Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Iranian architecture, built during the Safavid Empire, standing on the eastern side of Naghsh-i Jahan Square, Iran. Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1619, it was built during the reign of Shah Abbas I of Persia. On the advice of Arthur Upham Pope, Reza Shah Pahlavi had the mosque rebuilt and repaired in the 1920s. Of the four monuments that dominated the perimeter of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, this one was the first to be built; the purpose of this mosque was. For this reason, the mosque is smaller. Indeed, few Westerners at the time of the Safavids paid any attention to this mosque, they did not have access to it, it was not until centuries when the doors were opened to the public, that ordinary people could admire the effort that Shah Abbas had put into making this a sacred place for the ladies of his harem, the exquisite tile-work, far superior to that covering the Shah Mosque. To avoid having to walk across the Square to the mosque, Shah Abbas had the architect build a tunnel spanning the piazza from the Ali Qapu Palace to the mosque.
On reaching the entrance of the mosque, one would have to walk through a passage that winds round and round, until one reached the main building. Along this passage there were standing guards, the obvious purpose of this design was to shield the women of the harem as much as possible from anyone’s entering the building. At the main entrance there were standing guards, the doors of the building were kept closed at all times. Today, these doors are open to visitors, the passage underneath the field is no longer in use. Throughout its history, this mosque has been referred to by different names. For Junabadi it was the mosque with the great dome and the domed mosque, while contemporary historian Iskandar Munshi referred to it as the mosque of great purity and beauty. On the other hand, European travellers, such as Jean Chardin referred to the mosque using the current name, Quranic inscriptions within the mosque, done by Iranian calligrapher Baqir Banai include the name of Sheikh Lutfallah. In addition, the reckonings of Muhibb Ali Beg, the Imperial Treasurer, show that the Imam's salary came directly from the imperial household's resources.
All this suggests that not only was the building indeed named after Sheikh Lutfallah, but that this famous imam was among the first prayer-leaders for the royal court in this mosque. The entrance gateway, like those of the Grand Bazaar and the Masjed-e Shah, was a recessed half-moon; as in the Masjed-e Shah, the lower façade of the mosque and the gateway are constructed of marble, while the haft-rangi tiles decorate the upper parts of the structure. The creation of the calligraphy and tiles, which exceed, in both beauty and quality, anything created in the Islamic world, was overseen by Master calligrapher Ali Reza Abbasi; the monument's architect was Mohammad-Reza Isfahani, who solved the problem of the difference between the direction of qibla and gateway of the building by devising an L-shaped connecting vestibule between the entrance and the enclosure. Reza Abbasi's inscription on the entry gateway gives the date of the start of construction; the north-south orientation of the Maydan does not agree with south-west direction of qibla.
This feature, called pāshnah in Persian architecture, has caused the dome to stand not behind the entrance iwan. Its single-shell dome is 13 metres in diameter; the exterior side is richly covered with tiles. Compared with the Shah Mosque, the design of the Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is quite simple: there is no courtyard, there are no interior iwans; the building itself consists of a flattened dome resting on a square dome chamber. However, in contrast to the simple structure of this mosque, the decoration of both interior and exterior is exceedingly complex, in its construction the finest materials were used and the most talented craftsmen employed. Robert Byron wrote about this sight: I know of no finer example of the Persian Islamic genius than the interior of the dome: The dome is inset with a network of lemon-shaped compartments, which decrease in size as they ascend towards the formalised peacock at the apex... The mihrāb in the west wall is enamelled with tiny flowers on a deep blue meadow.
Each part of the design, each plane, each repetition, each separate branch or blossom has its own sombre beauty. But the beauty of the whole comes. Again, the highlights are broken by the play of unglazed surfaces. I have never encountered splendour of this kind before; the "peacock" at the centre of the interior side of the dome is one of the unique characteristics of the mosque. If you stand at the entrance gate of the inner hall and look at the center of the dome, a peacock, whose tail is the sunrays coming in from the hole in the ceiling, can be seen. At the interior side of the dome, the aethetic purpose of the long, gloomy passage leading to the dome chamber becomes evident, for it is with a sense of heightened anticipation that one enters the sanctuary. Lowness gives way to soaring height and gloom is dispelled by the steady illumination of nearly a score of windows. Barbara Brend described as follows: "the turquoise cable moudling of an arch is seen below the dome, in which concentric rings of t
Aran o Bidgol
Aran o Bidgol is a city and capital of Aran va Bidgol County, Isfahan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 55,651, in 15,556 families, it is one of the ancient desert cities of the province, close to Kashan. As suggested by its name, the city is an amalgam of two separate settlements: Aran and Bidgol; the area consisted of two distinct and separate villages named “Aran” and “Bidgol”. Each village had its own customs, social communications, dialect, it was situated near the Silk Road and many caravans passed it on their way from Europe to the Orient. About 40 years ago, the wall of separation collapsed and these two small towns unified. We can name the Jandaghian family as one of the most famous ones in this city. Jandaghians have a representative in the Ministry of interiors; the town is surrounded by desert from the north and east, thus it has a typical climate of hot and dry in summer and dry in winter, little rainfall during the year. These conditions make agriculture difficult.
Carpet making is the main industrial product of the town, the carpets are exported to Afghanistan, Pakistan and other neighboring countries. Natural gas and oil resources have been discovered near the city. Deserts and salt lakes tours Camel riding in desert Driving on sand dunes Maranjab caravansari Si zan castle Holy shrines and religious mausoleums. Iran Kashan Isfahan Province Iranian history ĀRĀN, Encyclopædia Iranica http://www.persiadesert.com
Iran called Persia, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With over 81 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2, it is the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, to the west by Turkey and Iraq; the country's central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country's capital and largest city, as well as its leading economic and cultural center. Iran is home to one of the world's oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Elamite kingdoms in the fourth millennium BCE, it was first unified by the Iranian Medes in the seventh century BCE, reaching its greatest territorial size in the sixth century BCE, when Cyrus the Great founded the Achaemenid Empire, which stretched from Eastern Europe to the Indus Valley, becoming one of the largest empires in history.
The Iranian realm fell to Alexander the Great in the fourth century BCE and was divided into several Hellenistic states. An Iranian rebellion culminated in the establishment of the Parthian Empire, succeeded in the third century CE by the Sasanian Empire, a leading world power for the next four centuries. Arab Muslims conquered the empire in the seventh century CE; the Islamization of Iran led to the decline of Zoroastrianism, by the country's dominant religion, Iran's major contributions to art and science spread within the Muslim rule during the Islamic Golden Age. After two centuries, a period of various native Muslim dynasties began, which were conquered by the Seljuq Turks and the Ilkhanate Mongols; the rise of the Safavids in the 15th century led to the reestablishment of a unified Iranian state and national identity, with the country's conversion to Shia Islam marking a turning point in Iranian and Muslim history. Under Nader Shah, Iran was one of the most powerful states in the 18th century, though by the 19th century, a series of conflicts with the Russian Empire led to significant territorial losses.
The Iranian Constitutional Revolution in the early 20th century led to the establishment of a constitutional monarchy and the country's first legislature. A 1953 coup instigated by the United Kingdom and the United States resulted in greater autocracy and growing Western political influence. Subsequent widespread dissatisfaction and unrest against the monarchy led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic, a political system that includes elements of a parliamentary democracy vetted and supervised by a theocracy governed by an autocratic "Supreme Leader". During the 1980s, the country was engaged in a war with Iraq, which lasted for eight years and resulted in a high number of casualties and economic losses for both sides; the sovereign state of Iran is a founding member of the UN, ECO, NAM, OIC, OPEC. It is a major regional and middle power, its large reserves of fossil fuels – which include the world's largest natural gas supply and the fourth largest proven oil reserves – exert considerable influence in international energy security and the world economy.
The country's rich cultural legacy is reflected in part by its 22 UNESCO World Heritage sites, the third largest number in Asia and 11th largest in the world. Iran is a multicultural country comprising numerous ethnic and linguistic groups, the largest being Persians, Azeris and Lurs. Organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have criticized Iran's women's rights record; the term Iran derives directly from Middle Persian Ērān, first attested in a third-century inscription at Rustam Relief, with the accompanying Parthian inscription using the term Aryān, in reference to the Iranians. The Middle Iranian ērān and aryān are oblique plural forms of gentilic nouns ēr- and ary-, both deriving from Proto-Iranian *arya-, recognized as a derivative of Proto-Indo-European *ar-yo-, meaning "one who assembles". In the Iranian languages, the gentilic is attested as a self-identifier, included in ancient inscriptions and the literature of the Avesta, remains in other Iranian ethnic names Alan and Iron.
Iran has been referred to as Persia by the West, due to the writings of Greek historians who referred to all of Iran as Persís, meaning "land of the Persians", while Persis itself was one of the provinces of ancient Iran, today defined as Fars. As the most extensive interaction the Ancient Greeks had with any outsider was with the Persians, the term persisted long after the Greco-Persian Wars. In 1935, Reza Shah requested the international community to refer to the country by its native name, effective March 22 that year; as The New York Times explained at the time, "At the suggestion of the Persian Legation in Berlin, the Tehran government, on the Persian New Year, March 21, 1935, substituted Iran for Persia as the official name of the country." Opposition to the name change led to the reversal of the decision, Professor Ehsan Yarshater, editor of Encyclopædia Iranica, propagated a move to use Persia and Iran interchangeably. Today, both Iran and Persia are used in cultural contexts, while Iran remains irreplaceab
Isfahan is a city in Iran. It is located 406 kilometres south of Tehran, is the capital of Isfahan Province. Isfahan has a population of 1.6 million, making it the third largest city in Iran after Tehran and Mashhad, but was once one of the largest cities in the world. Isfahan is an important city as it is located at the intersection of the two principal north–south and east–west routes that traverse Iran. Isfahan flourished from 1050 to 1722 in the 16th and 17th centuries under the Safavid dynasty when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history under Shah Abbas the Great. Today the city retains much of its past glory, it is famous for its Perso–Islamic architecture, grand boulevards, covered bridges, tiled mosques, minarets. Isfahan has many historical buildings, monuments and artefacts; the fame of Isfahan led to the Persian pun and proverb "Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast": Isfahan is half the world. The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world.
UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site. See also: Names of Isfahan"Isfahan" is derived from Middle Persian Spahān. Spahān is attested in various Middle Persian seals and inscriptions, including that of Zoroastrian Magi Kartir, is the Armenian name of the city; the present-day name is the Arabicized form of Ispahan. The region appears with the abbreviation GD on Sasanian numismatics. In Ptolemy's Geographia it appears as Aspadana, translating to "place of gathering for the army", it is believed. Human habitation of the Isfahan region can be traced back to the Palaeolithic period. Recent discoveries archaeologists have found artifacts dating back to the Palaeolithic, Neolithic and Iron ages. What was to become the city of Isfahan in historical periods emerged as a locality and settlement that developed over the course of the Elamite civilisation. Under Median rule, this commercial entrepôt began to show signs of a more sedentary urbanism growing into a noteworthy regional centre that benefited from the exceptionally fertile soil on the banks of the Zayandehrud River in a region called Aspandana or Ispandana.
Once Cyrus the Great had unified Persian and Median lands into the Achaemenid Empire, the religiously and ethnically diverse city of Isfahan became an early example of the king's fabled religious tolerance. It was Cyrus who, having just taken Babylon, made an edict in 538 BCE, declaring that the Jews in Babylon could return to Jerusalem. Now it seems that some of these freed Jews settled in Isfahan instead of returning to their homeland; the 10th-century Persian historian Ibn al-Faqih wrote:"When the Jews emigrated from Jerusalem, fleeing from Nebuchadnezzar, they carried with them a sample of the water and soil of Jerusalem. They did not settle down anywhere or in any city without examining the water and the soil of each place, they did all along. There they rested, found that both resembled Jerusalem. Thereupon they settled there, cultivated the soil, raised children and grandchildren, today the name of this settlement is Yahudia." The Parthians in the period 250–226 BCE continued the tradition of tolerance after the fall of the Achaemenids, fostering the Hellenistic dimension within Iranian culture and the political organisation introduced by Alexander the Great's invading armies.
Under the Parthians, Arsacid governors administered the provinces of the nation from Isfahan, the city's urban development accelerated to accommodate the needs of a capital city. The next empire to rule Persia, the Sassanids, presided over massive changes in their realm, instituting sweeping agricultural reform and reviving Iranian culture and the Zoroastrian religion. Both the city and region were called by the name Aspahan or Spahan; the city was governed by a group called the Espoohrans, who came from seven noble and important Iranian royal families. Extant foundations of some Sassanid-era bridges in Isfahan suggest that the Sasanian kings were fond of ambitious urban planning projects. While Isfahan's political importance declined during the period, many Sassanid princes would study statecraft in the city, its military role developed rapidly, its strategic location at the intersection of the ancient roads to Susa and Persepolis made it an ideal candidate to house a standing army, ready to march against Constantinople at any moment.
The words'Aspahan' and'Spahan' are derived from the Pahlavi or Middle Persian meaning'the place of the army'. Although many theories have been mentioned about the origin of Isfahan, in fact little is known of it before the rule of the Sasanian dynasty; the historical facts suggest that in the late 4th and early 5th centuries, Queen Shushandukht, the Jewish consort of Yazdegerd I settled a colony of Jews in Yahudiyyeh, a settlement 3 km northwest of the Zoroastrian city of Gabae (its Achaemid and Parthian name. The gradual population decrease of Gay and the simultaneous population increase of Yahudiyyeh and its suburbs
History of Persian domes
Persian domes or Iranian domes have an ancient origin and a history extending to the modern era. The use of domes in ancient Mesopotamia was carried forward through a succession of empires in the Greater Persia region. An ancient tradition of royal audience tents representing the heavens was translated into monumental stone and brick domes due to the invention of the squinch, a reliable method of supporting the circular base of a heavy dome upon the walls of a square chamber. Domes were built as part of royal palaces, castles and temples, among other structures. With the introduction of Islam in the 7th century and mausoleum architecture adopted and developed these forms. Structural innovations included pointed domes, conical roofs and triple shells, the use of muqarnas and bulbous forms. Decorative brick patterning, interlaced ribs, painted plaster, colorful tiled mosaics were used to decorate the exterior as well as the interior surfaces. Persian domes from different historical eras can be distinguished by their transition tiers: the squinches, spandrels, or brackets that transition from the supporting structures to the circular base of a dome.
Drums, after the Ilkanate era, tend to be similar and have an average height of 30 to 35 meters from the ground. They are. Inner shells are semi-circular, semi-elliptical, pointed, or saucer shaped; the outer shell of a Persian dome reduces in thickness every 30 degrees from the base. Outer shells can be semi-circular, semi-elliptical, conical, or bulbous, this outer shape is used to categorize them. Pointed domes can be sub-categorized as having shallow and sharp profiles, bulbous domes as either shallow or sharp. Double domes use internal stiffeners with wooden struts between the shells, with the exception of those with conical outer shells. Persian architecture inherited an architectural tradition of dome-building dating back to the earliest Mesopotamian domes. Due to the scarcity of wood in many areas of the Iranian plateau, domes were an important part of vernacular architecture throughout Persian history. Although they had palaces of brick and stone, the kings of Achaemenid Persia held audiences and festivals in domical tents derived from the nomadic traditions of central Asia.
They were similar to the tents of the Mongol Khans. Called "Heavens", these tents emphasized the cosmic significance of the divine ruler, they were adopted by Alexander the Great after his conquest of the empire, the domed baldachin of Roman and Byzantine practice was inspired by this association. The remains of a large domed circular hall measuring 17 meters in diameter in the Parthian capital city of Nyssa has been dated to the first century AD, it "shows the existence of a monumental domical tradition in Central Asia that had hitherto been unknown and which seems to have preceded Roman Imperial monuments or at least to have grown independently from them." It had a wooden dome. The Sun Temple at Hatra appears to indicate a transition from columned halls with trabeated roofing to vaulted and domed construction in the first century AD, at least in Mesopotamia; the domed sanctuary hall of the temple was preceded by a barrel vaulted iwan, a combination that would be used by the subsequent Persian Sasanian Empire.
An account of a Parthian domed palace hall from around 100 AD in the city of Babylon can be found in the Life of Apollonius of Tyana by Philostratus. The hall was used by the king for passing judgments and was decorated with a mosaic of blue stone to resemble the sky, with images of gods in gold. A bulbous Parthian dome can be seen in the relief sculpture of the Arch of Septimius Severus in Rome, its shape due to the use of a light tent-like framework. Caravansaries used the domed bay from the Sasanian period to the Qajar dynasty; the Persian invention of the squinch, a series of concentric arches forming a half-cone over the corner of a room, enabled the transition from the walls of a square chamber to an octagonal base for a dome. Previous transitions to a dome from a square chamber existed but were makeshift in quality and only attempted on a small scale, not being reliable enough for large constructions; the squinch enabled domes to be used and they moved to the forefront of Persian architecture as a result.
The ruins of the Palace of Ardashir and Ghal'eh Dokhtar in Fars Province, built by Ardashir I of the Sasanian Empire, have the earliest known examples of squinches. The three domes of the Palace of Ardashir are 45 feet in diameter and vertically elliptical, each with a central opening or oculus to admit light, they were covered with plaster on the interior. At the center of the palace of Shahpur, at Bishapur, there is a vertically-elliptical dome that rests directly on the ground and is dated to 260; the large brick dome of the Sarvestan Palace in Fars but in date, shows more elaborate decoration and four windows between the corner squinches. Called "the Temple of Anahita", the building may have been a Fire temple. Instead of using a central oculus in each dome, as at the Palace of Ardashir and as shown in the bas relief found at Kuyunjik, lighting was provided by a number of hollow terracotta cylinders set into the domes at regular intervals. Multiple written accounts from Arabic and Western medieval sources describe a palace domed structure over the throne of Chosroes decorated in blue and gold.
The dome was covered with depictions of the sun, stars, the zodiac and kings, including Chosroes himself. According to Ado and others, the dome could produce rain, could be rotated with a sound like thunder by means of ropes pulled by horses in a basement. The
Reza Abbasi, Riza yi-Abbasi or Reza-e Abbasi, رضا عباسی in Persian Reza Abbasi Aqa Reza or Āqā Riżā Kāshānī was the leading Persian miniaturist of the Isfahan School during the Safavid period, spending most of his career working for Shah Abbas I. He is considered to be the last great master of the Persian miniature, best known for his single miniatures for muraqqa or albums single figures of beautiful youths. Riza was born in Kashan, as Āqā Riżā Kāshānī is one of the versions of his name. After Ibrahim's murder, Ali Asghar joined Shah Ismail II's workshop in the capital Qasvin. Riza received his training from his father and joined the workshop of Shah Abbas I at a young age. By this date, the number of royal commissions for illustrated books had diminished, had been replaced by album miniatures in terms of employment given to the artists of the royal workshop. Unlike most earlier Persian artists, he signed his work giving dates and other details as well, though there are many pieces with signatures that scholars now reject.
He may have worked on the ambitious, but incomplete Shahnameh, now in the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin. A much copy of the work, from 1628, at the end of Abbas' reign and rendered in a different style, may be his, it is now in the British Library. His first dated drawing is in the Topkapi Palace. A book miniature of 1601-2 in the National Library of Russia has been attributed to him, he is attributed with the 19 miniatures in a Khusraw and Shirin of 1631-32, although their quality has been criticised. His speciality, was the single miniature for the albums or muraqqas of private collectors showing one or two figures with a drawn garden background, sometimes in gold, in the style used for border paintings, with individual plants dotted about on a plain background; these vary between pure pen drawings and painted subjects with colour throughout, with several intermediate varieties. The most typical have at least some colour in the figures, though not in the background. His, or his buyers', favourite subjects were idealized figures of stylishly dressed and beautiful young men.
According to Barbara Brend:The line of Riza's ink drawings has an absolute mastery conveying texture, form and personality. His coloured figures, which must be portraits, are more restrained, lay more emphasis on the fashions of the day, the rich textiles, the carelessly draped turban, the European hat. Effete figures are presented standing in a curved posture which accentuates their well-fed waists; the style he pioneered remained influential on subsequent generations of Persian painters. His earlier works were signed Aqa Risa, confusingly, is the name of a contemporary Persian artist who worked for the Mughal Emperor Jahangir in India. In 1603, at the age of about 38, the artist in Persia received the honorific title of Abbasi from his patron, the shah, associating him with his name. In the early 20th century, there was much scholarly debate in German, as to whether the Aqa Risa and Riza Abbasi were the same figure, it is now accepted. Riza Abbasi, the painter, is not to be confused with his contemporary Ali Riza Abbasi, Shah Abbas' favourite calligrapher, who in 1598, was appointed to the important position of royal librarian, therefore in charge of the royal atelier of painters and calligraphers.
Both Rizas accompanied the shah on his campaign to Khurasan in 1598 and followed him to the new capital he established in Isfahan from 1597-98. Soon after, Riza Abbasi left the Shah's employ in a "mid-life crisis" seeking greater independence and freedom to associate with Isfahan's "low-life" world, including athletes and other unrespectable types. In 1610, he returned to the court because he was short of money, continued in the employ of the Shah until his death. A series of drawings copying the miniatures attributed to the great 15th-century artist Behzad, which were in the library of the shrine at Ardabil suggest that Riza had visited the city as part of the Shah's party and on his visits in 1618 or 1625. About the time of his return to court service, there is a considerable change in his style. "The primary colours and virtuoso technique of his early portraits give way in the 1620s to darker, earthier colours and a coarser, heavier line. New subjects only compensate for this disappointing stylistic development".
He painted many older men scholars, Sufi divines, or shepherds, as well as birds and Europeans, in his last years sometimes satirized his subjects. Sheila Canby's 1996 monograph accepts 128 miniatures and drawings as by Riza, or so, lists as "Rejected" or "Uncertain Attributions" a further 109 that have been ascribed to him at some point Today, his works can be found in Tehran in the Reza Abbasi Museum and in the library at the Topkapi Palace in Istanbul, they can be found in several western museums, such as the Smithsonian, where the Freer Gallery of Art has an album of works by him and pupils, the British Museum and the