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Soltaniyé Joined the UNESCO List of World Heritage


15 July 2005



Soltaniyé dome , the biggest of the kind in the world which is made of brick, included on the UNESCO list of World Heritage today. This decision was made in today’s session of World Heritage Committee meeting. Thus the dome became the seventh Iranian site to be registered on the list of UNESCO World Heritage.

“Winning the majority of votes after the delivery of ICOMUS expert’s report on Soltaniyé dossier, this ancient Iranian dome was placed on the list of UNESCO World Heritage in today’s session of the World Heritage Committee meeting, which was dedicated to registration of nominated ancient and archaeological sites and objects on the list of World Heritage,” said Ahmad Jalali, the Iranian Ambassador to UNESCO.

“Soltaniyé is the symbol of one the most glorious periods of Iranian history,” added Jalali, “and its registration on the world heritage list confirmed its international stance.”

Soltaniyé dome with an elevation exceeding 54 meters is one of most wonderful pieces of architecture of “Ilkhanid” dynasty. Construction of this ancient monument which is located 30 kilometers from Zanjan, a province capital in west of Iran, dates back to 700 years ago. This dome with its octagonal base, exquisite tile work, and magnificent architecture is one of the most unique examples of Islamic architecture.

Soltaniyé is the most important example of Ilkhanid architecture, which evidently influenced the architecture of lots of other historical constructions in Iran,” said Mohammad Beheshti, the Head of Iran Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization Research Centre, “this dome is the biggest in the world which is made of brick and regarding its elevation it is the third highest of the kind in the world.”

He indicated, “Registration of Iranian sites shows the importance of the role of this country in the international context.”

After the registration of Soltaniyé on the World Heritage list, the president of World Heritage Centre, Francesco Bandarin, and Muniro Bushenaki, UNESCO cultural deputy congratulated the Iranian delegation separately.

Prior to these meetings, on his trip to Iran last February, Bushenaki had described the condition of Soltaniyé dossier for registration as “Favorable”.

He had asserted, “the Iranian part has submitted a complete dossier on this site and it is very unlikely that the registration process of Soltaniyé would face any obstacle.”

Soltaniyé dome is the seventh Iranian site which is registered in the list of World Heritage after Naqsh’e Jahan square, Perspolis, Chogha Zanbil Zigurat (a common form of multi-tier temple in ancient Elam), Takht’e Soleyman, Pasargadae, and Arg’e Bam (Bam citadel). Being recognized by the World Heritage Committee, which follows up the registration on UNESCO list of World Heritage, will put the site under protection and preservation from almost all countries worldwide.

The 29th annual meetings of World Heritage Committee commenced last Sunday (July 10) in Durban, South Africa, and will be in progress until next Sunday (July 17). More than 700 experts from approximately 180 countries attended these meetings which are aimed to decide about the registration of 42 historical, natural, and mixed sites on the list of World Heritage. Moreover, the aforementioned committee is responsible to study the case and condition of Endangered World Heritage during these meetings and decide about them accordingly.




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