Dominating all of its surrounding landscape near the ancient city of Gorgan, the 1000 year old Gonbad-e Qabus Tower stands tall; magnificently representing the Ziyarid Dynasty’s timeworn civilization. Also known as Gonbad-e Kavus, this 53 meter tall tower, made of entirely of fired brick, is the tomb of, ibn Voshmgir, the Ziyarid ruler and writer (1006 AD). Its location is northeast Iran in the central park of Gonbad-e Qabus city, of the Golestan province. This ancient city is historically known as Hyrcania/Gorgan, is the modern-day span of land covering the northeastern provinces of Iran and parts of southwestern Turkmenistan. Today the city of Gorgan, itself, refers to the former city of Astarabad; as a result of a careless name change that happened in the 1930’s by the Iranian government.
As the only prevailing evidence of the former center of arts and sciences, ancient city of Gorgan, the Gonbad-e Qabus Tower is an excellent example of the cultural exchange between central Asia and ancient Iran. In this regard, it is also an authentic testament to ancient Islamic architecture and technology. From its construction onwards, the advanced design of this tower greatly impacted the construction of sacral building all throughout Iran, Central Asia and Asia Minor. Gonbad-e Qabus is a shining example of the great level of quality and competency of the dominating Ziyarid civilisation.
Crafted purely of fired bricks, the tower’s elaborate cylindrical body has a sizable 15.5 – 17 meter diameter and is in the shape of a ten pointed (decagonal) star. The decagon’s walls are, a massive, three meters in thickness. At its peak, the body is capped with a phi-ratio (golden ratio) conical brick roof. The mathematics and aesthetic qualities of the geometry of this structure are what give it its great significance. Its cone shaped roof also became the new norm for tombs and commemorative towers in this area.
Being amid the great buildings of the world, Gonbad-e Qabus Tower is an official registered UNESCO world heritage, as of 2012.
City/Town: Gonbad Kavus/Gorgan
Address: Gonbad-e Qabus Tower, Jomhouri Street, Dashliburun Roadway