The Gunbad-i Qabus: the superlative beauty of a tomb tower

the Gumbad-i-Kabus ranks with the great buildings of the world Finally! On the 24th of April 1934, Robert Byron finally visits the Gunbad-i Qabus, in Gurgan. Why do I say finally? Right before having the chance to visit the tomb tower of Gurgan, on the 23rd of April 1934, Byron explains that “[i]t was Diez’s…

What remains of the Madrasa of Gawhar Shad

The origin of this baffles me. On the 23rd of November 1933, while visiting the Musalla Complex and its monuments, we can imagine Robert Byron lingering a while in front of a solitary minaret. In his own travelogue, he records that he was quite perplexed. He then wrote: “Next, on the east of the mausoleum, stands…

Minaret of Jam: what it is and why it is important

On Aug 28th, 2014 BBC published an article about the minaret of Jam, Afghanistan, which is “in danger to collapse”. The news spread throughout Twitter, drawing more attention on the fact. The minaret’s importance was first recognized by UNESCO in 1982, that nominated it World Heritage Site. Then, in 2002, it was listed under the…