Gonbad-e Qābus with 53 m high tomb built in ad 1006 for Qābus Ibn Voshmgir, Ziyarid ruler, and literati, near the ruins of the ancient city of Gorgan in north-east Iran, bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran. The tower is the only remaining evidence of Jorjan, a former center of arts and science that was destroyed during the Mongols’ invasion in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is an outstanding and technologically innovative example of Islamic architecture that influenced sacral building in Iran, Anatolia, and Central Asia. Built of unglazed fired bricks, the monument’s intricate geometric forms constitute a tapering cylinder with a diameter of 17–15.5 m, topped by a conical brick roof. It illustrates the development of mathematics and science in the Muslim world at the turn of the first millennium AD.
Gonbad-e Qabus tower is a monument in Gonbad-e Qabus, Iran, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.
The Tower in the central part of the city reaches 72 meters (236 ft)
The baked-brick-built tower is an enormous decagon building with a conic roof, which forms the golden ratio Phi, that equals 1.618. The interiors contain the earliest examples of Muqarnas decorative styles. The decagon with its 3 meter-thick wall, divided into 10 sides, has a diameter of 17 m. The Tower was built on such a scientific and architectural design that at the front of the Tower, at an external circle, one can hear one’s echo.
The tower was built in 1006 AD on the orders of the Ziyarid Amir Shams ol-Ma’āli Qabus ibn Wushmgir. It is located 3 km north of the ancient city of Jorjan, from where the Ziyarid dynasty ruled. The tower is over 1000 years old.
Even though the inscription does not explicitly refer to the rumor that the tower was built for the tomb for the prince Ziyarid ruler, it is believed that the Sultan’s body was put in a glass coffin and was suspended from the ceiling of the tower.
It has been registered a World Heritage Site, in the tower’s upcoming 1,000th anniversary.
Gonbad-e Qābus or Gonbad-e Kāvus is a city in the province of Golestan in Iran. The city tower was built with bricks representing a special art related to the 4th century (Hegira, or 11th century). This tower which stands on a domed hill with 15 m height is located in the central (principal) park of Gonbad Kavoos city.
Robert Byron, the British travel writer, and architectural critic wrote that it was a photograph of the tower that motivated him to visit Persia. Seeing the tower, he maintained his high opinion of its qualities, writing in The Road to Oxiana, that ‘the Gumbad-i-Kabus ranks with the great buildings of the world.