عنوان مقاله [English]
Being capital during one part of the Safavid dynasty and in the other part as the second most important political, economical, social, cultural and architectural city in Iran, Tabriz was considered a very important city. Unfortunately, the natural and artificial disasters such as incessant earthquakes and war with the powerful neighboring countries had completely destroyed its structure, to the extent that, today, its structure and appearance in the Safavid period is in an aura of ambiguity. The only remaining documentation of that era is travelers’ travelogue, and some drawings by some tourists that had been drawn for different purposes. Thus, the present paper seeks to examine the dispersion and relation of architecture and urban elements in Tabriz in the Safavid period; that is to say, in a period coincided with the majesty and authority of neighboring Ottoman. Thereby, the paper attempts to help restoring part of the country’s architecture and urban history. Research results suggest that the dimensions of Tabriz in the Safavid period as a commercial- state city were smaller than its dimensions in Ilkhanid period and larger than the Qajar’s . Among the main features of Tabriz architecture and urbanism in the Safavid era, are development of religious places, including mosques, tombs, mystics and poets’ cemeteries, and some Tekieh, government and military fields in addition to public and service fields, expanding the structure of the city’s Bazar along the Silk Road, variety and development of state space in the downtown core of the city and the variety and multiplicity of the urban neighborhoods.
Following is a brief list of some of the written sources including books and travelogues of Safavid period: Hmdolah Mostofi (8 & 9 AH century/ 1389-1489 AD), Veniziyan (938AH/ 1514AD), Contarini (876AH/ 1474AD),Alessandry (1947AH/1571AD), Wriyht (1015AH/1606AD) Tavernier (1046AH/ 1637AD), Oliya Chalabi (1050 AH/ 1639Ad), Chardin (1076AH/ 1665AD), Gemelli Careri (1105AH/ 1693 AD), Villote (1108AH/ 1696AD), and John Belle (112AH/ 1715AD).
In relation to visual documentation of Tabriz in Safavid period, there are two cases. The first is the miniature known as Matrakci miniature which has been drawn by someone called Nasuh for the King Suleiman’s library in 944 AH / 1538-1537 AD. And the second is a painting that Chardin has offered in his travelogue of Tabriz. Although these two cases, especially the miniature, do not have the required historical accuracy, they are the only reliable graphic sources that had been taken of Tabriz in those years.
Having said this, in order to answer the main research question and achieve its objective, this paper employs a descriptive method to data collection procedure applying a historical – documentation approach using texts and sources. An analytical – comparative method will be employed to analyze the findings. Thus, firstly, detailed studies will be carried out in conjunction with the Matrakci miniature, and then the results of the travelers’ description from Tabriz in the Safavid period will lead to reviewing many architecture and urban elements. The results will turn to a diagram of Matrakci miniature with graphic symptoms of architecture and urban elements. Then, the recalled elements in this diagram will turn to two-dimensional maps of Tabriz in Safavid period by taking advantage of some historical buildings on one hand and using the dimensions of Tabriz in Qajar and Ilkhani period on the other hand. This map will contain the name and location of the gates, the structure of neighborhoods and main passages of the city, names of rivers and canals, the name and location of bridges, the number and the dispersion of religious elements, commercial spaces and squares. In this regard, it is necessary to first have a quick look at the political, social, economic, cultural, and religious position of Tabriz in the Safavid period.