Seh Gonbadan TowerUrmia
Seh Gonbadan Tower, literally meaning three domes, is a monument located in southeast of Urmia, the center of West Azerbaijan Province. According to its relief, it was built in the sixth century AH, but it was introduced to the public in 1852 by Nikolai Vladimirovich Khanykov, the Russian ethnographer. To visit this beautiful and unique tower, the visitor should reach Ostad Barzegar Street.
The historical and architectural importance of Seh Gonbadan resulted to the registration of this valuable ancient building on Azar 15th, 1314 SH as a national heritage of Iran.
Some of the historians and Islamic architecture experts believe that in the past there was a fire temple instead of the tower that traced back to Sassanid dynasty. However, no documents have been found to prove this assertion.
The relief of the tower, on the other hand, provides very useful and reliable information. In addition to exact date of the construction, the builder of the tower has been addressed. Based on this text, the tower was built by the order of one of the elders of the Seljuk named Sheith Ghate al-Mozafari. The form and façade of Seh Gonbadan tower is very similar to other structures reminiscent of the sixth century, especially those remaining in the city of Maragheh that belong to Seljuk dynasty, as well.
Seh Gonbadan Tower has been built over a high cylinder-formed step, of which the diameter is about five meters. The tower that we know as Seh Gonbadan today is thirteen meters tall, and has two stories. On each four side of the tower, some windows have been built for ventilation and providing light.
The first story of the tower is used as basement. It is separated from the second story by a vaulted cover. In the upper story there is a tomb room that has a doorway as tall as two and a half meters. It can be concluded that Seh Gonbadan Tower was used as a tomb, too.
Fortunately, most of the main parts of the building has remained intact. They include the façade, the tablets, brick wall. Made of stone and plaster, the decorations on the entrance gateway of the tomb room are quite unique, not to mention the paintings of geometric motifs and tablets written in Bannai script.
It should not be left out that the lower part of the building is made of gray stones that reach up to six meters. But from that point on, the tower is built by quadrilateral bricks.