By Afshin Majlesi

Shaking minarets, enigmatic destination worth visiting once!

December 31, 2018 - 21:11

For centuries Menar Jonban (“shaking minarets”), which is located in Isfahan, central Iran, has been a source of charm for Iranians and even foreign visitors because its dual minarets are really prone to vibrate!

The minarets are almost 17 meters in height from the ground level, and in a distance of about 10 meters.

The popular destination is in fact a burial monument surmounted by two brick towers that can be swung with little pressure; when one is shaken by the human force, the other starts to vibrate automatically.

It was originally built some 700 years ago as a mausoleum for “Amu Abdullah” who was a mystic figure in the Ilkhanid era (1256-1353 CE). Archeological studies suggest that the dual minarets were later added to the mausoleum during the Safavid era (1501–1736).

The unique characteristic of the shaking of the minarets, and the entire building, have been repeatedly studied. The findings of most of such researches indicate that the specific dimensions and proportions of the building and minarets and even the material forming the bricks used for the building contributes to the vibrations.

Following physical experiments, it was suggested that this phenomenon is similar to the mirror image vibrations observed when connecting two vertical identical pieces of string to a connecting horizontal one. Should the two vertical strings be of different lengths or weights the same results would not be achieved.

However, such a theory also has its skeptics and is dismissed as a mere coincidence under the guise that most buildings also have such vibrations (although on a smaller scale) and it’s only the height of the minarets that make it so visible in this particular case.

The city’s historical relics are standing almost close to each other but the “shaking minarets” are located on the outskirts. 

Used to be one of capitals of the mighty Safavid Empire, Isfahan is a top tourist destination for good reasons. Unlimited visual appeals such as tree-lined boulevards, Persian gardens and majestic Islamic buildings has named the city a living museum of traditional culture.


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