Known as an important historical and cultural complex and, according to legend, the birthplace of Zoroaster, Takht-e Soleyman had been the dwelling of different tribes along history: Mendes, Achaemenian, Parthian, Sassanian and Ilkhanian. It was considered as one of the largest pre-Islamic Iranian instructional, religious, social and worship center.
In addition to the historical remains of Azargoshtasp fire temple, located within an oval wall, around a magical lake, with a depth of 12 m, at the center of the complex (equally in summer and winter, the water temperature is usually 21 °C.) and 38 towers on the natural stony plates made from the sediments of the lake, there are some natural settings here: hollow mountain sugarloaf shape (Soleyman Prison Mountain), Castles (Belqeis castle) and monitoring towers, remains of the temples (Anahita temple), halls, hot springs, stone wall made of the lake sediments, rivers, movable grass, various lakes, various mines, beautiful mountain landscapes and heritages of the first millennium BC, old stone mines etc.
The carved stones and large bricks used in the construction of the place have made the monument appearance most unique and beautiful.
Soltaniyeh historical dome, the largest brick dome in the world, was built commissioned by Sultan Mohammad Khodabandeh (Oljeitu) in Soltaniyeh city, the capital of Ilkhanid dynasty from 1302 to 1312.
This mausoleum, as an artistic masterpiece of Iranian and Islamic architecture, in Azari style is the first monument through which we can clearly follow the evolution process of Persian-Islamic architecture from Seljuk to Ilkhanid. Brick is the main material used in this building.
The plan of ground floor, the first floor and the nearby spaces has been designed as a semi-rectangle shape and the other parts of the plan in the second and third floor is an octagonal on which the dome is stood as a hemispherical form. Eight minarets have been designed to place on the angles of the octagonal above the third floor. In addition to eight entrances, eight porches, eight minarets and a dome, the building has consisted of a Torbat khaneh and a basement.
It is stated that the Soltaniyeh skylight windows are similar to the sun clocks which had been used for religious issues. Two–shelled domes are invented here for the first time in the architecture history of the world. The Soltaniyeh brick dome is the third tall dome in the world after Florence Santa Maria Cathedral and Istanbul Hagia Sophia.
The outer shell of the dome has been covered by turquoise blue and ultramarine marquetry tiles. Soltaniyeh dome is two–shelled and the building has various rich decorations.
Wall paintings, lattice brickworks, wooden and stony decorations, plaster and brick muqarnas and some Qur’anic inscriptions are among different kinds of architectural decorations in Soltaniyeh.
Pasargadae complex is an ancient area, including a large number of structures which was remained from the first capital of the Achaemenid era (sixth century BC) in Iran, located in the valley of Polvār River, and established by Cyrus the Great.
This complex belongs historically to three periods: (1) Prehistoric and Pre- Achaemenid monuments; (2) Achaemenid era: includes a private palace of Cyrus, the reception hall or Cyrus Bār-e-ām (public permission), the gateway palace or eastern palace protected by Lamassu, a relief of mythological creature made of stone, a stony terrace called ” Throne of the Mother of Solomon” (Takht-e mādar-e Soleymān) (the Defensive structure of Tal-e Takht), the Royal Garden of Pasargadae, the royal palace fountains, the stone basins, ruins of stone tower, a building known as prison, fortress of Pasargadae, Pasargadae fire temple and sacred area, and finally the Cyrus tomb (the most prominent part of the site); (3) Islamic monuments: Atabakān mosque, an inscription and carved altar in the Cyrus mausoleum, an Islamic building named Mozaffari School or caravanserai located in 1 hundred meters north of Cyrus mausoleum. Bolāghi Tangeh and the incomplete Pasargadae museum are also among the other parts of this complex.
Pasargadae ancient complex made of materials as stone, brick, mud brick and wood, is representative of the first step of flourishing and development of architecture, sculpture, painting and simulating arts in the Achaemenid era, which is considered to be a model for Persepolis; it is an exceptional testimony of Iranian civilization.
Golestan palace is one of the exclusive historical complexes of Iran established in different times and for different functions. The name is derived from the Golestan Hall, located in the exterior edifice. The construction of this complex was started in Safavid era. Chahar bagh and Chenarestan were built in the north part of the complex at the time of Shah Abbas I and the royal edifice added there but nothing remained today.
The oldest buildings in Golestan complex are Marble Throne Iwan (Iwan-e takht-e Marmar) and Khalvat-e Karimkhani belongs to Karim khan Zand period. The palace has been mostly extended during Qajar era and used as the residence of Qajar kings.
After the conquest of Pahlavi I dynasty, a large part of Tehran’s arg such as its fences, Bab-e-Ali entrance gate, the Department of Finance, gallery, Tekye Dolat, Narenjestan, Golshan garden and interior buildings were destroyed and this palace become a center for official ceremonies and used as a residence for presidents and foreign special guests.
There were many various buildings in Golestan Palace in the past, among them Interior edifice (emarat-e andaruni), Naseri dormitory, the hall of Khan-e Maghfur, exterior edifice (emarat-e Biruni), Sanduq Khaneh edifice, Royal Rakhtdar khaneh (grand closet) can be noted.
Currently, the visitors can observe the following buildings with different kinds of styles and beautiful architectural decoration in the palace: Marble throne Iwan, Khalvat-e Karimkhani, Museum room (Salam hall) and its Hoz Khaneh (a pool House), Mirror hall, Ivory hall or traditional restaurants, Brillian or ceremonial hall, library, Shams-ol Emareh edifice, windproof edifice and its wide Hoz Khaneh, Diamond hall, Abyaz palace, Chādor khaneh.
Today new functions have been assigned to each part: ethnography museums, a place for preserving the royal remains, library and administrative offices.
Meidan Emam, Isfahan
Historical square of Naqsh-e Jahan, currently known as Meidan Emam is one of the largest, most beautiful and magnificent squares in the world established in a garden named Naqsh-e Jahan (related to Seljuk era) in a rectangle-shaped place commissioned by Shah Abbas I . This square is the second large square in Isfahani architectural style.
Four remarkable architectural monuments placed here: Emam historical mosque in the south, Sheikh lotf Allah mosque in the east, Āli Qāpu palace in the west and Qeysarie gate in the north of the square all architectural masterpieces which were built at the same time.
The square has had different functions over time: establishing a Royal Palace and holding ceremonies, military marches, ritual punishment of convicts etc. refers to the political implications; the existence of two important mosques on two sides, holding ceremonies and rituals as well as congregational prayers in the square in cases of the lack of space in Emam Mosque indicates the religious functions and the commercial functions are as well apparent in positioning the square at the heart of bazaar (establishing the local stores, crowding population to buy, etc.); finally we can refer to the recreational functions of Naghsh-e Jahan because it has become a center for firework, polo, Qapun Andazi, Shater Davani, celebrations and national holidays, theatre, puppetry, storytelling and acrobatics.
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