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Site number:
Type of site: Cultural
Date: 1302-12
Date of Inscription: 2005
Location: Middle East, Iran (Islamic Republic of), Zanjan province
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Description: The city of Soltaniyeh, the capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty, saw the construction of the mausoleum of Oljaytu - founded by the Mongols in 1302-12. Soltaniyeh, located in Zanjan province, is an exceptional example of Persian architectural achievement and a significant monument within Islamic architectural development. The 50m-tall dome that crowns the octagonal building is covered in turquoise blue faience and encircled by eight meager minarets. This is Iran’s earliest existing example of the double-shelled dome. The mausoleum also boasts an outstanding interior decoration; scholars like A.U. Pope have stated that the building was anticipating the Taj Mahal. --WHMNet paraphrase from the description at WHC Site, where additional information is available. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
  Soltaniyeh (Persian: سلطانيه) situated in the Zanjan Province of Iran, some 240 km to the north-west from Tehran, used to be the capital of Ilkhanid rulers of Persia in the 14th century. Its name translates as "the Imperial". In 2005, UNESCO listed Soltaniyeh as one of the World Heritage Sites. The central magnet of Soltaniyeh's several ruins is the Mausoleum of Il-khan Öljeitü (Persian اولجايتو), traditionally known as the Dome of Soltaniyeh. The structure, erected from 1302 until 1312, boasts the oldest double-shell dome in the world. 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 Muslim cupola constructions, 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. Pope have described the building as “anticipating the Taj Mahal.” The estimated 200 ton dome stands 49 meters (161 ft) tall from its base, and is currently undergoing extensive renovation. --Wikipedia. Text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. For 360 degree imaging of this site, click here.
Reference: 1. UNESCO World Heritage Center, Site Page.
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