Monday, 5 June 2017

My 19 Day Iranian Azerbaijan circuit - From the Caspian rives to Tabriz and Takht-e Soleiman - Day 4 (morning) - Qazvin - The 'Ali Qâpu Gate and the Shazdeh Hosein Shrine Mausoleum - The 12th of June 2017

We stopped at the Ali Qâpu Gate briefly as we drove towards the Shazdeh Hosein Shrine Mausoleum.

The placards revealing the faces of potential election candidates kept on "following" us and catching our attention ...  they were to be seen everywhere and their life-size portraits created some sort of empathy we couldn't ignore.


Seen from the outside the Shazdeh Hosein Shrine Mausoleum dedicated to the 8th Iman of the Shia Muslims, whose death occcured in 901 AD was far from what we would soon discover and explore - a vast architectural complex comprising a courtyard flanked by two gates, with its Northern gate being particularly impressive because of its decorative tiles and its rather unique geometrical patterns. I couldn't help being mesmerised by that explosion of colour, the intricate patterns and designs, some of which our conférencier throughly explained to us and a chamber with his body emtombed.  
One particular placard caught my attention, which despite having been placed at its entrance and not bearing the marks of time certainly bore other implications ... which inexplicably led me to hypothesise about, once I cannot read Farsi and wasn't told what it was about.

The sacred Mausoleum is said to be a religious pilgrimage place since the 3rd century. Totally destroyed during the Mongol invasion and the Safavid conflicts it was later renovated and displays one of  the best examples of the Qajar architecture period, whether it is at the level of the plaster, inlaid and tile work of the doors or the decorative shell of the dome

I always feel a sense of shared convictions, as I visit such sacred religious places, because being religious myself and being able to put myself in the shoes of those, whose religion differs from mine, I nevertheless acknowledge what is similar in our approach and feel close enough to understand it.

(To be continued)

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