Saqakhaneh of Ardabil – Suleiman Shah Mosque through Time and History

Document Type : Research Article


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Advanced Studies of Art, University of Tehran, Iran.

2 Master of Arts Student, Department of Advanced Studies of Art, University of Tehran, Iran.


Problem statement: Due to socio-political changes, modernist actions, and uncalculated reconstructions, Iranian rituals, and religious places have been affected by distortion in the expression of identity, as well as deviations in the influential thoughts on construction. This effect is so much so that in some studies, even with the advent of a new redefinition, the essence of the subject has become contaminated with concepts and over time those concepts have changed and replaced the original beliefs. The city of Ardabil holds hidden and obvious signs of these changed identities in terms of historical, political, and ancient ritual experiences. Due to its establishment in the same era of Shah Ismail Safavid, which was a turning point in Iran, and its adjacency to the tomb of Sheikh Safi al-Din, the Saqakhaneh shrine can be examined for its construction process, and the environmental features surrounding the building.
Research objective: The present study aims to investigate the effect of rituals and historical archetypes on the choice of location for places of worship.
Research method: The research is qualitative with a descriptive-analytical framework, and data collection was done by bibliographic, as well as field studies. Field studies included face-to-face interviews with the locals, who knew the history of the place in question. This study hypothesized that the choice of the construction site of temples was under the influence of ancient beliefs, i.e. pre-Zoroastrian beliefs and rituals that emphasized and relied on the presence of natural elements such as water and trees near temples.
Conclusion: Finally, the obtained results showed that the hypothetical patterns for the construction of religious buildings in the Mehr and Anahita religions comply with the environmental and physical criteria of the Saqakhaneh shrine.


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