Landscape project to trim UNESCO-designated tower
A landscape project will soon commence on the UNESCO-registered Gonbad-e Qabus and its surroundings in northern Iran.
Supervised by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts, the project is aimed to restore some 8,000 square meters of sceneries surrounding the millennium-old brick tower, and to develop its tourism facilities, according to a local official. Located in Golestan province, the monument is of high architectural importance as an exemplar and innovative design of the early-Islamic-era architecture. Visible from great distances in the surrounding lowlands near the ancient Ziyarid capital, Jorjan, the 53-meter high Gonbad-e Qabus dominates a modern town of the same name laid out around its base in the early 20th century. Its hollow cylindrical shaft of unglazed fired brick tapers up from an intricate geometric plan in the form of a ten-pointed star to a conical roof. Two encircling Kufic inscriptions commemorate Qabus Ibn Voshmgir, Ziyarid ruler and literati as its founder in 1006 CE. As mentioned by UNESCO, the monument bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran. Narratives say the tower has influenced various subsequent designers of tomb towers and other cylindrical commemorative structures both in the region and beyond. The structure capped by an eye-catching conical roof boasts intricate geometric principles and patterns which embellish parts of its load-bearing brickwork.