|TEHRAN, Jan. 30, 2011 -- Profiles of Iranian monuments of the Qabus Tower and the Isfahan Congregational Mosque have been submitted for registration on the UNESCO World Heritage List.|
The documents will be discussed at a session of the World Heritage Committee, according to Mehrnews quoting reports by the Persian media on Sunday.
The 55-meter tower, which is the tomb of Zeyarid ruler Qabus ibn Voshmagir (reigned 978–1012), has been built on a 15-meter mound located in Gonbad-e Kavus in Golestan Province.
It is considered the world’s tallest tower made of bricks.
The star-shaped tomb has been decorated with a Kufic inscription around it that reads, "In the name of God the beneficent, the merciful. This is the magnificent palace of Emir Shams-ul-Ma’ali. Emir son of Emir, Qabus son of Voshmagir ordered that it be built during his lifetime. 397 A.H., 375 solar calendar.”
Lack of sufficient safeguards for the tower may hinder registration of the monument on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
Proximity to the Caspian Sea results in high humidity in the region, that causes growth of the plants on the tower.
The weeds grow in the gaps between the bricks and the growth of their roots further expands the gaps causing serious damage to the monument. The humidity has also caused saltpeter to accumulate on the interior walls.
The experts believe that the monument is in urgent need of restoration and the weeds must be removed immediately.
They have said that an in-depth study is necessary before attempting any restoration.
In addition, engraving on the bricks of the tower and writing graffiti on its walls has become a habit of Iranian tourists.
The experts have also asked cultural officials to prevent additional foul-ups.
Covering an area of 23,000 square meters, the Isfahan Congregational Mosque is the largest of its kind in Iran. Many unique Iranian artistic and architectural elements have been represented on the mosque’s structure.
According to some historical texts, the structure was originally a fire temple that was then converted into a mosque in the early eighth century by the Tayyem Tribe, which was a migrant Arabian family living in the village of Tiran nearby.
The mosque was developed by the Abbasid caliphs Mansur (reigned 753-775) and Mutasim (reigned 833-842).
Many decorations and several structures were added to the mosque over the centuries by the Islamic dynasties ruling the region.
The most important structures and decorations were built by Persian vizier of the Turkish Seljuk sultans Abu Ali Hassan ibn Ali (1018-1092), known as Khwaja Nizam al-Mulk.
The brick dome at the southern side of the mosque bears a Kufic inscription suggesting that it was built by the order of Khwaja Nizam al-Mulk.
The dome at northern side was constructed based on the southern dome in 1088 by the order of Taj al-Mulk, Khwaja’s rival, who was Sultan Malik-Shah’s favorite courtier.
Due to the development of the mosque during the various Islamic periods, the evolution of Islamic art and architecture are distinguished at the monument.
Despite their high regard for developing Islamic architecture, the Safavid dynasty (1502–1736) took no notice of the mosque, because, at that time, the region was not considered a suburb of Isfahan, a capital of the Safavids.