The ancient city of Soltaniyeh was the capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty (13th and 14th centuries), which was founded by the Mongols. The main feature of Soltaniyeh's several ruins is the Mausoleum of Il-khan Öljeitü, traditionally known as the Dome of Soltaniyeh. It is a key monument in the history of Islamic architecture. The structure, erected from 1302 until 1312, boasts the oldest double-shell dome in the world. The octagonal building is crowned with a 50m-tall dome covered in turquoise blue faience and surrounded by eight slender minarets.
Its importance in the Muslim world may be compared to that of Brunelleschi's cupola for the Christian architecture. The Dome of Soltaniyeh paved the way for more daring Iranian-style cupola constructions in muslim world, such as the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi and Taj Mahal. Much of exterior decoration has been lost, but the interior retains superb mosaics, faience, and murals.
The estimated 200 ton dome stands 49 meters (161 ft) tall from its base, and is currently undergoing extensive renovation.
|Sheyda Ardalan (USA):|
I just came back from Iran. My first stop to the western part of the country was at Soltaniyeh. Words can't express the beauty and delicacy of this massive structure. It sits in total harmony with it's surroundings. The blue tiles against the nutural brown bricks work wonderful patterns. Yet, funds are lacking and the resstoration of this building should have been finished years ago. Upon our arrival, a celebration was underway as Soltaniyeh was added to Unesco's World Heritage List. The governor of Zanjan was visiting the site, and we were given a nice bowl of "Aash" or thick Persian soup. Don't miss this place. Not too far from Tehran, and on the way to the city of Zanjan.
| Date posted: August 2005|
Have you been to Soltaniyeh? Share your experiences!
Add your own review