Gonbad-e Sork

The Gonbad-e Sork, a square building with accentuated columns at the corners, is het oldest of the 5 still remaining tomb towers in Maragha. The building date 1148 is written on the tympan, together with the name of the architect. The shrine is the earliest Iranian monument in which glazed bricks appear in the decoration. Sidewalls and columns at the corners are decorated with different patterns, but most remarkable is the tympan with a complicated line pattern.
Superposed are three patterns around one common point.
  • Intertwined nonagons are made out of glazed turquoise strips.
  • A second pattern is made out of intertwined hexagons, each with a 6-pointed star in the middle.
  • The upper pattern is made out of dodecagons. They bear as well a 6-pointed star in the middle, but the orientation differs from the one in the pattern of nonagons.
The dodecagons are intertwined, but not with the other layers. They form a triangle with corners the centers of the dodecagons in the comers of the tympan.