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Gonbad-e Qabus Tower Goes Beyond Art

The Gonbad-e  Qabus tower is the tallest all-brick tower in the world and a towering tomb in the fourth century.
Reading Time: 6 minutes

Introduction to Gonbad-e Qabuse

In a corner of northeastern Persia in province of Golestan with its eye-catching landscape, there is this historic city of Gonbad-e Kavous or Gonbad-e Qabus, formerly known as Jorjan, an ancient land with a history of more than 5,000 years, which was of great economic importance due to its location on the Silk Road and was considered as the center of the Turkmen Sahara, the most important city after Gorgan. There is a towering tomb in the city, which is the tallest tower in the world, and embraced one of the great men of history, Qabus bin Voshmigir.

History of  The Tallest Brick Tower in The World

From the time of the Achaemenids until now, the city of Gonbad-e Kavous has been called Varkan or Warkaneh, Hyrkani or Hyrkania, Jorjan or Gorgan; during the reign of Al-Ziar, Gorgan province was very important . Bin Ziar was a competent prince who ordered the construction of Gonbad-e Qabus tower in the Zayarian capital in 375 A.H. Voshmgirو one of the most enduring who wrote books on the history of Persia (Qabus nameh), and he built one of the most enduring buildings in Persia. Perhaps, this family, was one of the greatest servants of Persian culture, without realizing it . The Gonbad-e  Qabus tower is the tallest all-brick tower in the world and is one of the buildings built in the fourth century.

The city was completely destroyed during the Mongol invasions in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries, and now part of its ruins is about three kilometers west of Gonbad Kavous. Only the Qabus Dome Tower was able to survive the devastation and remain the city’s only monument, and eventually, in the middle of Reza Shah’s reign, alongside the ruins of ancient Gorgan, a modern and modern city built by the Turkmen tribe. It was named Gonbad Kavous.

Architecture of Gonbad-e Qabus

The structure of Gonbad-e Qabus , also known as the “Mill of the Dome”, is generally referred to as a building with a simple appearance and no special decorations. This lofty building consists of two important parts: the structure of the tower and the conical dome. The tower itself is built in the shape of a ten-sided building, and on each side there is a prominence that makes the shape of the building very spectacular, which is the tallest all-brick tower in the world with a height of 72 meters. In ancient Persia, it was built as a sign of urban fabric along caravans, and at night, by lighting a fire at its top, they guided travelers. It seems that in the old days, there was a cold on the floor that now remains. On the width of the brick wall, there are inscriptions in Kufic script, which commemorate the time of construction of this building and refer to the burial of Qabus bin Voshmigir in this magnificent tower. The Mill Building, or Dome, consists of five main sections. The base or platform, stem, cap, vertex and staircase are the components of the dome body.

Also, Gonbad-e Qabus tower (Gonbad Mill) has astronomical applications due to the height and geometric shape of its building. It is also one of the first examples of Mogharnas in the history of Persia at the entrance of this tower and is tiling, plastering, decorative inscriptions and brick symbols. It is so unique that Professor Arthur Ofam Popp, the famous American orientalist, considers these decorations more beautiful than the decorations of the Taj Mahal.

Professor Arthur Pope writes about Gonbad-e Qabus

On the eastern side of the Alborz Mountains and in front of the vast deserts of Asia, one of the greatest masterpieces of Persian architecture has risen with all its glory and grandeur. This building is the dome of Qabus bin Voshmigir, and the tower of the tomb has no decoration. A warier with the power of faith in a face-to-face battle, a poet king in the battle with eternity, would there be a huge, strong tomb for such a king?

Will Durant wrote about it

In the 10th century AD (Ziyarian era), Jorjan was one of the great provinces of Persia and had intellectual princes, such as Shams al-Ma’ali Qabus Voshmgir, who called Ibn Sina to his court.

Unesco World Heritage Criteria of Gonbad-e Qabus

Criterion (i): Due to its beautiful geometric symmetry and structural features, Gonbad-e Qabus tower  is known as an unparalleled example of brick architecture in the early Islamic period.

Criterion (ii): The cone-shaped roof of Gonbd-e Qabus tower , as an example of tomb towers in Persia, Anatolia and Central Asia, is of great importance and is a sign of cultural exchange and architecture between Central Asian nomads and ancient Persian civilizations.

Criterion (iii): Gonbad-e Qabus tower  is a strong document of the architecture and civilization of Al-Ziyar, which occupied a large part of this region in the fourth and fifth centuries A.H . Gonbad-e Qabus tower , as the tomb of an emir who was a writer, was the starting point for the tradition of building monuments in Persia, which is also mentioned in Persian literature.

Criterion (iv) : This monument is a magnificent example of an Islamic memorial tower whose structural design shows the unparalleled progress of science and mathematics in the Islamic world at the beginning of the second millennium A.D .

Location of Gonbad-e Qabus

Gonabad-e Qabus city is the second-largest city in Golestan province after Gorgan in Persia and according to archeological excavations has announced the history of civilization in the Gonabad-e Qabus region for five to six thousand years. The Gonbad Kavous is the center of the Turkmen Sahara and is famous for having the highest brick building in the world.

 When to visit Gonbad-e Qabus

Gonbad-e Qabus city has a mild temperature and humid climate due to the low altitudes and plains of the region. Gonbad-e Qabus is a four-season city; it is located in the center of the Turkmen Sahara and its proximity to the Gorgan River makes the climate a very suitable. Each season in the dome of Gonbad-e Qabus has its own beauty and grace.

Where to eat near of Gonbad-e Qabus

Wheat (Gandom) Restaurant with a relax and calm atmosphere has a varied menu of international cuisine, which provides delicious and qualified choices for those who are interested in such dishes. Turkmen cuisine is one of the restaurants that serve these local Turkmen dishes. When traveling to Gonbad-e Qabus , be sure to visit this restaurant.

Kebabsara and the delicious fast food of Gonbad-e Qabus serve fresh dishes. one of the best fast foods of Gonbad-e Qabus , which has a unique and hearty taste for its famous burgers where we recommend to try it.

Among the many cafes in the city, Cadre Cafe is a good suggestion for drinks and snacks.

Where to stay near Gonbad-e Qabus

Turkmenistan eco-lodge of Boom Kolbeh, one of the most famous eco-tourism resorts in the country is located in Golestan and Turkmen Sahara provinces. By staying in this place, you will get acquainted with the tradition, lifestyle, customs and culture of Turkmen people and you’ll get to taste the very memorable food of this people, including Chakdarmeh, with the best quality.

One of the most experienced hotels in hotel industry of Persia is the 3* Tourist hotel for lunch. The surrounding area of this hotel is so dazzling that many tourists choose it as their accommodation due to its location. There are also a number of cottages in the hotel area that you can use if you wish.

How to go to Gonbad-e Qabus

Gonbad-e Qabus is located 540 km from Tehran. To get to Gonbad-e Qabus from Tehran, you have to go through Sari, Amol and Gorgan. If you do not intend to travel by car, there are several buses moving from Tehran to Gonbad-e Qabus everyday.

If you are planning to travel to this lush city by train or plane, you should go to Gorgan and get to Gonbad-e Qabus in less than 2 hours.

Gorgan Airport (GBT), located in the north of Gorgan city with flights to Tehran and vise versa, is a fast way to get to Gorgan city. And after 1 hour an 30 minutes driving, you will get to the city of Gonbad-e Qabus.

How to visit Gonbad-e Qabus

The area around the Qabus tower building is also located as the National Garden (Qabus Park), in the north of the city (Imam Khomeini North Street), and you can enjoy this area next to this beautiful dome and drown the remaining relics of King Qabus.

Hyrcanian forest

Hyrcanian forests are the oldest forests of the world in Persia and the second-largest natural heritage site at the UNESCO World Heritage List. Survivor of the third period of geology and the ice age and rich in terms of native and ancient species, vegetation, and biodiversity. A forest with the rarest species, from trees and shrubs, endemic plants, and trees to animal species such as leopards, bears, goats, marals, various birds, etc. that mostly are located in the northern part of Persia. These forests are one of the most touristic areas in the north of Persia, which have attracted many tourists due to their pleasant and unique climate, picturesque scenery, and a suitable environment for recreation.

 Turkaman Harbor

Turkaman Harbor one of the most charming cities of Golestan province in Persia, located 40 kilometers far from the city of Gorgan in the east bank of the Mazandaran Sea is one of the most important port cities in the north of Persia. A port that is popular for its unique, unmatched handicraft, pleasant weather, fabulous, strong horses, and the colorful and delightful scarfs of Turkmen women.

Gonabad-e Qabus Carpet Museum

Gonabad-e Qabus Carpet Museum, also known as Turkmen Museum of Carpet, is the third carpet museum in Persia after the Carpet Museums in Tehran and Mashhad. The museum is located next to the world’s highest brick tower in downtown Gonabad-e Qabus. The opening of the Turkmen Carpet Museum in Golestan Province has made the art of carpet weaving for Turkmen artists, which has been the cradle of handmade carpets, in front of tourists in Gonabad-e Qabus so everybody would get to know about this ancient art.

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