Sheikh Shahab al-Din Ahari ensemble to bid for UNESCO world heritage status

June 15, 2021 - 21:20

TEHRAN – The historical ensemble of Sheikh Shahab al-Din Ahari has come a step closer to being designated as a world heritage site.

“Special measures are being taken for the UNESCO registration of this historical collection,” Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ali-Asghar Mounesan said on Monday.

Located in Ahar, East Azarbaijan province, the complex includes a mosque, a Khanqah and mausoleum, and a few pavilions, named after the mystic and poet, originally dates back to the late Ilkhanid era (1256–1353).

“This ensemble should become known more than before as its antiquity dates back to the Ilkhanid era, and it houses unique works of scholars and mystics….,” Mounesan said.

He made the remarks during an official visit to the ensemble, CHTN reported.  

Sheikh Shahab al-Din Ahari was a famous seventh and eighth-century mystic scholar and this mausoleum was built on his grave long after his death. In existing sources, the construction of the mausoleum is attributed to the Safavid monarch Shah Abbas I, and the construction of the raw brick enclosure around it to Amir-Taymur Gurkan, according to Visit Iran.

The building was restored near the end of the twelfth century by Mostafa Qoil Khan, the governor of the region. The author of Asar-e-Bastani-e Azarbaijan introduced Sheikh Shahab al-Din Ahari as a descendant of Sheikh Shahab al-Din Sohrevardi, whose ancestry traces back to Abu Bakr.

The main iwan of the mausoleum is flanked by a pair of massive minarets not taller than the iwan itself. It is possible that the construction of the minarets was left unfinished, or that their top ends were demolished at a later date. The mosque is located east of the mausoleum and is decorated with stucco work and paintings and all the walls are covered with handwriting.


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