Pir-e Morad Shrine, the Cultural-Religious Perspective of Baneh City

Document Type : Research Article



There is a wide variety of landscapes that represent different regions of the world. One type which consists of natural and man-made landscapes recounts a long and friendly relationship between humans and the natural surrounding environment. Perhaps, it could be said that in the whole process of civilization formation, human development and activities were the dominant side and the generated landscape was more cultural than natural. To understand the relationship between culture and nature, it is necessary to identify landscape patterns. Natural landscape is a place on which no human interference can be seen. Where human being starts to interfere and manipulate for securing its nature, cultural landscape emerges. In general, culture scale causes a tendency for getting into places, with the difference that it aims at preserving the natural elements. Cultural perspective is a natural landscape shaped by human. It can vary from extensive historical and urban areas to a small farm. This type of landscape expresses visual visage, man-made space and the governing relationship, artwork, texts, stories, verbal culture, and the effects of indigenous identity in a regional platform with which it is related. The cultural landscape is a geographical landscape in which culture and nature combine in touch with historical events, human activities, and performance of ritual rites based on the old beliefs of the locals of a region which has aesthetical values. In certain art societies and from the viewpoint of theoreticians, the concept of cultural landscape is a contained surface same as a plan or text in which the social and cultural concepts are taken into consideration in a society which holds interaction between human activities and natural habitat. In a larger sense, the entire surface is occupied by interaction techniques, beliefs, rituals, concepts and traditions of the people in a cultural perspective. Pir-e Morad shrine yard accompanied by the surrounding nature of Baneh city is a historical example of cultural landscape. The geographical characteristics of this landscape and its close connection with nature on the one hand, and being in the margin of the city on the other, have made it a milestone in the locals’ life from religious and recreational point of view. As the beating heart of the religious-recreational complex, Pir-eMorad Shrine is the converging point of nature and modern urban landscape. In comparison to other shrines in Baneh City, Pir-e Morad has a special potential in terms of its yard limits, which is the product of its history. This has generated symbols which are both concrete (Pir-eMorad springs, old sycamore tree, etc.) and abstract (culture, history, etc.) The particular identity of this old cultural-religious center of Baneh City was not the basis of its spatial organization. Preservation of the identity, history, culture and religious characteristics of Pir-e Morad is a must for survival of its perspectives and landscape. The main objective of the present paper is to study the principles and concepts of cultural and natural landscape reflected in Iran’s natural perspective with different ritual thoughts in pre-Islamic and Islamic periods. This paper studies Pir-e Morad shrine and its cultural-ritual practices and emphasizes this fact that the legacy of this cultural landscape has its origins in the ritual thoughts of this land. The connection with nature fulfills the physical and spiritual needs of visitors, and insures their stability and survival with the passage of time and their rising to prominence as a unified entity. A better understanding of these structures can help us in organizing cultural perspectives and harmonizing them with the global systems in order to make the most out of these natural-cultural sites.