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:: year 2, Issue 6 (3-2019) ::
Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2019, 2(6): 103-122 Back to browse issues page
Study and Analysis of the Effect of Azeri Style Architecture on the Isfahan Style Case study: Columned Mosques of Asnagh and Jamalabad, Mehrban City
Hamid Khanali 1, Akbar Pourfaraj2, Reza Ataie3, Hamide Dadashvand4
1- Ph.D. in Archaeology, University of Tarbiat Modarres. , Hamid.khanali@modares.ac.ir
2- Associate Professor, Department of Tourism, University of Allameh Tabatabaie.
3- M. A. Student of Archeology, University of Tarbiat Modarres.
4- M. A. Student of Archeology, University of Mohghegh Ardabili.
Abstract:   (7443 Views)
Using the column element provided the necessary context to extend the architecture spaces. According the archeology findings the north-west area of Iran, due to the existence of abundant wood and stone resources has been leading using this element. In view of the remaining of the ancient columned buildings, the importance of column in the past is understood. Also during the Islamic era the element play a key role in the buildings of this region. In the Ilkhanid and Safavid era due to the climatic and cultural reasons, stony and wooden columns were used with abundant decorations with capital and base plinth in some mosques of Azerbaijan. It seems that Asnagh and Jamalabad Mehrban mosques are the start point of columned architecture with laborious decoration that in the following they reach to peak beauty in the Safavid columned palaces. The present article, on one hand, studies the process of column evolution in this region and, on the other hand, looks for the origin of the architecture tradition of decorative columns used in the mosques and palaces of Safavid era such as Ali Ghapoo in Isfahan, Bonab and Maragheh. The data gathering method include field visits, recording and documenting the data that finally was analyzed using descriptive-analytical method and using library studies. 
Keywords: Architecture, Azerbaijan, Column, Asnagh Mosque, Jamalabad Mosque.

Architecture of every nation is a reflection of its thought and economic situations. The climate circumstances, beside these factors, also play a role an essential role in the formation of architecture. Materials and decorations also have a close relationship with these factors. Using column in the great building has a long history. Column is designed mainly to support the heavy load of roof and generally plays the role of strength and beauty of a building. In the ancient hills such as Yaniq Tapeh probably to cover the ceiling of the circular rooms the central columns have been used. The columned halls of Hasanlloo (Dyson: 1989), Nooshijan (Stronach:1978), Goodin Tapeh (Young: 1969), Babajan (Goff: 1969), the Mad’s catacombs and Achaemendis palaces (Sarfaraz and Firoozmandi, 2006), Parthian and Sassanid temples (Herman, 2008) and palaces represent the use of column in the past architecture that shows the importance of column in the pre-Islamic architecture. In the Azerbaijan area due to the mountainous climatic conditions, the architecture features of Iranian mosques such as porch and central courtyard are less observed. And the central courtyard in this climate is converted in harem (shabestan) through covering the ceiling and using column (Omrani, 2007: 18).  
In the Ilkhanid and Timurid era the element of column was applied in stony form with moqarnas capitals in the mosques of Azerbaijan. By the beginning of Safavid era, we observe changing the material of column and capital from stone to wood in the mosques. In this period, the procedure of using column was maximized and in the following affected on the columns and capitals of Safavid palaces as well as the buildings of Qajar era, particularly in the bathrooms and mosques. This article studies the background and evolution of applying column and its function in the architecture of Azerbaijan and the role that played in the architecture of the columned palaces of Safavid era. 

Review and Analysis 
The main element in the columned buildings to construct column and ceiling coverage is wood. Probably one of the reasons that in the early centuries of Islam the normal form of dome and porch becomes the most common architecture method is lack of wooden resources in some regions (Ukan, 2002: 203). But in Azerbaijan due to the suitable environmental conditions for growth of trees and availability of them, the columned architecture continues its life more or less during the medieval Islamic centuries. Entering the Ilkhani era and transferring centrality to Azerbaijan, the old procedure of columned architecture appeared again and was represented in the local mosques of Asnagh and Jamalabad and then became the architecture pattern of mosques of Safavid era in Azerbaijan and columned palaces of this era. 
The most important feature of Asnagh and Jamalabad mosques is stony walls and columns and using timber to cover ceiling and also the decorations of capitals and columns that continues to exist in Safavid era in the columned mosques of Maragheh, Bonab and columned palaces of this era. The height of the stony columns of these mosques is consistent completely with the height tendency of Azeri style of Ilkhanid era. The stony columns of Mollarostam and Sheykhbaba mosques that are related to the Timurid era are the climax of the art of column carving. They are implemented by the same procedure of Asnagh and Jamalabad mosques with the difference that inscriptions have been made on the columns body. Given the remaining of these columns it seems that in the Timurid era, construction of columned buildings was in Ilkhanid method with the same materials. 
In Safavid era due to developing many buildings and acceleration in architecture, the stony columns were substituted by wooden columns with the same dimension and decorations in order to speed up the construction of buildings. In this era the high wooden columns were put on the stony plinths. The capitals were made from timber and moqarnases were decorated by inscription and painting. 
Among the most famous wooden-columned mosques of the early Safavid era affected by Ilkhanid and Timurid stony-columned mosques are: Mollarostam, sheykhbaba, Rihan, sheykhtaj, Zarir, Mehrabad, Zargaran, Ajabshir etc. among the most important decorative features of these mosques can refer to the moqarnas decorations and paintings on the plinths, high wooden narrow columns, stony plinths as well as the painted wooden ceilings that in the continuation of their evolution process effect on Safavid palaces of Isfahan including Chehel Sotoon and Ali Ghapoo palaces and other columned buildings of this era. 

Column in architecture is used mostly in the regions in which the resources of wood and stone are available sufficiently. Azerbaijan is among these regions. Existence of sufficient wood and stone resources has resulted in construction of columned mosques in this region of which most prominent examples are Asnagh and Jamalabad mosques. The columns of these mosques represent the peak of column carving in the Islamic era. How these mosques are constructed and ceiled affected on the architecture of the next periods throughout Iran, such that a close similarity is observed in the columns of these mosques with the Safavid and Qajar era. Further, it can be concluded that construction of Safavid columned palaces somehow complement Ilkhani columned architecture that was represented in Asnagh and Jamalabad mosques and after its evolution period in Safavid wooden mosques of era was utilized in the construction of palaces. 
Keywords: Architecture, Azerbaijan, Column, Asnagh Mosque, Jamalabad Mosque.
Full-Text [PDF 1329 kb]   (1076 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2019/04/14 | Accepted: 2019/04/14 | Published: 2019/04/14
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Khanali H, Pourfaraj A, Ataie R, Dadashvand H. Study and Analysis of the Effect of Azeri Style Architecture on the Isfahan Style Case study: Columned Mosques of Asnagh and Jamalabad, Mehrban City. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2019; 2 (6) :103-122
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