Introduction to Tekiye Moaven Al-Molk
Tekiye, in the term of Persian Shiites, is the place where mourning ceremonies, especially Muharram mourning and Tekiye, are held. Before building Takiyehs, people held ceremonies in different neighborhoods or dedicated the main squares of the city for this purpose. During the Qajar period, Takiyehs were built in the center of cities. There are various old takiyehs throughout Persia, one of which is Tekiye Moaven Al-Molk in the city of Kermanshah; One of the oldest and most magnificent cultural relics left from the Qajar era. This monument is also known as the largest miniature tekiyeh in the world in terms of its architecture, decorations, and delightful tilework.
History of Tekiye Moaven Al-Molk
Takiyeh Moaven al-Mulk was built in 1281 AH by Hussein Khan Moen al-Ruaya. At that time, Takiyeh was used to hold religious ceremonies and resolve ethnic and nomadic disputes. In Kermanshah, there was not much takiyeh until the reign of the Qajars, and most Muharram mourning ceremonies were held in the main streets and squares of the city. With the arrival of Qajar dynasty, the number of takiyehs in the city gradually increased. The architect of the monument was Asghar Memar (Asghar the architect), whose name is also mentioned in the tiles. But it should be noted that the current building is not the original one. As the architect Hussein Khan was assassinated during the constitutional struggle in 1287 AH, a large part of the olden monument was destroyed by fire.
Moaven al-Mulk Architects and Reconstruction Stories
After that, Hassan Khan Moaven Al-Molk, by the help of Hossein Naghash Tehrani, Hossein Kashipaz Tehrani, and Seyyed Abolghasem Mani, began to created one of the magnificent works among the cultural and historical monuments in Persia. For many years, Hassan Khan tried to hold mourning assemblies, serve the deprived and the city’s subordinates, especially during the famine and the high incidence of cholera, and dedicated the building to mourning and religious ceremonies. Towards the end of Hassan Khan’s lifetime, with the coming to power of the Pahlavi family, as well as his financial situation, the period of destruction of the building began. Therefore, Seyyed Mohammad Meybodi and Mr. Sheikh Mohammad Hadi Jalili suggested this idea to use the Safavid section as an Islamic Sciences School to use the income for repairing the building, to prevent its ruin. Since then, Abbasid part has remained a school for 30 years. Hasan Khan Moaven al-Mulk passed away in 1327 AH and his tomb is located in the Zeinabieh section of this building.
Architecture of Tekiye Moaven Al-Molk
This monument includes different sections, each of which concludes a distinguished use. This division represents a correct and efficient map of Takiyeh on the past.
At first this must be mentioned that Moaven al-Mulk Tekiyeh includes 3 entrances. In the past, these doors were built in order to bring the mourners inside in a better and more regular way; The main one of which is located in the former Abshouran Street (today’s Haddad Adel), another one is built in the southern side, and the last one is placed in the northern part. These days the Southern and the Northern doors are closed, and people are able to get through from the main entrance.
Withal, we should say that Moaven al-Mulk Tekiyeh includes four sections: the main entrance, Hosseinieh, Zeinabieh and Abbasiyah. By crossing through the stares, you will reach the main entrance. After crossing over the bridges, you will enter the courtyard of Takiyeh Moaven al-Mulk, where you will be able to see the Saqakhaneh on its right side. This Saqakhaneh is built in the shape of a pentagon.
As you cross through the main entrance, you will encounter a space decorated with tiled walls telling national, epic, and religious stories from the rich Persian literature, and similar to the courtyards of old houses, consists of a small blue pool. Embossed and semi-embossed tile works, decorated with stories and narrations that are delightfully engraved on them designed by natural colors. It is better to say that the colors used in dying the tiles were natural.
The Husseiniyya of the Tekiye Moaven Al-Molk concludes a small and pleasant courtyard with high walls, surrounded by chambers on each side of the yard. This Hosseinieh used to be a place for mourning ceremonies, which of course was a place made for men. On the south wall of Hosseinieh, we see poems describing the monument, and the completion date of the tiling, written by one of the poets of the city, the late Seyyed Mohammad Nami, known as Seyyed Mohammad Moaven.
The passage of light through the sash in the space inside the leaner creates a colorful salinity. The first thing that catches your eyes by entering the Zeinabieh section, is the murmur of colored lights that run into the dark space inside the lean. It should be mentioned that, sash is a latticed window with a wooden frame, which is one of the symbols of Persian architecture. According to the architect’s taste, it can have colored glass. This beautiful choice can be easily seen in the Takiyeh of the Vice President.
In construction of religious monuments in Persia, if a room is considered for men, there will definitely be a place built with the same usage for woman. Now, we will hit into a dome-shaped building with a roof covered with turquoise tiles on which, the pictures on them show the name of this section; Pictures of Hazrat Zeinab at the noon of Ashura. Zeinabieh has been a place for women to mourn and it is designed in such a way that it does not interfere with the men’s Hosseiniyah section at all.
Speaking of the differences between two parts, the thing that helps you to distinguish these two sections from each other is the sash decorated windows with their colorful glasses, utilization of which was so common in the past. These full-length windows were used to heat the house in the cold season with sunlight, and stained glass was also very effective in dimming the warm season. These sash-decorated windows will give you a more stunning view so you will be able to see the dance of light and colors, scattered on the ground, during the cold season, and on the walls during the cold seasons.
The eastern side is called the Abbasiyah which consists of a large courtyard with a circular basin in the middle with flowers around it. While standing in the yard, you will see a two-store building on the right side of the entrance, which includes three rooms. These days, these passages are used to recite the Quran. Abbasiyah, like most parts of the Tekiye Moaven Al-Molk, is decorated with extensive tiling. Delightful colors, and the predominance of color blue in this space, keeps each visitor’s breath inside their chest. The shapes, figures, and illustrations drawn on tiles narrate the event of Karbala, and you can see the face of the people who played influential roles in this incident; Imam Hussein (AS), Hazrat Zainab (AS) and Hazrat Abbas (AS), and also narrates the story of Prophet Yusuf arrival to Canaan, the court of Hazrat Suleiman (Salamone) and either the shrine of Imam Ali (AS).
Two museums are located in the Abbasiyah section; Kermanshah Anthropology Museum, which narrates the culture, occupation and historical objects of Kermanshah province, and the Kermanshah Museum of Clothing and Jewelry, which is a stunning, charming and delightful album of handmade, and local clothing and ornaments of different ethnic groups in Kermanshah. On the entrance of the Western part of the Tekiye Moaven Al-Molk, there is the bath of Hassan Khan, one of the big and famous baths in Kermanshah, which according to the available documents, includes four pools. The entrance of this bath is decorated with the ancient role of the sun and lion. It is believed that in the past, this bath was used for two reasons; Half of the day was for bathing and the other half, it was dedicated to zurkhaneh sports in memory of Imam Ali (AS). Nowadays, it is not open to the public at this time.