Archive for Iran

Campaign For Saving Urmia Lake



Urmia Lake, planet’s third largest salt lake is shrinking. Lake’s surrounding is one the most beautiful and environmentally sensitive areas. Unfortunately neither the local authorities nor the international institutions have paid sufficient attention and care for saving the lake. Support to save the lake.

http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/urmugulu/

Flamingos at Lake Urmia

Flamingos at Lake Urmia

More than 211 species of birds such as flamingos, pelicans, spoonbills, and gulls, 41 species of reptiles, 7 species of amphibians, and 27 species of mammals such as yellow deer inhabit the lake.

The lake is marked by more than one hundred small rocky islands, which are stopover points in the migration of various birds. Flamingos are known to breed in large numbers at Lake Urmia as many as 25,000 breeding pairs.

Advertisements

Leave a Comment

Dream And Reality


 

If you only live in the dream and not in the reality
then you will get lost in your imagination.
If you only live in the reality and not in the dream
then you will be lost in the materialistic world.
Make therefore your reality to a dream and
…the dream to your reality
so that you can be
present in the real condition of love.

Leave a Comment

Chehel Sotoun


This great Safavid Palace was one of nearly 300 built in Isfahan when it was the capital of Iran. It was largely completed under Shah Abbas II (1642-1667), although work may have started on the palace as early as 1598, and is said to derive its name from the pillars which dominate the verandah. There are twenty of these laid out in three rows of six with two additional ones on either side of the main entrance. When these are reflected in the water of the pool the number is made up to forty, the Farsi for which is “chehel – 40”. However the number forty is also used to signify a large number as in the Minaret of Chehel Dokhtaran.

The magnificent talar or verandah, is the dominant feature of the palace and the slender columns, over 40m tall, which support it are cut from single chenar trees (platanus orientalis). The roof is also made from chenar tree beams and inset with complex decoration. The surface of much of the throne room is still covered with mirrored glass and this probably also was used on the pillars, as it was in the palace of Ali Qapu, so as to give the appearance of a roof floating in the air.

Looking out over the pool from the Verandah, one is able to appreciate the importance attached historically by Persians to the concept of “talar” which fulfilled their love of sitting in the garden while they were protected from the light and heat.

Behind the verandah there is a small raised throne room which leads into a spacious audience chamber. This is richly decorated with paintings celebrating the heyday of the Safavid dynasty, including a particularly celebrated one of Shah Tahmasb receiving the Mughul Emperor Homayun at a banquet. There are also some paintings of a more secular nature, depicting ladies lying in gardens and hunting scenes, although these have been badly defaced. On the outside of the building there are some particularly interesting pictures of european figures, presumably based on the ambassadors and their retinue who would have stayed in the palace from time to time.

Interesting aspects of the Chehel Sotoun (Sotoon) Palace are:{mosimage}

The stone lions at the four corners of the central pool, the hall and marble and vaulted cornices around it.
The gilded adornments, paintings and the portrait of the sovereign in the royal hall. Along with that of the chambers surrounding the hall of mirrors.
The portrait of Shah Abbas I with the special crown and the miniatures of the treasury room.
Several facades such as the ‘Qotbiyeh Mosque’, ‘Zaviyeh in Kushk’, and the imprints of the ‘Dar-e-Joubareh’ and ‘Aqasi Mosque’ are affixed in the western and southern walls of the garden. The hall and porches of this palace were constructed during the fifth year of the reign of Shah Abbas II. The reflection of the twenty pillars of the hall in the pool opposite the palace brings about a conception of forty pillars. Hence the name Chehel Sotune.

As with Ali Qapu, the palace contains many frescoes and paintings on ceramic. Many of the ceramic panels have been dispersed and are now in the possession of major museums in the west. They depict specific historical scenes such as a reception for an Uzbek King in 1646, when the palace had just been completed; a banquet in honor of the Emir of Bukhara in 1611; the battle of Chalderan against the Ottoman Sultan Selim II in 1514 in which the Persians fought without firearms; the welcome extended to the Mughal Emperor,Humayun who took refuge in Iran in 1544; the battle of Taher-Abad in 1510 where the Safavid Shah Ismail I vanquished and killed the Uzbek King. A more recent painting depicts Nadir Shah’s victory against the Indian Army at Karnal in 1739. There are also less historical, but even more aesthetic compositions in the traditional miniature style which celebrate the joy of life and love.

This building – now a veritable museum of Persian painting and ceramics-was a pleasure pavilion used for the king’s entertainments and receptions. It stands inside a vast royal park, but relatively near the enclosure, and was built by Shah Abbas II round an earlier building erected by Shah Abbas I. An inscription states that the decoration and frescoes were finished in 1647. Only two large historical frescoes date from the later period of the Zand dynasty.

Unfortunately, the Chehel Sotun has been badly damaged since then, especially when the Afghans occupied the town and covered the paintings with a thick coat of whitewash. It is now being extensively restored under the aegis of the Institute Italian Per il Medio Oriente.

Leave a Comment

Wonders Of Iran: The Black Church


 

Qareh Kelisa which literally means Black church is an ancient monument perched on a mountain ridge in the northern Iranian province of West Azarbaijan. Also known as the holy Tadi among the Armenians, was built between 4 & 6 century AD over Saint Tatavoos’s mausoleum, an apostle who achieved martyrdom in 48 AD for advocating Christianity.

As one of the oldest and most notable surviving Christian monuments of Iran, Qara Kelisa carries great significance for the country’s Armenian Orthodox community.

Armenians hold that Qara Kelisa is the world’s first church and was constructed in 68 CE by one of the apostles of Jesus, Saint Thaddeus, who traveled to Armenia, then part of the Persian Empire, to preach the teachings of Christ.

Located south of the city of Maku, the massive church can be seen against the natural background of rolling hills; its cuspidate tambours catches the eye of beauty-seekers.

An ancient chapel two kilometers northwest of Qara Kelisa is said to have been the place where the first Christian woman, Sandokh, was martyred. The chapel is believed to be as old as the Black Church.

 Throughout the course of history Qara Kelisa sustained damage and was repaired a number of times.

 A large part of the monument was destroyed during the Mongol invasion in the 13th century. The Persian scientist Khajeh Nasir ad-Din Tousi oversaw its reconstruction during the reign of the Mongol ruler, Hulagu Khan.

 Much of the existing structure dates back to the 19th century when the Qajar prince Abbas Mirza renovated the monument using carved sandstone.

 Apart from the Armenian architectural elements visible in the structure of Qara Kelisa, another remarkable feature of the historical church is its spatial layout, which resembles that of the Echmiazin Cathedral in Armenia.

 Armenians, Assyrians and Catholics visit Qara Kelisa every year to perform religious rituals.

Every year scores of Armenians, Assyrians and Catholics from Iran and other countries visit the church to commemorate the martyrdom of Saint Thaddeus and his faithful followers.

 The cruciform building is surmounted by two pyramidal shaped cupolas, the shorter of which has light and dark colored horizontal bands on the drum.

 The church is composed of two parts: a black structure, the original building of the church and a white structure, the main church, which was added to the original building’s western wing in 1810 CE.

 The original church is a domed sanctuary built largely of dark-colored stone, probably dating to the tenth or eleventh century, from which its name Qara Kelisa is derived.

 The main church, built in 1811-1820 is a massive structure, built of light sandstone and adorned with blind arches and decorative and geometric shapes.

 Its twelve-sided tambour has been built in alternating light- and dark-colored stones and has an equal number of windows.

 The church has two large courtyards, the first of which seems to have been used for agricultural purposes, while the second encircles the white structure, the portico, and a number of rooms.

 The first courtyard includes oil-extracting rooms, a miniature windmill, an oven, and a fountain. It is decorated with ornamental motifs and two intricately designed stone crucifixes.

 A small door opens to the second courtyard where the refectory and the kitchen along with rooms for resident monks and abbots are located.

 The portico, which has been left unfinished, dates back to the mid 19th century.

 The building’s exterior is adorned with five rows of alternating dark and light stones as well as numerous round and blind arches, decorated with rosettes, coats-of-arms, flowers and animal figures.

 Statues of angels adorn the front facade of the church and its northern and southern facades are decorated with dark-colored stone crucifixes.

 Sculptured bas-reliefs bearing passages from the Old and New Testaments, mythical animals and effigies of saints have added to the beauty of the monument.

 In the eastern part of the complex, there is a chapel and a sacristy hall. An Armenian inscription, carved on stone, gives an account of the construction of the buildings.
Another stone inscription can be seen on the front of the old portal, bearing the date when the monument was reconstructed by Abbas Mirza Qajar.

 Qara Kelisa has been registered as the ninth Iranian historical-cultural heritage site on the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage List.

Leave a Comment

Ālī Qāpū and in memory of a good friend


Iran - Isfahan

Ālī Qāpū is a grand palace in Isfahan, Iran. It is located on the western side of the Naghsh-i Jahan Square, and had been originally designed as a vast portal. It is forty-eight meters high and there are seven floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. In the sixth floor music room, deep circular niches are found in the walls, having not only aesthetic value, but also acoustic.

The name Ālī Qāpū, Turkic for “high gate”, was given to this place as it was right at the entrance to the Safavid palaces which stretched from the Maidan Naqsh-i-Jahan to the Chahār Bāgh Boulevard. The building, another wonderful Safavid edifice, was built by decree of Shah Abbas the Great in the early seventeenth century. It was here that the great monarch used to entertain noble visitors, and foreign ambassadors. Shah Abbas, here for the first time celebrated the Now – ruz (New Year’s Day) of 1006 AH / 1597 A.D. A large and massive rectangular structure, the Ālī Qāpū is 36 meters high and has six floors, fronted with a wide terrace whose ceiling is inlaid and supported by wooden columns.

Professor Eugenio Galdieri passed away suddenly yesterday, great architecture and a dear friend and amazing teacher. He was born in Naples, and graduated in Architecture at the University of Rome. He devoted himself almost entirely to the problems of conservation of monuments – in particular in Eastern European countries – and studies in Islamic architecture. From 1970 until 1979, he supervised, as scientific responsible, the entire program of study and conservation and restoration, conducted by the institute in Iran, Oman and Afghanistan.

Iran - Esfahan

In 1982 he received the “Aga Khan Award” for the restoration of Islamic monuments and a year later in 1983 he was appointed academic honor of the Florentine Academy of Arts and Design. In 1987 he became a member of the Societas Europaea Iranologica, Uppsala. Most of his research and work was preservation of monuments and history of architecture of Islamic countries.

Eugene Galdieri

May He Rest in Peace …

Leave a Comment

Dove


  Autumn is my favorite season, It’s beautiful when leaves on trees and shrubs changing colour from green into shades of yellow, orange and red, nature look as if she is celebrating,  and it’s amazing to watch the birds change colour and sometimes they fall from the trees.

An Injured Dove in My Hands

We found an injured bird on the ground; we gently picked up the bird and hold it firmly, then cleaned her feathers and gave her food. She was calmly looking at us; it was like she is saying: “ Be wise; soar not too high to fall; but stoop to rise because wisdom is often nearer when we stoop than when we soar. You should hold fast to your dreams, for without them life is a broken winged bird that cannot fly.” And indeed we should learn a lesson from the birds. They feed those who cannot fly far; they help and serve each other with no thought of reward.

 

Dove In My Hand ready to freely fly with silent and peacefully soaring in the clouds

When she was well enough, we let her go to freely fly with silent and peacefully soaring in the clouds …

Leave a Comment

The magic of nature in Ordibehesht!


Photos by: Flo14wer (Dove of Peace)

Nature is my teacher.  She unfolds her treasures to my search, unseals my eye, illumes my mind, and purifies my heart, an influence breathes from all the sights and sounds of her existence. I can enjoy society in a room, but out of doors, nature is company enough for me.

Nature is my medicine. The most inspired I ever feel is after experiencing the power of nature. I am most moved come spring when the colors jump off the landscape and captivate the soul. Spring in Iran is so magical. Flowers really do intoxicate me.

In the Zoroastrian calendar, the third day of the month and the second month of the year are dedicated to and named after aša and Asha Vahishta (called Ordibehesht in Modern Persian both in Iranian Calendar and Yazdgerdi calendar).

Ordibehesht means truth and purity.

The names of the 12 Persian months are taken from the ancient Zoroastrian texts and the origins are deeply rooted in their belief system.  This was the religion of Iran before the advent of Islam in seventh century AD. Zoroastrians believed in two primal forces, good and evil. Everything that supported and enriched life was good and all that threatened life and disturbed order was bad. The Lord of Wisdom (Ahura Mazda) created goodness and the Hostile Spirit (Angra Mainyu) created all that was bad (Ahriman in modern Persian).


The doctrine of holy immortals is central to understanding Zoroastrianism. The six manifest the qualities and attributes of Ahura Mazda and can bestow these qualities upon righteous humans. Vohu Manah (Bahman) represents “Good Purpose”, Asha Vahishta (Ordibehesht) means “Best Righteousness” and Spenta Armaiti (Espand) personifies “Holy Devotion”. Khshathra Vairya (Shahrevar) is “Desirable Dominion” and represents the power each person needs to exert righteousness in life. The final pair are Haurvatat and Ameretat, heath and long life (Khordad and Amordad). The six are the names of six of the months in modern Persian calendar. Not only they represent different aspects of the Wise God but each one is also responsible for protecting one of the creations.

Shahrevar is lord of the sky, and Espand protects mother earth. Khordad protects water and health and plants belong to Amordad. Bahman guarded all animals and was a powerful symbol of creative goodness while Ordibehesht became guardian of fire. Finally man with his intelligence and power of choice, belongs to Ahura Mazda.

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »