TRAVEL Oh, What A Shame … (No. 12)

Posted by on 23. September 2012

The 120 ft high dome of Sultan Oljeitu ...


... and where to find Soltaniyeh in Iran

… because Iran is full of supreme monuments, built by various tribes and faiths. Just think of the small but once grand town of Soltaniyeh in the north-western corner of the country. There you will find the resting place of the Mongol sultan Oljeitu. Built 700 years ago, and as Colin Thurbron wrote in „Shadow of the Silk Road“ (see what I posted on this book earlier): „… within living memory of Ghengis Khan.“ The grave is a giant octagon, made of bricks, with a 60 ft or 20 m base, a gallery of triple arches, and the still covered with turquoise tiles the dome with a crown, 170 ft or 57 m above the ground. The monument comes as a total surprise with it’s grandeur and peacefulness, pointing to the splendeur this town once enjoyed as capital of a western Khanate. The goverment restores it in the moment (summer of 2012) and in some guidebooks you may read that this building from the 1312 ranks No 8 or 9 on the top-list of Asian „must-see“ – as the third largest dome in the world (after Florence and Hagia Sophia), the largest brick dome on earth and the oldest double-shell cupola in Iran. I don’t agree to the Asian ranking but Soltaniyeh is definitely worth a visit in Iran. Maybe not momentarily, and in addition it is not so easy to reach Soltaniyeh overland (via Tehran and Qazvin). So enjoy my Blog.

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