News ID: 318031
Published: 1215 GMT November 19, 2021
Minister: 26 globally registered Iranian sites belong to all people of world

Zanjan, perfect example of Iran’s capacity in cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts

Zanjan, perfect example of Iran’s capacity in cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts
Soltanieh Dome

Iranica Desk


Twenty-six Iranian sites were inscribed on UNESCO’s World Heritage List, which means that they belong to all the people of the world, said the minister of cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts.

Speaking during his visit to the northwestern province of Zanjan, Ezzatollah Zarghami said that Soltanieh Dome, located within the old city of Soltanieh, is a famous Iranian ancient site which has been registered globally.

He added that human civilization considers itself the owner of this historical monument.

He said that Soltanieh Dome has stood for 900 years, adding the honest and religious people of the province have preserved this historical monument during this period.

He said that Seyyed Ali Ghaffari, from Zanjan, has been involved in the restoration of this the historic monument for over 50 years.

“We should allocate more funds to the renovation projects which are being implemented at ancient sites of Zanjan Province, especially the one which is underway at Soltanieh Dome, because the monument is not in the proper condition.

 “I issued an order regarding the preparation of a new plan for renovation of the historical site,” he said.

Soltanieh is one of the outstanding examples of Persian architecture and a key monument in the development of Islamic architecture. It is the Mausoleum of Oljaytu, the eighth Ilkhanid Dynasty ruler, which was constructed during 1302–12 CE.

The octagonal building is covered in turquoise-blue faience. It is the earliest example of the double-shelled dome which still exists in Iran. The mausoleum’s interior decoration is also outstanding.

“Zanjan Province, as a perfect example of the country’s capacities regarding cultural heritage, tourism and handicrafts, is a source of honor for us.

“The province can be introduced as a superior model in the three fields,” he said.

Zarghami noted that 880 historical properties, 56 intangible cultural heritage items and 18 natural sites of the province were registered on Iran’s National Heritage List, showing the high capacity of the province in these respects.

The minister said that efforts should be made to increase the number of hotels, guest houses and ecotourism centers of Zanjan Province.

He noted that a number of historical buildings located in the province, dating back 200 years, are being renovated to be converted into accommodations for travelers.

Referring to the various handicrafts which are being produced in Zanjan Province, he said that the local craftspeople create wonderful copper handicrafts, kilims, knives and charoqs (traditional footwear).

“A meeting was held with the pioneers of filigree art in the historical Rakhtshooy Khaneh Museum to prepare conditions for providing them with financial facilities and selling their artworks in Tehran,” he concluded.

Filigree is a form of intricate metalwork used in jewelry and other small art objects.

Twisted threads of silver are used through Islamic and regular patterns to create detailed works of art, such as candlesticks, flower pots, tea sets, picture frames, and different pieces of jewelry.

Filigree, repoussage, and knife-making of Zanjan received National Heritage Status by the Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Ministry in 2018, while the city of Zanjan was named as the ‘World City of Filigree’ by the World Crafts Council (WCC) a year later.

Rakhtshooy Khaneh, built in late Qajar (1789-1925 CE) and early Pahlavi (1925-1979 CE) eras, was a place for washing clothes or, in simple words, a laundry room. However, the building is no longer a laundry room; it has been turned into an anthropology museum.

You can see wax sculptures of women wearing traditional clothes, jewelry, and washing tools in this museum. Besides the main hall, where all the statues are, there is another part of this monument, where one can see valuable objects that have been endowed to this museum.


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