Gonbad-e Kavos or Gonbad-e Qābus is one of the structures of Iran that is world famous and known as one of the best monuments of human architecture history. This valuable monuments in Golestan province, with a height of 72 meters, has earned the title of the tallest brick tower in the world and is the 15th monuments of Iran that is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The history of the construction of Gonbad-e Qābus dates back to the reign of Qabus ibn Wushmagir of the Al-Ziyar dynasty. This monument was built in the ancient city of Jurjan between 375 AH and 402 AH. At that time, the ancient city of Jurjan was considered the center of Iran’s art and knowledge.
This city was completely destroyed during the Mongol attacks in the 14th and 15th centuries AD, and now only a part of its ruins can be seen in the west of the city of Gonbad-e Kavos. Only Gonbad-e Qābus tower remains from these ruins.
Parts of the dome have suffered many damages throughout history. Natural factors such as the scorching sun have slightly changed the red color of its bricks and the rain has caused erosion in some places.
Parts of the tower’s conical dome were also damaged by Russian bullets, but were later restored. It is said that the Russians dug holes around the entrance and the foundations of Gonbad-e Qābus to get the treasure. After despairing of finding the treasure, the Russian forces fired at the building, and the bullet hitting the east and west of the conical dome destroyed two to three meters of it.
The building is completely made of bricks and Saroj mortar.
The use of innovation in building has made Gonbad-e Qābus one of the leading buildings in Iran and Central Asia. The general form of the building is cylindrical, which gradually narrows and finally reaches a beautiful dome.
A special feature of the building is its plan, which is in the shape of a 10-pointed star. This plan depicts the development of mathematics and science in the Islamic world.
Gonbad-e Qābus is very solidly built and despite earthquakes stronger than 6 on the Richter scale, no trace of destruction can be seen in it.
The body of Gonbad-e Qābus is said to be the distance from the pedestal to the bottom of the dome, which is circular and has a height of 27 meters. Around the building, there are 10 prominent triangular spokes that give the building the shape of a 10-pointed star.
The height of the conical dome of the tower is 18 meters. The dome has two shells and is located on the body of the tower without any intermediary.
This cone is so smooth and polished that birds cannot stand on it, and the steep slope of the conical roof prevents the accumulation of rainwater on it.
The inside of the building is also simple like the outside and no special decoration can be seen in it.
There is an amazing circular area outside the Gonbad-e Qābus Tower. If you stand in this circle and speak or sing, your voice will be reflected.
The inside of the building is also simple like the outside and no special decoration can be seen in it. The strength of the building is more important than the decorations. The presence of plaster moldings and inscriptions in Kufic script are the only decorations of this tower.
The reason for building the building is not exactly clear. Many experts consider the reason for its construction to be a mausoleum for Qabus ibn Wushmagir; But despite numerous excavations, no trace of Qaboos bin Wushamgir’s body has been found.
There are evidences in historical books that increase the possibility of using this building as an observatory.
In the book of Zakhireye Khwarazmshahi, it is mentioned about an astrologer named Koshiar Gilani who was in the service of Qabus ibn Wushmagir. In other books, the name of Kushyar Gilani is mentioned and it is said that he built an observatory named after himself, whose location is unknown.
Based on these two writings, there is a possibility that Gonbad-e Qābus is the same observatory that was built by order of Qabus and based on Kushyar Gilani’s plan.
Kushyar Gilani was a mathematician and astronomer and lived in the 4th and 5th centuries of AH. He was the astrologer of Qabus ibn Wushmagir.
Some experts believe that the only purpose of building such a magnificent and large tower is to show the power and art of Qabus. They believe that the unique features of this tower are a reminder of the glory of this king’s reign and have left an eternal name for him.
Visiting this beautiful and mysterious tower in Golestan province will be a pleasure for every visitor. It will be a special experience to see the tallest brick tower in the world, which is also registered in UNESCO.
Gonbad-e Qābus is registered in the world list of UNESCO. By joining the UNESCO tours organized by Oak Travel Agency, visit this unique historical monument and experience a pleasant travel experience.
The best time to visit this magnificent tower is from early autumn to early spring.