Soltanieh Dome hoped to be more striking as landscape project starts

November 20, 2021 - 20:0

TEHRAN – On Saturday, an all-inclusive landscape project commenced on properties of Soltanieh Dome amid hopes to make the UNESCO-designated mausoleum more attractive for visitors.

“The UNESCO-designated Soltanieh Dome has undergone a landscape project which includes cleaning, fencing, painting, restoration of previous excavation fields, planting trees and ornamental flowers, and the installation of signboards in three languages,” CHTN quoted the director of World Heritage as saying on Saturday.

The project started a day after the visiting tourism minister Ezatollah Zarghami issued a decree to “re-organized” the UNESCO site, the official said.

“During his visit to Soltanieh Dome, the Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Minister Ezatollah Zarghami issued a decree to re-organize the premises and properties of the site.”

According to UNESCO, the Mausoleum of Oljaytu is an essential link and key monument in the development of Islamic architecture in central and western Asia. The extremely rich interior of the mausoleum displays glorious glazed tiles, brickwork, marquetry, stuccowork, frescoes, and vivid illustrations, amongst other decorations. 

The very large dome is the earliest extant example of its type and became an important reference for the later development of the Islamic dome. Similarly, the extremely rich interior of the mausoleum, which includes glazed tiles, brickwork, marquetry, or designs in inlaid materials, stucco, and frescoes, illustrates an important movement towards more elaborate materials and themes.

Its interior has long been under renovation, chockfull of scaffolding poles. However, its decoration is such impressive that scholars including A.U. Pope described it as ‘anticipating the Taj Mahal’. It is the earliest existing example of the double-shelled dome in Iran.

According to UNESCO, the Mausoleum of Oljaytu is an essential link and key monument in the development of Islamic architecture in central and western Asia. Here, the Ilkhanids further developed ideas that had been advanced during the classical Seljuk phase (11th to early 13th centuries), during which the arts of Iran gained distinction in the Islamic world, thereby setting the stage for the Timurid period (late 14th to 15th centuries), one of the most brilliant periods in Islamic art.

UNESCO says, “Excavations carried out in the 790-ha Mausoleum of Oljaytu property have revealed additional vestiges of the old city, and a large part of this property has retained its archaeological character. As the ancient capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty, Soltanieh represents an exceptional testimony to the history of the 13th and 14th centuries in Iran.”

A great-grandson of Hulegu, founder of the Il-Khanid dynasty, Oljaytu was a Mongol ruler who, after dabbling in various religions, adopted the Shia name Mohammed Khodabandeh.

The property is named after the town of Soltanieh (“Town of the Sultans”), which was briefly the capital of Persia’s Ilkhanid dynasty (a branch of the Mongol dynasty) during the 14th century.

AFM

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