Jabalieh Dome: An Octagonal Structure Located in Iran's Kerman
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Jabalieh Dome, also known as 'Jahan Sang', 'Gonbad Gabri', 'Gonbad Ganj' and 'Ma'bad Sangi', is an octagonal edifice in Kerman, southeast of Iran.
The dome is made of brick, though the building is of stone and gypsum. The dome is among the most beautiful architectural feats of Iran. It is attributed to Seljuk rulers whereas its architectural style shows that it was inspired from the Sassanid period.
The octagonal building of the dome is 20 meters high, surrounded by sunshades which reduce the diameter of the walls. Eight portals with a width of two meters are seen around the building, which are now, with the exception of one portal, all blocked with stones to prevent destruction of the entire building. Stones ― cut in various sizes ― are seen in the building of Jabalieh Dome, which have been attached together with a hard mortar. Instead of water, camel milk has been used in its construction which has contributed greatly to its overall strength, irangazette.com reported.
It appears that there were inscriptions within the dome although there is now little evidence of them. The top sections have naturally fallen under their own weight with the passing of time while the lower portions seem to have been destroyed due to human actions. There is some indication that Abu Ali Mohammad ibn Elias played a role in the renovation of Jabalieh Dome.
Various explanations are given as to the past usage of Jabalieh Dome. The most common theory is that it was the resting place of a Zoroastrian priest. There has been some speculation as to whether it could have been a Zoroastrian Fire Temple, although its general appearance and architecture varies with the common style of such temples. Another theory is that in years past there was a tombstone attached to one of the sides of the dome that was a gathering place for Zoroastrians for lighting candles and performing prayers and that the stone was washed away in a flood which struck Kerman in 1954.
Jabalieh Dome gets its name from the term 'Jabali' which had originally been 'Gabri'. The change in the pronunciation of the dome's name hints that its was constructed before the Arab invasion of Iran.
Jabalieh Dome was registered on the National Heritage List in 1937. Today, following the transfer of a number of other historical inscribed pieces of the area to Jabalieh Dome, it has been turned into a museum.