The Mausoleum of Shah-e-Cheragh

Pictures     Back

The most important pilgrimage centre of the city of Shiraz is the Mausoleum of Mir Sayyed Ahmad, the son of the seventh Emam (on him be peace!), known as Shah-e-Cheragh, which is situated near the Masjed-e-No. Mir Sayyed Ahmad (on him be peace!) came to Ahiraz at the beginning of the third Islamic century, and died there. In the time of Atabak Abu Bakr Sa'd ben Zangi, the chief minister of that monarch, Amir Moqarrabo'd - din Badro'd-din, built the tomb chamber with its dome over the tomb, and Atabak also added a colonnaded porch, and then Queen Tash Khatun, the mother of Shah Abu Eshaq Inju, duringn the years 745-750 A.H. (1344-1349 A.D), carried out essential repairs there, and constructed an edifice, a hall of audience, a fine college, and a tomb for herself on the south side. She also  presented a splendid and unique Qor'an, in thirty volumes, in golden Sols charcters, and with gold decoration, in the style of the well-known calligraphist and mystic of that period, Yahya Jamali, which are dated 754 and 746 A.H. (1344 and 1345 A.D). Nothing now remains of the buildings set up Tash Khatun, but the Qor'ans have remained secure, and are preserved in the Pars Museum. During the reign of Shah Esma'il I, in the year 912 A.H. (1506 A.D), the guardian of the Mausoleum, whose name was Mirza Habibollah Sharifi, initiated important repairs, and in 997 A.H. (1588 A.D), as a result of an earthquake, half the building collapsed, and further repairs were carried out. In the nineteenth century also, several times damage occurred, and was made good. And in 1243 A.H. (1827 A.D), Fath'Ali Shah Qajar presented an ornamental railing for the tomb. In 1269 A.H. (1852 A.D), in consequence of another severe arthquake again the building suffered injury, and the late Mohammad Naser Zahiro'd-doleh undertook the necessary repairs. The following couplet is quoted about the dome of the Shah-e-Cheragh, befor it was damaged, and then renovated:

From New Mosque's door to Royal Lamp's pure shrine they gleam).

Finally, the late Nasirol'molk repaied the dome, but on account of the numerous cracks, in 1958 the whole dome was removed, and in its place an iron structure, which was lighter, and likely to last longer, in the shape of the original dome, was made at the cost of the people of Shiraz. The present building consists of the original portico, with its ten columns, on the eastern side, a spacious sanctuary with lofty alcoves on four sides, a mosque on the western side of the sanctuary, and various rooms. There are also numerous tombs contiguous to the Mausoleum.

The decorative work in a mosaic of mirror glass, the inscriptions in stucco, the ornamentation, the doors covered with panels of silver, the portico, and the wide courtyard are most attractive. The tomb, with its latticed railing, is in an alcove between the space beneath the dome and the mosque. and this custom of placing the tomb in this position, so that it is not directly under the dome, is to be seen in other famous places of pilgrimage in the city of Shiraz, and may be considered a special feature of Shiraz shrines. Two short minarets, situated at each end of the columned portico, add impressiveness to the Mausoleum, and to the spacious courtyard, which surrounds it on three sides.

The Shah-e-Cheragh Mausoleum was registered on the 20th of the month, Bahman, 1318, under No. 363 in the list of the national monuments of Iran.


The Mausoleum of Shah-e-Cheragh's Old and New Pictures