Gonbad-e Qabus

The 53 m high tomb built in ad 1006 for Qabus Ibn Voshmgir, Ziyarid ruler and literati, near the ruins of the ancient city of Jorjan in north-east Iran, bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran. The tower is the only remaining evidence of Jorjan, a former centre of arts and science that was destroyed during the Mongols’ invasion in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is an outstanding and technologically innovative example of Islamic architecture that influenced sacral building in Iran, Anatolia and Central Asia. Built of unglazed fired bricks, the monument’s intricate geometric forms constitute a tapering cylinder with a diameter of 17–15.5 m, topped by a conical brick roof. It illustrates the development of mathematics and science in the Muslim world at the turn of the first millennium AD.

 Two encircling Kufic inscriptions commemorate Qabus Ibn Voshmgir, Ziyarid ruler and literati as its founder in 1006 AD.The property expresses its value as an exceptional geometric structure and icon in the small town of Gonbad-e Qābus, clearly visible from many directions. It continues to express features of an Islamic commemorative monument combining traditions of Central Asia and Iran. The exterior flanges and inscription bands are in good condition, but the insertion of the ramp and the design of the retaining wall on the hillside have slightly damaged the form of the mound on which it stands.

The monument retains its form and design, materials, visual dominance in the landscape, and continues as a holy place visited by local people and foreigners, and as a focus for traditional events. Gonbad-e Qabus was inscribed on the world heritage list of UNESCO in 2012 .

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