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Parseh J Archaeol Stud 2020, 4(13): 119-136 Back to browse issues page
The Impression of Endowment on Urban Zone Formation and Protection and Maintenance of Historical Buildings, Case Study Aligholi Agha Complex
Fereshteh Saki1, Mohsen Javeri 2
1- M.A. in Archeology, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Literature and Humanities, Islamic Azad University of Central Tehran, Tehran, Iran.
2- Assistant Professor, Department of Archeology, Faculty of Architecture and Art, Kashan University, Kashan, Iran. , javeri@kashanu.ac.ir
Abstract:   (392 Views)
Vaqf (endowment) is one of the admirable Islamic traditions which have made the Muslims construct the buildings and different complexes based upon religious advises and also fair-minded of devotees such as kings and their relatives, ministers, politician, princes, merchants, and the other fair-minded people during the Islamic period. Most of these buildings still survived and lasted up to now. The nature of the devotion and its existence reasons not also was the cause of public utility constructions but also has guaranteed the preservation of those buildings and their urban zones. The Safavid period was one of the flourishing periods in terms of public utility constructions in the frame of devotion. This study aims to introduce the Aligholi complex and the influence of devoting traditions and its consequences on how it lasted from the construction till now. The base of this study is around educing devoting deed information of Aligholi Agha complex and benefitting from its contents and comparing the stated cases to the existing position and showing this point that how a building or complex-forming under the support of devoting system, and how devotee could guarantee the survival and durability of the complex after the construction.To influence the preservation of religious buildings and to regulate the urban zone around them, in this article we have studied the historical complex of Ali Qoli-Agha, which is an architectural masterpiece of Safavid era public buildings in Isfahan and formed within the framework of the endowment. In addition to regulating and forming the urban zone around it, this complex has also been the cause of its preservation and survival in the following periods. The Aligholi Agha historical complex is an architectural masterpiece of public utility in the Safavid period in Isfahan. This valuable historical complex has been built in the late Safavid period by the order and economical support of Aligholi Agha, who was one of the eunuchs in Shah Sultan Hussein Safavid’s court and then devoted to charity affairs. This historical complex included a mosque, bath, Bazar, Sagha Khane, Timche, Caravanserai, school, and Zoorkhane, which the three late places have ruined during the time.
Keywords: Vaqf (endowment), Formulation, Urban Context, Safavid Architecture, Aliqli Agha Bath.

One of the objectives of this study is the effect of the endowment tradition and its consequences on the formation of public buildings and the durability and survival of such complexes from the time of construction to the present, with a case study of the Aligholi Agha complex as one of the complexes established in the Safavid period in the city of Isfahan. In this study, we seek to answer issues such as how the endowment affects the formation of the Aliqoli-Agha complex and its role in shaping the urban zone around us, and the preservation and survival of this complex from the time of construction onwards. The basis of this research is around extracting the contents of the endowment deed of Alighali Agha complex and benefiting from its contents and matching the items mentioned in it with the current situation and stating how a building or complex is formed under the endowment support and after construction, the endowment tradition and how the Vaqif (the person who endows) conditions could have ensured its permanence and survival.
With the development and flourishing of the architecture of the Islamic period in the Safavid era, the construction of religious and public buildings such as mosques, schools, baths, caravanserais, bridges, in the form of a complex in the city appear. During this period, the practice of constructing public benefit complexes with the financial support of kings and other philanthropists and benevolent of that period and the interest in this type of architecture under the influence of Vaqf spread. In addition to the influence of Vaqf as a factor influenced by religion, other factors including political, cultural, and economic factors have also played a role in their creation. The collections are formed together with the construction of a mosque, bazaar, bath, caravanserai, and school, such as the beautiful complex of Dar Dasht (Shah Abbas I period, 1660 BC). The complex of Vazir (Shah Abbas I period), Saroutaghi complex (Shah Abbas II period, 1673BC) in Isfahan were among them and the complex under our research, namely the Aligholi-Agha complex, is one of the most significant of these complexes, which will be built at the end of this period with the creation of the original core of the complex, namely the neighborhood mosque, in 1744 BC, respectively, Caravanserai, School and Zurkhaneh have been added to it, the last three of which have been destroyed during the last three decades.
One of the valid and important endowments of the Safavid period is the endowment deed complex named after him: school, mosque, bazaar, two baths, and other personal property such as mills, agricultural lands, qanats, and gardens. One of the things that give credence to this endowment is the signs and seals of several high-ranking persons, scholars, and prominent personalities of this period in different parts of this endowment deed. 

Accordingly, the Aligholi Agha complex in Bidabad quarter of Isfahan in the form of a quarter center with maximum preservation of the original complex as an urban space that with its physical elements has influenced the formation and regulation of the surrounding texture has been studied as a case study. This research is of historical-analytical type and has been done by library study method by reviewing the relevant materials and also referring to first-hand sources such as endowment letters from the collection as well as reviewing and surveying the historical context and its existing buildings. The questions that are followed in this research are: 1- How has the tradition of waqf and the conditions governing it influenced the formation of the Aliqoli Agha complex and the formation of the texture around it? 2- What has been the role of waqf in preserving and surviving the Aliqli-Agha complex since its construction?
Considering the importance of Aliqoli Agha endowment complex in Bid Abad historic quarter of Isfahan, which is a clear example to show the role of endowment in the formation of this complex and its impact on the formation of the surrounding urban fabric, as well as durability and survival from the construction period to the present according to tradition. The preferred endowment is selected as a case study in the framework of this research. In this regard, the valuable endowment document of Aliqoli-Agha collection has also been studied and its important and key points include quality of endow the collection by Aliqoli Agha, the location of the collection in the neighborhood, endowment places and competitions dedicated to endowments, appointing a trustee, custodian, and supervisor, how to maintain and protect the collection, the names of people present at the meeting and their seals and signs at the end of the endowment and some important points This document has been analyzed in line with the objectives of the research.
Keywords: Vaqf (endowment), Formulation, Urban Context, Safavid Architecture, Aliqli Agha Bath.
Full-Text [PDF 811 kb]   (86 Downloads)    
Type of Study: Research | Subject: Special Archeology
Received: 2020/06/28 | Accepted: 2020/09/28 | Published: 2020/11/30
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Saki F, Javeri M. The Impression of Endowment on Urban Zone Formation and Protection and Maintenance of Historical Buildings, Case Study Aligholi Agha Complex. Parseh J Archaeol Stud. 2020; 4 (13) :119-136
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year 4, Issue 13 (11-2020) Back to browse issues page
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