A Recreation of the Alishah Tabrizi Mosque Complex Based on the Archaeological Excavations and the Drawings in Historical Travel Accounts

Article Type:
Research/Original Article (دارای رتبه معتبر)
Problem statement: Reconstruction or recreation of the original form and structure of the demolished parts of the Tāj al-Din ‘Alishāh Mosque complex has long been a fundamental question in Iranian archeology and the history of architecture. Archaeologically, what is today visible as the Arch of ‘Alishāh’s iwan is a solid brick structure built in two constructional phases, with the northern part predating the southern one Furthermore, a series of historical reports exists on the entombment of Tāj al-Din ‘Alishāh the Vizier, known as the Tāvus Khāna building, as being located behind the ‘Alishāh Mosque. Drawing on the excavated debris of the vault of the ‘Alishāh’s iwan and the available historical reports and drawings, the hypothesis of this research suggests that the presently standing remains of the Arch of ‘Alishāh (the southern annex to the earlier structure) served as the mausoleum of Tāj al-Din ‘Alishāh’s the Vizier and that the ‘Alishāh Mosque should be recreated in a four-iwans plan with four minarets.
It consists of the recreation of the Arch of ‘Alishāh in light of archaeological data as well as the drawings printed in Matrākçi Nasuh (Matrakchi) and Monsieur Jean Chardin’s travel accounts, which show the ‘Alishāh Complex before the 1780 earthquake.
The agreement between the archaeological data and the cited drawings in travel accounts indicates that the structure today known as the Arch of ‘Alishāh is, in fact, the Tāvus Khāna building that was founded behind the four-iwans Friday Mosque of ‘Alishāh. The charity religious complex of ‘Alishāh consisted at least of six major architectural components: a mosque, a madrasa (school), a monastery, a large marble pool, the mausoleum of ‘Alishāh, and an outer wall surrounding the entire complex with a gateway. The south iwan opened into the mosque’s shabistān (prayer hall), the west iwan into the madrasa (school), and the east iwan into the monastery of ‘Alishāh.
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