Photographer's Note

Soltanieh Dome, a splendor of the world, was built 700 years ago in an area of 156 hectares in western Zanjan province.

The 54-meter high dome is considered a marvel in architecture and dates back to the Ilkhanid era (1251-1335) and is a symbol of Iranian glory.

The dome was registered by UNESCO in its cultural heritage committee meeting in Durban, South Africa in June as the seventh Iranian cultural heritage site.

The dome, situated 30 km from Zanjan, is an octagonal structure made of mud brick and decorated with ornamental tiles using magnificent and unique architectural techniques.The octagonal splendor has eight verandas on each side and the dome’s diameter is 26 meters.

Soltanieh Dome has distinctive interior and exterior decorations with unique designs of colorful tiles and baked bricks, plaster works and paintings on plaster.

Mason Ali Shah Tabrizi, architect of the mausoleum, undertook the project to build the world’s most splendid mausoleum.

Sultan Mohammad Khoda Bandeh built the mausoleum for himself. Later, he converted to Islam under the influence of one of his wives. He went to Najaf and wanted to transfer the body of Imam Ali (AS), the first Shiite Imam, to Soltanieh given his deep faith in the first Imam of Prophet Muhammad’s (PBUH) infallible household, but, religious leaders in the holy city of Najaf did not allow him to do so.

On the background of Soltanieh Dome according to the inscriptions dating back to Assyrian kings, eighth century BC, Soltanieh was the abode of Sakaratiha warlords.

Before the Ilkhanid era, Soltanieh had been an important place for a civilization which can be traced back to 5,000 years BC.

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Additional Photos by Maryam Torabi (tuberose2461) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 21 W: 2 N: 48] (127)
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