Ferdowsi was a Persian poet and the author of Shahnameh (The Book of Kings), which is the world’s longest epic poem, is celebrated as the most influential figure in Persian (Farsi) literature and one of the greatest in the history of literature.
Ferdowsi died in 1024 in Tus, Iran, was buried in his own garden by his daughter. Although he was not much recognized during his life. After his death, his poems, Shahnameh, telling mainly the mythical and to some extent, the historical past of the Persian Empire from the creation of the world until the Arab conquest of Iran in the 7th century was vastly admired. His Persian poem survived the Persian language despite the official Arabic language usage.
The new tomb of Ferdowsi was built of white marbles in the early 1930s under Reza Shah the Great, with an aesthetic decorative edifice, adopted from the Achaemenid architecture, resembling the tomb of Cyrus the Great, it is depicting the distinguished Iranian culture, history and nationalism.
The Society of the National Heritage of Iran
composed mostly of pro-reform intellectuals selected Karim Taherzadeh Behzad as the designer and architect, and then Lorzadeh the known architect completed the tomb, Finally, the prominent architecture Houshang Seyhun reconstructed the tomb.
The basic structure of the tomb is rectangular with a large garden surrounding the structure and interacting with the structure in the Persian garden. In the centre of the cross created by the legs of the garden surrounding it, an edifice made of primarily white marble. The edifice can be divided into a “wide chamber” that lies at the base and a cubical erection on top, with four pillars surrounding it and scenes from the epic of Shahnameh and text ornating it.
The wide base has a total height of 16 m. The edifice has equal dimensions of 30 m on each side.
The unique feature of the design of Ferdowsi’s tomb has been its resemblance to that of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae from ancient Iran. This resemblance is intentional as the designer of this edifice intended to revoke the original Achaemenid style of architecture. In fact, every other facet of the edifice has a Zoroastrian symbol known as Faravahar.
The interior of the edifice of Ferdowsi to reflect the heroic scenes. The chief architect of the interior of the tomb, Feraydoon Sadeghi, created deep frieze scenes using three-dimensional statues each depicting a scene from Shahnameh. Rostam, the hero of the book of Shahnameh is the focus of the majority of the scenes inside of the edifice.
Etched in the tombstone in Farsi (Persian) is the description of Ferdowsi’s contribution to the Persian-speakers. The English translation is roughly as follows:
In the name of the God who created life. This place is the resting place of he (Hakim Abul-qasem Ferdowsi Tusi) who has advanced the art of language among Persian speakers, and the holder of the national epic of Iran and its national stories. His words have given a new life to Iran, and he has a place in the hearts of its people.