Photographer's Note

Chartaghi Niasar
This building is located on heights of Niasar village, 25 Km west of the city of Kashan, Iran. "Chartaghi" is a building type with a rectangular foot print and domed roof, this building type dates back to Arsanid & Sassanid dynasties of ancient Iran era (~ 200 B.C.). Chartaghis were multifunctional facilities which are built individually or in combination of other structures in a larger building complex and were not merely fire temples as common opinion suggests.Chartaghis were used for Zoroastrian religious ceremonies & definitely as a place for the holy fire. They also were used as observatories, to make calendars & besides they would play the role of a sign or a landmark to introduce a religion or a geopolitical territory. Because of the latter, they are always located near social or governmental centers (like cities & castles) & are visible from far far distances. They are considerable in many other aspects. "Chartaghi" is the first building with square plan which is roofed by a round dome. For the first time squinch was used to transform the squared plan to round domes in Chartaghis & that was a remarkable engineering advance of its time.As a calendar building, the design & layout of a "Chartaghi" provides abilities for measuring the precise time of changing seasons, new year & other important phenomena with observing the sun rays in specific directions.

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Additional Photos by Mehrdad Tadjdini (mehrdad-t) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 42 W: 130 N: 918] (4330)
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