Khatun Mausoleum

The brick is rosy buff, like the hills

Byron, on the 17th of February 1934, keeps going around Shiraz and recording “more curious than beautiful” monuments.

After the Friday Mosque and the Madrasa-i Khan, he visits the Khatun Mausoleum. As already happened with the Madrasa-i Khan, also the Khatun Mausoleum apparently is hardly taken into account by other travelers or art historians. In this case, too, Archnet, that usually features detailed descriptions of each monument, does not provide any for the mausoleum and the only photos that appear in the gallery, are Byron’s.

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The Khatun Mausoleum, in 1934, with its dome collapsed. Photo by Robert Byron (archnet).

When one tries googling the name, the majority of articles that one finds are about the Bibi Khatun Mausoleum in Taraz, Kazakhstan. Nevertheless, the Khatun Mausoleum is not of secondary importance, at least if we base on the fact that the monument is registered as a National Heritage Site, in Iran.

But let’s focus on the Khatun Mausoleum of Shiraz.

Seen the general lack of information, the best description is the one Byron himself provides in his The Road to Oxiana:

“Outside the town stands a tall square building, once domed, which is known as the Khatun and is said to be the mausoleum of the daughter of a Muzaffarid king, though it looks later. The front has collapsed, but the sides and back, of plain brick, are relieved by double rows of arched panels, each with mosaic spandrels. The brick is rosy buff, like the hills.
Beyond this lie the gardens of Hafiz and Saadi, each containing the poet’s tomb, and many others equally delicious for their cypresses, pines, and orange trees aflutter with white pigeons and orchestras of sparrows. On the bare earth outside, lambskins were drying or being packed in bundles; so early is the lambing season in the South.”

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The Khatun Mausoleum, renovated. Photo by itto.org.

Comparing the most recent photos, it appears that after Byron’s visit, the mausoleum had been restored, and now the dome that Byron saw collapsed is back on, reconstructed.

Once again, Robert Byron needs to be thanked for having brought to our attention a monument that otherwise is overlooked. Thank you again, Byron.

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