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Isfahan Monar Jonban

Written by Super User. Posted in Isfahan Historical Sites

Shaking Minarets
Menar-e Jonban

By:R.Safavi

The Shrine of Abdullah Soqla is a vaulted structure built in 1316 over the tomb of the Sufi hermit. The brick Il-Khanid building is decorated with dark blue tiles that cover the inner side of its arch.
The structure features the most famous minarets in the city. The small brick towers rise some 6 m above the eivan and belong to the later, prob ably Safavid, period. The minarets are elegantly ornamented with lovely but unpretentious brickwork. Narrow spiral staircases lead to the summits of the minarets, which are pierced by open arches.
What is most remarkable about the minarets is that a strong push given to the top of one of them makes it oscillate. Curiously. this movement I am also transmitted to another minaret and even to the porch itself. In theory, all minarets can sway, but this pair sways in me an especially obvious manner because of the ratio between the height and width of the arch (it is 10 m high and 10 m wide), and the shortness and lightness of the minarets. Wooden crossbars on the top of the minarets further facilitate the movement. Perhaps the whole thing was intended to be a mild conjuring trick to amuse simple minds. However, for a long time, until the riddle of the minarets had been solved, the pious entertained a supernatural explanation. with some claiming that the movement was caused by the Sufi, who was allegedly alive in his tomb. The phenomenon of shaking minarets is not confined to this site. Another example can be found only 50 km away at Oshtorjan.
The constant shaking throughout the years has caused considerable structural damage. and now the minarets cannot be climbed. Therefore, the popularity of the site among tourists has diminished considerably.

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