Isfahan Pir-i Bakran

Written by Super User. Posted in Isfahan Historical Sites

Pir-i Bakran


Pir-i Bakran
 Pir-e-Bakran Plaster work

Pir Bakran is a charming village in the vicinity of Linjan. Situated in a peaceful valley sheltered by desolate mountains, it was, perhaps, a fitting site for the hermitage of Mohammad Pir Bahan, a Sufi saint and mystic, who taught and preached there in the final years of the 13th century and died in 1303. Since ancient times, a special sanctity was attached to the village. This holiness was linked with a mysterious hollow in one of the sanctuary's pavement stones; tradition says the hollow was the footprint of Elias's horse. The village was also an important pilgrimage site of the Jews, whose ancient cemetery, Astar Khatun (Sarah Bet-Asher), was located there. The synagogue on cemetery land is derelict, but serves as a place of annual gatherings of the Jews from throughout Iran. An ancient stone, dating from the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. and carved in Hebrew script, is installed on the wall of the synagogue and constitutes the most valuable relic of the Jews of Esfahan. Pir Bakran is also connected with the name of Ferdowsl, who is said to have taken a temporary refuge at Linjan after his flight from Ghazni in 1011.
In the 13th century, the site was closely associated with Pir Bakran. As the renown of the Sufi spread, the original building - a little domed cell at the north of the complex - proved too small for the crowds who flocked to attend his classes. To afford more comfortable conditions for their studies, Pir Bakrans pupils added a large eivan, which, like it often happens, was on an axis that did not correspond with that of the sanctuary. Soon a wall with a mihrab was added opposite the santuary, which completely blocked the open eivan. The agglomeration of structures in the complex is rather clumsy and incoherent, yet structurally of almost Sasanid simplicity. Much of the material used is stone, not brick - other feature which links it with earlier methods of construction. When Pir Bakran died, he was buried at the northern end of the court. At the time of his death, the work on the eivan had not been finished, and an inscription dated 1312, which testified to the completion of the work, was carried out after his death. The mausoleum itself is a small and relatively unimaginative building crowned with a dome supported on four arches, but the eivan is remarkable for lavish plaster decorations.
The structure of Pir Bakran dates from the reign of Oljeitu. Produced at the height of Il- Khanid control, it, as well as many other outstanding buildings of the period, reflects a profound difference in approach to the destructive beginnings of the dynasty. Iran was rebuilt by the grandchildren of those who had come closest to destroying it. Names of the four caliphs in the inscriptions of the mausoleum suggest that the structure was built when Sultan Oljeitu still adhered to Sunnite beliefs.
The name of the decorator is Mohammad Naqqash (Painter). Doubtless, his works can be ranked among the most outstanding masterpieces of Iranian decorative art.



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