Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Ardabil temple complex – World Cultural Heritage in Iran

Built between the early 16th and late 18th centuries, this Sufi traditional spiritual retreat utilizes traditional Iranian architectural forms to maximize the use of available space to serve serves a variety of functions (including libraries, mosques, schools, mausoleums, cisterns, hospitals, kitchens, bakeries and some offices). It incorporates a route to the Sheikh shrine divided into seven segments, reflecting the seven stages of Sufi mysticism, separated by eight gates, representing the eight attitudes of Sufiism. The complex includes well-preserved and richly decorated facades and interiors, with a remarkable collection of antique artefacts. It forms a rare ensemble of medieval Islamic architectural elements.

Accreditation year: 2010
Criteria: (i)(ii)(iv)
Area: 2.1353 hectares
Buffer zone: 13,0616 ha

Outstanding global value

Sheikh Safi al-Din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble were built as a miniature city with markets, public baths, squares, religious buildings, houses and offices. It is the largest and most complete kānegāh and the most prominent Sufi temple as it is also the site of the tomb of the founder of the Safavid Dynasty. For these reasons, it developed into a gallery of sacred art and architecture from the 14th to 18th centuries and a pilgrimage center for the Sufi religion.

Sheikh Safi al-Din Khānegāh and the Ardabil Temple Complex are of Outstanding Universal Value as a masterpiece of art and architecture, and an outstanding representative of the fundamental principles of Taoism. Sufi. The Ilkhanid and Timurid architectural languages, influenced by Sufi philosophy, created new spatial forms and decorative patterns. The layout of the ensemble has become a prototype for creative architectural expressions and a reference for other khānegāh. As the shrine of a famous Sufi master who was also the founder of the Safavid Dynasty, this property remains sacred in Iran to this day.

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Criterion (i): The idea of ​​the whole overall layout, the proportions of the interior and exterior spaces as well as those of the buildings, their delicate design and decoration, together with the culmination to be created by the serial path to the shrine of Sheikh Safi al-Din, all taken together, concurred to create a unique complex in which aesthetics and spirituality are a harmonious dialogue.

Criterion (ii): The spaces and architectural features of the nominated site have an integrated influence of the Ilkhānid and Timurid periods with the religious message of Sufism and the taste for refined decoration and sophistication. spacious interior, thus giving rise to new architectural and artistic forms.

Criterion (iv): The Sheikh Safi al-Din Complex is the archetype and outstanding example of a 16th-century religious ensemble that, combined with social, charitable, cultural and educational functions, contains contains all the important elements that characterize Safavid architecture and become the prototype for other kānegāh and temples.

Integrity and authenticity

The property contains all the elements that convey its Outstanding Universal Value. Most of the elements of the property are in good condition and despite some alterations, the location continues to present a harmoniously composed image in which the material execution of the central path flexibility through architectural design remains clearly legible. The Member State has taken steps to restore the original access to the complex, which will strengthen the connection between the architecture and Sufi spiritual messages.

The design form of the entire complex and of the individual buildings has been preserved and their religious functions have remained in most cases. Where they have changed, new uses are consistent with the overall architectural structure, and the physical and technical authenticity as well as the spiritual character of the site are retained. However, it is important to reduce the tendency to go too far in conservation.

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Protection and management requirements

Designated property has been protected under Iranian law since 1932. Under current law, special protection provisions are applied to the property, the buffer zone and to a wider area known as the ‘ landscape area’. These provisions, already in place, are also being included in the revised Master Plan for Ardabil, final approval expected in September 2010.

Any project involving protected monuments in Iran must comply with the provisions of the law and must be approved by ICHHTO, the agency responsible for the protection of Iranian monuments. The management framework established for the nominated property integrates the provisions for Sheikh Safi al-Din Khānegāh and the Temple Complex and the provisions of the Ardabil Master Plan.

Management of protected monuments is the responsibility of the ICHHTO High Technical Council, which approves the budget and all major conservation work. Small jobs and daily maintenance are ensured by a steering committee that can employ a multidisciplinary team (ICHHTO Sheikh Safi al-Din Ensemble Base), headed by an urban planner and composed of engineers and architects on your staff. , conservation architects, and archaeologists.

Map of Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and the Ardabil . temple complex

Video about Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and the Ardabil . temple complex

See also: UNESCO World Cultural/Natural Heritage Sites

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