(Persia Digest) – The Shah Nematollah Vali Mausoleum in Mahan, Kerman Province, was constructed in the 15th century. Its unique dome is decorated with individual pieces of tiles containing architectural features that had puzzled historians and cultural researchers, until a professor at Utrecht University in the Netherlands unveiled the mystery.
Mahan is a city in Kerman Province with a temperate climate. It is a 35 km drive from the provincial capital, Kerman, to its southeast, on the foothills of Jupar and Palvar mountains.
With its many historic attractions and temperate climate differentiating it from its surroundings, Mahan is a key tourist attraction in Kerman Province. A popular site with Iranians here is the Shah Nematollah Vali Mausoleum.
This architectural masterpiece, its stunning courtyards, and numerous ivans have added to the beauty of this oasis. The building has a dome, two minarets, three courtyards, large halls, and a multitude of rooms. Some of its doors and windows have ivory inlays.
The design also hides puzzles tempting many to solve them. One of these is the construction style of the dome.
Prof. dr Vincent Carles, Senior Mathematics Professor at Utrecht University, has spent time researching the turquoise dome of the building. Even numbers are used in most dome geometric designs. But, Professor Vincent Carles discovered eleven equal parts in this dome (11-point star), raising his astonishment; because, in geometry, the circumference of a circle is divided into equal even parts.
Explaining the amazing construction of the dome, the Professor stated: “When we divide 360 by 11, we get a number that was used in designing and building this amazing dome. The fact that Iranian tile workers were familiar with the calculations and construction technique of the dome is astounding.”
This Dutch researcher continues: “The number 11 is based on Abjad numerals, meaning “Hova” or “Allah”. Master builders were probably endeavoring to show the pure faith and sincerity of the great Sufi Shah Nematollah Vali buried under the dome.”
Shah Nematollah Vali is a Sufi and mystic poet of the turn of the 8th century. He passed away in 1427 CE (805 HS) in Kerman and was buried in this garden in Mahan. The mausoleum was registered as a national heritage in 1932 CE (1310 HS).
Photos: Abuzar Ahmadizadeh/IRNA News Agency