Kerman is one of the most popular cities in Iran and one of the top tourist attractions. For more people when you say Kerman, Arg-e Bam pops into their minds. But besides Arg-e Bam that is a huge Iranian historical attraction, this large province has a lot more fabulous sites to explore and marvel at. One of the less known but no less significant is the Jabaliyeh historical Dome. Today we are taking a short trip to this valuable monument that our ancestors have left us.
Jabaliyeh Historical Dome In Short
What makes Gonbad-e Jabaliye more interesting to visit is its spooky mysterious entity. This octagonal building with a brick dome is a stone structure that attracts every newcomer’s attention. It is also known by the names such as “Gonbad-e Gabr”, “Gonbad-e Zig” and “Gonbad-e Ganj”. Since 2004 they have established a museum inside the monument and a park surrounding it.
This Iranian Historical Dome is made of stone which is one of the most important qualities that historians have acknowledged. And maybe that’s why they also call it “Jabal-e Sangi” which literally means stone mountain.
There is no reliable information in hand about the history of this masterpiece. About when it is built, and for what purposes. And the same thing makes it mysterious and more appealing. However, this monument is on Iran’s National Heritage List for about a century.
The History Of Gonbad-e Jabaliye
There is no well-grounded information about the time of its appearance on earth. But on the other hand, there is an old book that the writer writes about this historical Dome in Iran. And the book dates back to the years 1519 to 1532. So far it has been the oldest time in history that Gonbad-e Jabaliye is mentioned.
An English general, writer, and geographer named Sir Percy Sykes in one of his books, The History Of Persia, describes the monument in the year 1900:
“As you pass the cemetery, you will see an octagonal stone building with a dome in the shape of two crescents, with a diameter of 18 feet inside and 18 feet on each side, the tip of which is brick and the end of which is a circle. This place is called Jabaliyeh and the only stone building in Kerman is this Jabaliyeh dome.”
What Was Jabaliyeh Dome For?
It is not yet clear the purpose of constructing this Dome in Kerman. But they raise such possibilities that it might be a:
- Fire temple
- One of the influencers of Zoroastrians‘s tomb and was destroyed in the flood of Kerman in 1954.
- Tomb of Seyed Mohammad Tabashiri
- Tomb of Daniel Hakim known as Pir Murad
- A Buddhist temple dating back to the Mongol era (1206–1368).
Jabaliyeh Dome Engineering
It is an 18-meter tall octagonal building with 8 doors on each side. Unfortunately, seven of them are blocked to keep the monument stronger. The body of the structure is of stone and the dome is of brick. Narratives say instead of water they have used eggs, camel milk, and ash to put up the building to increase its strength.
The Lower Part
The lower part is actually the octagonal part that has thick walls. On each side of this structure, there is a large arched façade. And a gable to reduce the load of the building inside the arches. There are square or rectangular decorative shapes above the eight entrances. On the sides of the arches, there are two gables on top of each other; The lower gable has a truncated arch and the upper one has a rectangular shape.
The Middle Part
From the top of the lower part to the base of the dome is the middle part. This section is hexagonal and has a diameter less than the foundation. There are eight skylights in this part, located on top of the doors.
The Upper Part
The upper part of the Jabaliyeh Dome is one meter narrower than the middle part, which has created a foot or a ring. This ring surrounds the structure with 32 sides and 24 rectangular gables.
The dome is made of white brick with a diameter of 12 meters. The height of the stone stem of the dome reaches 8 meters and there is a skylight in the middle. According to the evidence, this dome was supposed to be two-layered. But this did not happen for two reasons; Either the outer cover has been demolished or the semi-finished construction process has been abandoned.
The Internal Space
The inside of the building is very simple and has no special decorations. And only in the upper part, there are sixteen sharp arches to turn the octagon into a circle on the stem of the dome. There are also gables here as well. And they are almost the only decoration of this building. It seems that there was even stuccowork inside the dome, which was also destroyed.
Kerman Stone Museum
Kerman Stone Museum is a collection of more than 100 pieces of carved stone that belong to different historical periods. This museum was originally known as the “Treasure of Jabaliya (Historical Inscriptions)”. Among the important works of this museum, we can mention the following:
- Khajeh Atabak’s Tombstone related to the Seljuk period (1037–1194)
- The inscription of Abdar Ashkan Rabar Mosque, which is known as the Millennial Stone of Rabar. It is one of the oldest inscriptions in the museum. This inscription belongs to the monument of a mosque in the northern heights of Rabar city of Kerman and is engraved on a natural stone piece in Kufic script.
*The photos are some random objects of the museum
- The smallest tombstone discovered in Kerman province. A farmer discovered it in 1998. This 26 by 22 centimeter stone is an inscription with two parts: a border strip containing Quranic verses and the middle text including the name of the deceased and the year of death.
- Mirza Agha Khan’s tombstone, son of Mirza Ahmad Ali Khan Vaziri, the writer of Kerman’s history.
During your stay in Kerman if you wish to visit more attraction sites you can visit Takht-e Dargah Gholi Beyg, Pardisan Forest Park, and Kerman Museum of Paleontology that are close to Gonbad-e Jabaliye.
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