Tomb of Ferdowsi, Tus

Tomb of Ferdowsi, Tus, Iran
Tomb of Ferdowsi, Tus, Iran

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.

The Sasanian King Khusraw and Courtiers in a Garden, Page from a manuscript of the Shahnama (The Book of Kings) of Ferdowsi, late 15th-early 16th century
The Sasanian King Khusraw and Courtiers in a Garden, Page from a manuscript of the Shahnama (The Book of Kings) of Ferdowsi, late 15th-early 16th century

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.

Ferdowsi Tomb Construction in the 1930s
Ferdowsi Tomb Construction in the 1930s

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.

Officially Opening the Mausoleum of Ferdowsi, Reza Shah the Great
Officially Opening the Mausoleum of Ferdowsi, Reza Shah the Great

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 aerial and the profile view of the edifice as it sits atop the wide base
The aerial and the profile view of the edifice as it sits atop the wide base

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.

Tomb of Ferdowsi
Tomb of Ferdowsi

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.

Interior Hall, Tomb of Ferdowsi
Interior Hall, Tomb of Ferdowsi

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.

Frieze scene depicting a scene from Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)
Frieze scene depicting a scene from Shahnameh (The Book of Kings)
A frieze sculpture scene inside of the tomb depicting the mystical bird Simurgh (Phoenix) and the hero
A frieze sculpture scene inside of the tomb depicting the mystical bird Simurgh (Phoenix) and the hero

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.

Jameh Mosque of Isfahan

Jameh Mosque of Isfahan
Jameh Mosque of Isfahan

The Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, the oldest one in Isfahan, reconstructed and renovated from 8th century to the end of the 20th century, is a veritable masterpiece of Islamic architecture.

Colossal Columns, Jameh Mosque of Isfahan

Prior to Islam, this place was a worship house for Zoroastrian, and by the advent of the Islam in Iran, replaced with a mosque and became as a congregational mosque, used for the principal Islamic Friday prayer and sermon.

Courtyard, with two Iwans of four, Masjed Jameh Isfahan
Courtyard, with two Iwans of four, Masjed Jameh Isfahan

This mosque has four Iwans in each direction, placing four gates face to face. 

An Iwan is a vaulted open place. The Iwans are elaborately decorated with the Islamic niche-like cells called Muqarnas which are usually based on symmetrical and perspective patterns.

Ewan, Jameh Mosque of Isfahan
Ewan, Jameh Mosque of Isfahan
Seljuk Iwan, Masjed Jameh, Isfahan
Seljuk Iwan, Masjed Jameh, Isfahan
Seljuk Brickwork, Masjed Jameh Interior, Isfahan

The main constructions under the Seljuk dynasty include the addition of two brick domed chambers while the mosque was renowned in that era.

North Dome, Brickwork Simplicity, Jame Mosque of Isfahan
North Dome, Brickwork Simplicity, Jame Mosque of Isfahan
Symmetrical Brickwork, Northern Shabistab, Masjed Jameh Isfahan
Symmetrical Brickwork, Northern Shabistab, Masjed Jameh Isfahan
The God Rays (Splintered Rays), Interior Symmetrical Dome of Grand Mosque, Isfahan
The God Rays (Splintered Rays), Interior Symmetrical Dome of Grand Mosque, Isfahan

Two domes on theĀ north-south axis was a masterpiece in Persian architecture due to structural clarify and geometric balance.

Later the four-iwan form was complete and this type became prevalent in Iran and the rest of the Islamic architecture.

Pascal Coste Painting, Courtyard of Masjed Jameh of Isfahan
Pascal Coste Painting, Courtyard of Masjed Jameh of Isfahan

Owing to practical requirements of the space and political ambition, religious developments, further modifications took place incorporating elements from the Mongols, Muzzafarids, Timurids and Safavids.

Ilkhanid Altar, Carved Stucco, Masjed Jameh Isfahan, credit azizihonar.com
Ilkhanid Altar Carved Stucco, Masjed Jameh Isfahan, credit azizihonar.com
Ilkhanid Altar, Intricate Stucco, Masjed Jameh of Isfahan, Credit azizihonar.com
Ilkhanid Altar, Intricate Stucco, Masjed Jameh of Isfahan, Credit azizihonar.com

Notably and elaborately carved stucco Altar commissioned in 1310 by the Illkhanid ruler Oljuytu, located in a side prayer hall within the western arcade is a lively incredible feat.

OlJaito Altar (Mehrab), Masjed Jameh, Isfahan
OlJaito Altar (Mehrab), Masjed Jameh, Isfahan
Interior Furnished with Iranian Carpet, Masjed Jameh of Isfahan
Interior Furnished with Iranian Carpet, Masjed Jameh of Isfahan

Safavid intervention was highly decorative, with mugarnas, glazed tile-works, and also minarets flanking the south Iwan.

Safivid Tilework, Courtyard, Jameh Mosque of Isfahan
Safivid Tilework, Courtyard, Jameh Mosque of Isfahan
Decorative Tilework, Masjed Jameh of Isfahan
Decorative Tilework, Masjed Jameh of Isfahan
Decorative Tilework, Masjed Jameh of Isfahan
Decorative Tilework, Masjed Jameh of Isfahan