Threatening construction projects halted at Soltanieh Dome

October 4, 2009 - 0:0

TEHRAN -- The construction of 64 shops, which had breached the perimeter of the Soltanieh Dome, has almost come to a complete stop.

Over the past year, excavations by archaeologists at five trenches and 40 other areas near the Ilkhanid monument have all resulted in the discovery of historical architectural structures, convincing the shops’ owners to stop the projects, Soltanieh Dom Cultural Heritage Center Executive Director Mohammadreza Qorbanzadeh told the Persian service of CHN on Saturday.
UNESCO raised objections to the construction projects that had begun over two years ago near the monument, which was registered on its World Heritage List in 2005.
Experts believe that if the projects were not stopped, the monument would likely be added to UNESCO’s List of World Heritage in Danger.
Construction is still underway at some of the shops as the Soltanieh Dom Cultural Heritage Center is making every effort to stop them.
The Soltanieh, the mausoleum of Oljaitu, is an Islamic monument that was constructed from 1302 to 1312 in the city of Soltanieh, the capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty, which was founded by the Mongols.
Situated in Zanjan Province, Soltanieh is one of the outstanding examples of the achievements of Persian architecture and is a key monument in the development of its Islamic architecture.
The octagonal building is crowned with a dome 50 meters in height covered in turquoise blue faience and surrounded by eight slender minarets. The mausoleum has the tallest dome in the Islamic world.
Photo: Soltanieh Dome (Fars/Morteza Elyasi)