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Sheikh Safieddin Ardebili Mausoleum

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A Safavid Art Gallery

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Sheikh Safi-eddin Ardebili was one of the ancestors of the Iranian and Shia Safavi dynasty who was born in 650 Lunar Hejira. His mother tongue was Tati and his poems in Tati language are still available. Tati was one of the Iranian languages and the native language of Azarbaijan. This language has more than 26000 speakers in Iran and Azerbaijan. Sheikh Safi passed away in 735 Lunar Hejira and his resting place is near his mausoleum and his residence.

The mausoleum is one of the most beautiful historical and Islamic structures and is regarded as one of the most important ancient structures of the country. The structure was built up in 735 Lunar Hejira by Sheikh Sadreddin Mousa, son of Sheikh Safi and was respected especially during the Safavid dynasty by the kings. The complex is composed of a group of stunning architectural structures including the tomb of Sheikh Safi (Allah Allah Dome), Shah Ismail I’s tomb-chamber, the Chini Khaneh (China Hall), the Dar al-Hefaze Hall, the Shahidgah Cemetery, the Haram Khaneh (Ladies Quarters) and the main courtyard.

Sheikh Safi's tomb-chamber (Allah Allah Dome)

Sheikh Safi's tomb-chamber (Allah Allah Dome) is a cylindrical tower capped with a low dome built after Sheikh Safi’s death. The interior of the mausoleum is octagonal with a brick structure with an approximate diameter of six meters, a perimeter of 22 meters and a height of 17.5 meters. The interior of the tomb is covered with flora paintings on canvas and a Quranic inscription inside the dome has glamorously given a spiritual aura to it.

Tomb-Chamber of Shah Ismail I  

The tomb of Shah Ismail I consists of a small rectangular room and its dome is lower than Sheikh Safi's.  It has staccato manuscripts and is decorated with colorful tiles and Kufic inscriptions.  
A wooden box, decorated with finely engraved panels made of ivory and ebony, lies atop Shah Ismail's tomb.

Chini Khaneh (The China Hall)

Chini Khaneh (The China Hall), a domed octagonal room with four royal seats, has a diameter of 18 meters. It is one of the most magnificent artistic structures of Iran and is regarded a masterpiece of 11th Hejira century architecture in Ardebil city. A large number of decorative arches have been installed in the plaster staccato vaults of the porches, sunshades, and royal seats.  Shah Abbas I refurbished the original monument and changed it into a place to store his collection of Ming and Celadon porcelains presented to him by the Chinese Emperor.

Dar al-Hefaze Hall (Qandil Khaneh)

Dar al-Hefaze Hall or Qandil Khaneh is a rectangular structure of 11.5 X 6 meters and covered with polished stones and a stone lavabo in the shape of a petal.

The high building has two-storey chambers. In its southern part and attached to it is the royal seat structure which is skillfully attached to Sheikh Safi’s tomb-chamber. The eye-catching structure was built originally as a gathering place of the followers of Safavi Sufis but later became famous and was named Qandil Khaneh after the numerous lanterns, which were used to illuminate the complex.
The hall has paintings on plaster created with flora designs.

Shahidgah Cemetery

Shahidgah recalls the braveries of the valiant offspring of Iran in the face of aggressions of foreigners. The compound is a cemetery comprising the eastern and northern sides of the Sheikh Safi Mausoleum. The title of Shahidgah was first given to the cemetery at the time of Shah Ismail I. After the Chaldoran war in 920 Lunar Hejira, the bodies of a number of champions and martyrs of the war were buried there along with their saddles. According to historical documents, during Sheikh Safi’s time the place was used for burying his disciples and after the establishment of the Safavid dynasty for religious and political personalities.   

Haram Khaneh (Ladies Quarters)

Haram Khaneh (Ladies Quarters) comprises two square rooms built in the eastern side of and parallel to the tomb-chambers of Sheikh Safi and Shah Ismail. The entrance of Haram Khaneh, from the right hand side of the royal seat, is a wooden door with silver cover. Once it was covered with calligraphy and arabesque decorations.

Six wooden boxes with inlaid works and carvings, which are put on the graves of Sheikh Safi’s offsprings, are among the most beautiful places of the Haram Khaneh and the mausoleum. The grave of Sheikh Safi’s daughter and wife and daughter of Sheikh Zahed Gilani, Bibi Fatemeh who died in735 Lunar Hejira, are among these graves.  

The tomb-chamber structures of Sheikh Safi’s mausoleum are considered among magnificent and glorious complexes of the Safavid era and the Safavid art gallery in Ardebil. They are also attached special importance in Iran’s artistic circles as the resting place of the Safavi ancestors, kings and princes and princesses.

طراحی و توسعه آگاه‌سیستم