. This is particularly relevant to the double-shell structure and the elaborate use of materials and themes in the decoration. It is outstanding by virtue of its innovative engineering structure, spatial proportions, architectural forms and the decorative patterns and techniques

Soltaniyeh is located some 240 km from Tehran in north-western Iran. There is archaeological evidence that the site had been occupied at least from the 1st millennium BC. The construction of the settlement was only started by the Ilkhanid dynasty, around 1290. The fourth Mongol ruler in Persia, Arqun Khan, decided to build a summer residence in this region, because it offered good hunting grounds and rich pastures for horse breeding. His son, Qazan Khan, had a mausoleum built over his tomb, now known as Tappeh Nur. There is little information about the beginnings of the new settlement until Oljaytu (later Sultan Muhammad Khodabandeh) came in to power in 1304 when he decided to enlarge the city and make it his capital, naming it Soltaniyeh (Imperial). Together with Tabriz, Soltaniyeh became a major trading centre on the route between Asia and Europe. In the 16th and 17th centuries, Soltaniyeh gradually declined and remained in ruins. Only a rural village was built over the remains.The Mausoleum of Oljaytu, the principal monument of the city, constructed in 1302-12, stands in the middle of a rural settlement, surrounded by fertile meadows. The building is octagonal in form, rising to a stunning high-profile dome, covered with turquoise-blue faience tiles. This structure represents the earliest existing example of the double dome in Iran. The dome has no buttresses nor any additional thickness, and it is surrounded by eight slender minarets as a decorative feature. A wide band of square Kufic around the drum makes a transition between the light blue and the lapis lazuli blue of the main stalactite cornice. The second-storey galleries of the mausoleum open outwards, anticipating buildings such as the. Taj Mahal. Structurally the building is considered a masterpiece. The interior walls were originally faced with light golden-toned bricks and dark blue faience tiles to form large inscriptions in Kufic. However, in 1313, it was redecorated with plaster, using a rich variety of fine ornaments, often worked in low relief. The second phase of the decoration belongs to the period when the use of the monument as a Shi'a shrine was given up. The decoration of the exterior belongs to the first phase. The immediate surroundings of the mausoleum consist of a stone terrace in the form of a citadel (Arg). Originally, the citadel was surrounded by a 30 m wide moat. Today this is an archaeological site.


Other monuments and sites in the World Heritage site include the Old City of Soltaniyeh, founded as the capital of Oljaytu in succession to Tabriz; the Mausoleum of Sultan Chelebi Oghlu, a brick structure from the 1330s with an octagonal tower; The Mausoleum of Mullah Hassan Kashi, a religious figure and poet at the court of Oljaytu; and the remains of Ghazan's tomb at Tappeh Nur, which, together with its adjacent remains known as the Tappeh Nur Kuchak, form an archaeological monument.In historic texts the area of Soltaniyeh was called the 'Prairie of the Alezans' or the 'Falcon's Hunting Ground'. The special nature of these meadows is due to the soil, which prevents the entire absorption of rain water. As a result, it was especially fertile pasture, particularly appropriate for horse breeding. This was also one of the reasons for the establishment of the city in this location.
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Re: Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby daren » Tue Sep 09, 2014 7:35 pm

Heritage of Iran is famous in Asia and i think best heritage country in Asia is Iran and many place in which have showing the heritage...
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Re: Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby Irani » Tue Sep 23, 2014 5:09 pm

Your friends are right! The Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome is a nice historical place to visit in Iran. You have also shared good information about this place. I never visit this place before but after seeing these images and reading your view I wish I visit there as soon as possible. Do you like to tell me which will be the best time to go there?
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Re: Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby Parvaneh » Wed Sep 24, 2014 9:17 am

Irani wrote:Your friends are right! The Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome is a nice historical place to visit in Iran. You have also shared good information about this place. I never visit this place before but after seeing these images and reading your view I wish I visit there as soon as possible. Do you like to tell me which will be the best time to go there?


Spring is the best time.
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Re: Gonbad-e Soltaniyeh-Soltanieh Dome

Postby Irani » Wed Sep 24, 2014 4:42 pm

Your suggested time will be memorable for me to visit there. Now Parvaneh! Do you like to tell me some information about this season I mean what kinds of activities I can easily enjoy there? I feel you have enough information about historical and major attraction in Iran. Do you like to help me?
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