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Jameh Mosque of Gonabad


Jameh Mosque of Gonabad

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Gonabad is the city of ancient qanats. Qasbah Qanat, listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is one of the most famous qanats that is located in this city. However, the qanats are not the only treasures inherited from generations passed.

Jameh Mosque of Gonabad is reminiscent of Khwarazmian dynasty that has endured so many years as well as numerous strong earthquakes. According to its tablet, this structure was built in 609 AH, equal to 1212. It means it is more than eight hundred years old.

One of the features of Jameh Mosque of Gonabad is its tablets in Kufic calligraphy that are accompanied with beautiful and mesmerizing brickwork attached around the Qibla Iwan. Another feature of this structure is its two-Iwan plan that belongs to the seventh century AH and, in comparison with other remaining buildings, is in better conditions.

The scientific researches show that below the foundation of the mosque are layers of sands, and remaining parts of older structures have been found between them. They have been estimated to belong to the third century AH. The material of these ancient structures was generally cob bricks and clay. They have been buried under the sand and the new mosque has been built on them. After the Khwarazmian dynasty, new sections were added to this mosque during the Ilkhanate dynasty.

Jameh Mosque of Gonabad has different parts that include decorative portal, sahn or Miansara, north and south iwans, arcades and three columned sanctuaries. The main iwan is situated aligned with Qibla, in the south side of the sahn. It has four barrel vaults and four arches. This section is ornamented with Ghatarpich that is a kind of stucco, arabesque decorations and a tablet of holy Quran in Bannai scripts. It is this tablet that indicates the date of the construction of the mosque.

The entrance portal on the northern side is decorated with pointed barrel vaults and stucco corners with motifs of birds surrounded by flowers and foliage that have been painted on a layer of plaster cover. This building has been registered as a national heritage of Iran.

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