Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Alavian Tomb

When I traveled to Hamedan, I didn't really know what to expect. I went just to see Ali Sadr Water Cave, but I didn't know what else the city had to offer. Turns out quite a bit- there was Ganj NamehBaba Taher's mausoleum, and other places (yet to blog about). 

On my second day there, I came across Gonbade Alavian, Alavian Dome. This structure was named for the Alavian family who ruled Hamedan for nearly two centuries during the Seljuq period in the 12th century. While it was originally built as a mosque, a crypt was later added to it to become the family's mausoleum where two members of the family are. The stucco walls have intricately designed patterns of floral and geometric motifs as well as kufic script, an old calligraphic style for Arabic/Persian.   


Detail above the door- floral design and Kufic script



Wall detail

Wall detail

Whirling florals

Crypt ceiling

Crypt tomb

I lived in Bologna, Italy for some time and was always surprised at how many people seemed to completely skip it on their tour of Italy. It's one of those beautiful cities that shouldn't be missed- the university town with porticoed streets, red roof tops and the best food in Italy. It's no wonder it's nicknamed "la dotta, la rossa, la grassa" (the learned one, the red one, the fat one). Bologna is, however, overshadowed by cities like Rome and Venice. Perhaps rightfully so, but it still has tons to offer and more than worth a stop while you're in Italy. To me, Hamedan is the Bologna of Iran, often ignored for it's two more glamorous brothers Shiraz and Esfahan. But as one of the oldest cities not only in Iran but also in the world, put Hamedan on your Iran bucket list.

♥ Pontia 

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