Gonbad-e Qabus (also called Gonbad-e Kavous) is a 53-meter-high tower built on the tomb of Qabus Ibn Voshmgir, Ziyarid ruler and literati, in 1006 AD.
Near the ruins of the ancient city of Gorgan in northeast Iran, the tower bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran.
Gorgan was a former center of arts and science that was destroyed during the Mongols’ invasion in the 14th and 15th centuries.
Gonbad-e Qabus, as the only remaining evidence of ancient Gorgan, is an exceptional and technically pioneering example of Islamic architecture that influenced sacral building in Iran, Anatolia and Central Asia.
Built and decorated with unglazed fired bricks, the monument’s elaborate geometric forms comprise a thinning cylinder with a diameter of 17m at bottom to 15.5m at top.
Roofed by a conical brick dome, it shows the development of mathematics and science in the Muslim world at the turn of the first millennium.
Visible from great distances in the surrounding flat land near the ancient Ziyarid capital, Gorgan, the 53-meter-high tower dominates the adjacent town.
As a masterpiece and outstanding achievement in early Islamic era, the brick architecture has a conical roof that became a prototype for tomb towers and other commemorative towers in the region.
As a holy place visited by local people and foreigners, Gonbad-e Qabus is protected under the Law for Protection of National Heritage (1930) and was inscribed on Iran’s list of national monuments in 1975.