Soltaniyeh Dome, largest brick dome in world

TEHRAN, Jan. 26 (MNA) – Dome of Soltaniyeh is Iran's magnificent turquoise-brick dome which is considered as a key monument in the history of Islamic architecture and the oldest double-shell dome in the world.

Iran is a big country whose history and civilization is more than a thousand years old. Throughout history, many rulers and kings have ruled Iran and many Iranian cities have been the capital of rulers and kings for various periods.

Situated in the province of Zanjan, Soltaniyeh is one of the cities that was once as the capital of Mongol Ilkhanid rulers of Iran in the 14th century.

Oljeitu was the eighth Ilkhanid dynasty ruler from 1304 to 1316 in Iran. The Soltaniyeh Dome was built commissioned by Oljeitu in Soltaniyeh city.  

During the construction process of the Dome of Soltaniyeh, Oljeitu who was baptized as a Christian converted to Shia Islam after coming into contact with Shia scholars. He changed his name to the Islamic name Muhammad Khodabandeh.

He decided to transfer the remains of Imam Ali (AS) from Najaf to Soltaniyeh but he faced the opposition of Shia scholars. Finally, he gave up the idea and ordered to be buried there after his death.

He died in Soltaniyeh in 1316, having reigned for twelve years and nine months. His mausoleum in the Dome of Soltaniyeh remains the best-known monument of Ilkhanid Persia.

The dome is located 35 km east of Zanjan in the old city of Soltaniyeh. It is the oldest double-shell dome in Iran. This octagonal dome is one of the masterpieces of Iranian and Islamic architecture.

The light-turquoise structure on top of a 50-meter high octagonal building still towers above everything in its surroundings. The octagonal building is surrounded by eight slender minarets that protect the dome in a dangerous situation such as an earthquake. Brick is the main material used in this building.

It has been built like the Seljuq architectural style in three floors. The ground floor consists of the eight portions and the first floor comprises of the halls. The third floor is octagonal on which the dome is stood as a hemispherical form.

The building has also a cellar. The entrance to the cellar is from the southern porch. The layout of this cellar is a complex one, consisting of 7 segregated sections, each part independent of the other.

Wall paintings, lattice brickworks, wooden and stony decorations, plaster and brick Muqarnas and some Quranic inscriptions are among various architectural decorations in Soltaniyeh.

Soltaniyeh Dome is the largest brick dome in the world, which inspired architects to use it as a template in construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy and the Taj Mahal in India.

It is known as the third most famous dome in the world, in terms of height after the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, Italy and the Hagia Sophia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey.

Dome of Soltaniyeh has been registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2005.

The best time to visit the Dome of Soltaniyeh is in late March until late September and visiting this place will take one hour.


News Code 154899


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