Dome in Persian Architecture

Dome in Persian Architecture
by msabaye

There are things one does with a great deal of planning. And then there are those that one just does. Seemingly for no apparent reason.

Visiting Firouzabad and Ardeshir Palace was one of those things that I did without knowing exactly why. I mean beyond the usual curiosity about history, homeland, etc. Taking so many detailed photos of the place was definitely completely unplanned. I don't know why, but I took a photo of just about any aspect of the palace. I was drawn to it. The same held for Sasan Palace in Sarvestan, but all those photos were destroyed in my computer crash.

Anyway, a few years later, I sat down, examined the photos, and tried to learn about the old palace. Something amazing came out of it. I had always been curious about domes and their place in our architecture. I never quite knew where/how they showed up in our buildings, but somehow associated them with mosques and Islamic architecture.

It turned out that domes were very much Iranian. The starting place of domes in Iranian architecture was the same Ardeshir Palace that I had taken so many photos of! Imagine! I never knew about this. Anyway, I thought about what to do with it, and finally decided to make a report on it. You can find it at:


Sorry about monolingualism of the report! I did offer them to do it in English too.


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My favorite dome...

by Ostaad on

sorry, I don't know the exact location of that beautiful and very ususal building. I wish I knew. I'll keep looking and let you know.

Have a great weekend.

ebi amirhosseini


by ebi amirhosseini on


I have seen enough domes to know...

by hamfekr on

They say curiosity killed the cat; but I am not only curious but also am an admirer of your being so detached from our mundane, politically charged, and unromantic engagements.

The signs of an innocent romantic affair in a relatively distant past are allover your blogs.

Though I don't expect you to reply to this comment, you should know that we are not such bad listeners.




My favorite ...

by msabaye on

This is very beautiful. Where is it in Bushehr? I have been in Bushehr, but I never knew about this building. It is quite different from other domes.

Manoucher Avaznia

It seems that dome building

by Manoucher Avaznia on

It seems that dome building to be an Iranian invention whose origins go, perhaps, to Ashkaanee era.  During the Saasaanees it kept developing to a great extent as Iran developed a pure Iranian-invented and developed national civilization that affected Eastern Roman Empire as well. It was during the Islamic period and through religious and kings' (who were looking at the Saasaanee era as their role model) patranage that the art of building dome reached an outstanding perfection. 

Perhaps, dome was cherished as a kind of replica of oneness of the Universe (the sky) among Iranians that goes in harmony with their perception of the Universe.  Addition of two monarets to two front sides of the dome in Mosques look like two hands raised to the sky as people do during their payer.  Somehow the dome in the center looks like the head of the prayer-giver and the Goldasteh's assimilate his/her raised hands toward almighty. 

Even in Persian poetry the universe (sky) has been referred to as a kind of dome (Gonbad) that encompasses everything below towards a center (probably the Earth). The same element somehow exists in some designs on carpets: where there is one center (surrounded by different pictures) and from that center every other element has expanded out: or everything is headed towards that center in the whole design.


This is my understanding of the subject from some studies that I had over twenty years ago and (almost) never refreshed.



Thank you

by Rahgozar on

Thank you for bringing this very interesting piece of history to us.

I am in love with Sassanian era Persian history.




My favorite dome in Iran...

by Ostaad on

No, it's not located in Esfahaan. It's in Bushehr. Picture #8:


So elegant, so... BEAUTIFUL!



by Cost-of-Progress on

from an engineering standpoint the dome allows the "roof"  to be self supporting and at the same time attractive.

The Arabs stole a lot from Persia including our dignity and, identity. Now they are back to finish the job!

ز شیر شتر خوردن و سوسمار

عرب را به جایی رسیدست کار

که تاج کیانی کند آرزو

تفو بر تو‌ای روزگار





by Iraniandudeee on

The domes that the russians use is from a Persian design... the domes they use in the west is said to be from byzantine design.... But i don't know, since these westerners have been trying to claim Iranian/Persian achievments and ideas as their own since the beginning, noone knows.