An Analytical Approach to the Function and Dating of the Great Southern Tower at Rab’e Rashidi in Tabriz

Document Type : Research Article


1 The commissioned head of international expedition to Rab’e Rashidi in Tabriz, Tabriz Islamic Art University, Iran

2 The deputy of international expedition to Rab’e Rashidi in Tabriz, Iran.


Problem statement: The visible remnants of Rab’e Rashidi in Tabriz, as a fortified site at the present time, are curtain walls and towers. Imagined as an Ilkhanid observatory and recorded as the artillery tower built by Shah Abbās the Great during his 1603 AD campaign, the great southern tower of Rab’e Rashidi is located at the southern curtain wall. The recent field studies on the structure of this tower have questioned its function for artillery tower. Therefore, the basic questions proposed by the authors are related to the relative dating, function and historical presence of this tower in Rashidiyya.
Research objectives: The aim of this research study is the systematic understanding of the age and function of this monument as a guide to proper planning of its restoration and conservation.
Research method: The analytical approach to architecture, field studies of structure and physical setting of tower, in addition to the history of ordnance in Safavid and Ottoman armies are the basic research methods were applied in this study.
Conclusion: The tower has been built by the plan and order of Cigala Joseph Sinan Pasha (Zigala Bassa Capitano del Mare) the Ottoman ruler of Tabriz (1585-1603). Strongly has not been affected by 7. 7 earthquake of Tabriz 1780, the basic function of such a great tower is not simply confined to artillery tower, but instead is supposed to be a stronghold to deploy a musketeer company of Ottoman Janissaries to cover 180o fire wall for southern lowland areas of the southern curtain wall, including the western upper gate, two water wells at the east of tower, and also the northern bank of Mehrānrūd River and hills of Valyānkūh. Moreover, adobe, mud-brick, clay and wattle & daubed structures visible throughout top of the great tower and across the small towers and curtain walls are the same remnants of quickly reconstructed and repaired Fort of Rashidiyya ordered by the Safavid Shah Abbās the Great, in 1610.


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