Monthly Archives: February 2019

Golestan Province Area

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Golestan Province Area

Geo-climatologically, Iran is divided into four major areas:

  1. A temperate and moist subtropical area, characterized by lush vegetation and moderate to thick forests covering a major part of the Iranian land on the southern coast of the Caspian.
  2. A mountainous and cold area characterized by numerous mountain chains and intermittent valley systems found in the west of Iran mainly among, but not limited to, the Zagros Mountains.
  3. A warm semi-arid to arid area characterized by vast plains and scattered mountain ranges with more fertile plains adjacent to river systems and containing occasional sand or salt deserts. This area covers the biggest part of the inner Iranian Plateau.
  4. A hot and humid area consisting mostly of the southern areas of Iran bordering the Persian Gulf along with the Khuzistan Plain.

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Based on this categorization, Golestan Province is characterized by the weather and climate of the first group. Thanks to its geographical location and topographical conditions, the climates in this area range from cold mountainous to moderate, semiarid, and arid climates. Climate-wise, the province is divided into four areas:
1. The mountainous areas
2. The moderate areas
3. The low-lying areas
4. The northern areas

Gonbad e Qabus Tower

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Gonbad-e Kāvus Geographical Area

It is to be mentioned that Gonbad-e Kāvus is located in the moderate area of Golestan, which is characterized by rather cold winters and hot and humid summers. 

Gonbad-e Kāvus is located in the east of the basin of the Caspian Sea and is among the most distant areas influenced by the Caspian climate with the characteristics of maritime air masses.

The general altitude of the area where Gonbad-e Kāvus is located is 50 meters, while in some parts it is over 2000 meters where the dominant climate is more of maritime and mountainous systems.

Thanks to the dominance of the west winds, the moisture from the sea are distributed across the area, and as Alborz mountain chains along the south of the basin capture it, the moisture cannot move southwards toward the inner plateau of Iran.


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Eastern Part of the Golestan Province

However, as one moves eastwards along the Caspian shore, the weather turns less moist and arider. The air masses that influence the area under consideration are as follows:
1. In winter: continental polar air mass; Source region: Siberia. Maritime polar air mass, from the west and northwest; the Mediterranean from the west; scarce instances of continental tropical from the south, source region: Arabia to Sahara
2. In summer: continental tropical from the central Iran or southwest; maritime tropical from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; maritime polar from the Black Sea and the Caspian; continental polar from the North

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Tomb Tower inside IRAN

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Tomb Tower inside IRAN

It is generally accepted that after the much celebrated Gonbad-e Qābus was constructed in the northeast of Iran in 1006 AD, there appeared so many other tomb towers in other parts of Mazandaran province, other areas of Iran, and Central Asia to Anatolia, where Turks moved and ruled under the devotion of Islam.

Gonbad Qabus Tower

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History of Tomb Towers in Iran

Construction of tomb towers within the Iranian territory began after the advent of Islam. Although there are much speculation and theories relating these structures to the pre- Islamic times in Iran when the so-called Chartaqi (four-domed) buildings were built.

gonbad aali tower

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Clearly, the early shrines during the Islamic era were also the four-sided domed structures but during the later parts of the 10th Century AD, the recognition of the tomb towers prevailed over these structures.

The preference of the tower to the four-cornered buildings went so far that we can witness different important types of tomb towers between the years 1000 to 1200 AD.

A major part of these tombs was built for the emirs, army commanders, governors, and so like. In addition, a few family members of the Caspian coasts dynasties also built their own tomb towers.

Building Material of Tomb Towers in Iran

Most of these buildings are made of high – quality baked bricks assembled in a variety of decorative patterns. Usually in the shape of fixed spores and inscriptive bands placed either over the sole entrance door of the tower or below the dome where occasionally the niches and other decorative elements enhance their splendor. They are normally covered with polyhedral or conical domes.

iranian architecture

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The architecture of Tomb Towers in Iran

Simplicity in their external facades and emphasis on the alone slender Mille (pole) is the feature that enhances their visual impact on the visitors. In fact, the visual error intensifies their height influence.

Although most of these early towers only bear heights of 15 to 20 meters,  they seem to be taller. Among them, Gonbad-e Qābus and Toqrol towers in Ray are actually very tall buildings.

tabriz jameh mosque

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During the Ilkhanids not much was added to the development and existing tradition although the tomb towers of this period reflect the current methods of the time.

Similar to its preceding period and as the distinguished flanged towers of Bastam, Varamin, and east Radkan show the general trend was still toward slender proportions.

While at later times this school of work was not the dominant approach and instead the more massive octagonal bodies with their sixteen sides bands covered by polygonal domes became more in use.

We can rarely find tomb towers during the Timurids era and in fact, these kind of buildings were no longer popular then as they were previously.

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