Two hundred meters to the west of Tappa-ye Hegmatāna, stands the most significant architectural monument of Hamadān, the mausoleum called Gonbad-e ʿAlawiān. It is a square, relatively massive monument, almost entirely made of baked brick .Its façade was once covered with opulent stucco decoration in high relief, depicting motifs of leaves, blossoms, vines and tendrils in interwoven patterns, in which Arthur Pope saw the ancient invocation for abundance and fertility.
Alavian Dome in Hamadan is located in a garden of the same name. The structure was initially a mosque built by the Alavian family during the Seljuq era (1038-1118) and later became a family crypt. This 10th century structure once had a dome, which collapsed over time. With its unique stucco reliefs and delicate brickwork, this cube-shaped structure is an outstanding example of Persian-Islamic architecture.
It`s one of the architecture masterpieces after Islam in Hamedan. It was recorded in national monument list on 26th of December on 1931. According to the technical panel building, the dome is one of the monuments belonging to the Seljuk period in the late 6th century which was built by Alavian Family, as masque.
The interior of the structure has been lavishly decorated with stucco inscriptions, which are presumed to have been added during the Ilkhanid era, in the Kufic calligraphy hand. There is a rectangular plaque with stucco honeycomb patterns and flower motifs above the entrance of the structure. The outer frame of this plaque bears stucco reliefs of Quranic inscriptions in the Kufic calligraphy hand.
It is the valuable work of art, related to the medieval Islamic period ages 6 and 7 AH. It looks like the red dome of Maragheh which was built in the year 542 AH. Its interior dimension and rich decoration, eye-catching and mysterious, is somewhat similar to the building of Qazvin Heydarieh dome, built in the early 6th AH century.
It was built like a four-sided cube in size 8/12 in 5/12 and a height of 5/11.
There are four columns, like towers in four corners of the building, with 5/9m height, 2 meters diameter.
Each of towers has five triangular arches. Over the entrance and inside the rectangular box, there are beautiful decoration including intertwining flowers and plants.
In every corner, there are two arches and arch decorative façade in east-west sides, covered with a beautiful design.
The dome`s sanctuary located on the south side with beautiful decoration has added to the richness of building.
Few high skylights, adjoining the ceiling give a good lightening to the area.
The small cellar is the tomb of two elders of Alavian`s family. The interior area is formed of six rooms with arches. Cube-shaved graves covered with turquoise bricks are in the center.
This cube-shaped building of the 12th century in Hamadan is renowned for its excellent stucco ornamentation, the “tour de force of opulent imagination” in the words of pioneering American specialist on Persian art Arthur Upham Pope. Alaviyan Dome is one of the paramount works of Islamic architecture in Iran.
The Story Behind It!
The structure was initially built as a mosque before being turned into a family mausoleum by the Alavid rulers of northern Iran under the Seljuk Empire. It is said to have been constructed on the site of a monastery. The building had a dome and a few minarets which have collapsed over the course of time.
The Tremendous Tower
The brick tower is a masterpiece of stucco work with exquisite floral motifs and geometric designs. Inscriptions in angular Arabic writing decorate the exterior. It is composed of a single chamber whose walls are decorated with plaster. There is a cellar underneath which contains the remains of two unknown figures.
The building is considered the most outstanding historical monument in Hamadan. It is a registered national heritage site. The mansion is located within a walking distance of several historical sites, providing a rare chance to visit the city's treasure trove of ancient relics.