عنوان مقاله [English]
Geographical and political position of Khoy, one of the most ancient and eventful cities in the northwest of Iran, has brought this city to be considered important by the kings and local rulers. Moreover, on account of having suitable climate and fertile soil, Khoy has been appropriate for constructing governmental and private gardens, including Shah Ismail Safavid Royal Garden and its nearby places, documents of which have been cited in the historical sources. The research method was based on the collection of documents, maps and historical resources and their correspondence with the findings of field and library studies. In the first stage, the location of Khoy in historical times from Safavid period to present day is restored based on existing maps. Then architectural features and the recovery of different parts of Royal Garden and its nearby spaces including Maydan-e-Shahi (Shahi Square) and Shams-e- Tabrizi Minarets were noted. The core of this study focuses on correspondence between features of these spaces with documents, maps and historical resources, including Metraqchi’s miniature, Francesco Romano’s travelogue, Pascal Cost’s drawing map and extraction of new findings. It has been attempted to determine the plans and the positions of Royal Garden Buildings, Maydan-e-Shahi, and Shams-e-Tabrizi mausoleum in the current city through graphical reconstruction and corresponding with existing maps. In addition, according to James Morier’s report and painting, and Field and Library Studies, architectural features of Shams-e- Tabrizi Minaret and osteology of the skulls used in it were examined and the way of planting the skulls and biometric features were determined. These findings corrected some existing historical reports. Overall findings of this study provide a clear image of the relocation of Khoy in the last 500 years, position of Royal Garden, architecture of Safavid governmental palace and features of Shams-e- Tabrizi Minarets in early Safavid period.
Keywords: Shah Ismail, Royal Garden, Shams-e- Tabrizi Minaret, Metraqchi, Khoy
Historical Safavid royal gardens in Iran are like paintings that harmonize and display the blend of pristine nature with art and architecture. One of the royal gardens which has been entered the historical sources belongs to Shah Ismail Safavid I in Khoy which includes the Dawlatkhaneh (House of Government) and the Bagh-e-Shahi (King’s Garden). After the Battle of Chaldran, Shah Ismail did not take part in any war. He spent his time with royal pleasure, including Chawgan (polo), Qabaq- Andazi (archery), feast and hunting instead (Alemi, 2008, 48). After his accession in 907 AH, he chose Khoy as his winter residence, attempted to reclaim the lands of this city and settled his palace next to tomb of Shams Tabrizi which was around Maydan-e-Shahi (King’s Square) (Riahi, 1999, 28-29).
Objectives and Necessity of the Research: There have not been researches about the Shah Ismail Safavid Royal Garden (including Dawlatkhaneh and Bagh-e- Shahi) and its surrounding spaces including Maydan-e-Shahi and Shams Tabrizi Minarets. In this research which may have been called the first serious study in this field, the so-called subject has been tried to be investigated through gathering and editing existing documents and resources and to be matched with natural elements, existing facts and remaining evidences. Also relying on historical documents and available evidences, architectural structure of Shams Tabrizi Minaret and particularly osteology of the skulls and their arrangement were examined. At the moment, the Minaret has gained both scientific and functional significance. First, this is the only minaret of head in its kind all over the country which has been remained. On the other hand, in the documents of last 500 years most of the references to Shams Tabrizi tomb have been made through referring to this Minaret. Therefore, architectural features of this Minaret must be specifically studied and the necessary background for the scientific restoration ought to be provided.
Questions of the Research: 1. what are the characteristics of the Royal Garden, House of Government of Shah Ismail (Dawlatkhaneh) and King’s Square (Maydan-e-Shahi)? 2. Where do they locate in the past and present urban space? 3. What are the architectural and osteological features of Shams Tabrizi Minaret?
Method of the research: Historical-analytical method has been chosen for this research and data have been collected through field and study methods.
Analysis of Documents, Evidences and Data
To analyze the content of Metraqchi’s miniature (Alemi, 2006, 64) the pattern of historical semiotics and semantics has been applied to match them with natural elements, facts and other available evidences. The steps of examining historical documentation including, identification of represented traditional architectural elements in the miniature as a historical evidence, exactitude in distinguishing painting as a school of art and the features of the paintings depicted in the Metraqchi’s book, matching architectural spaces of Metraqchi’s miniature in comparison with other paintings of the cities in the same book and matching urban maps of Khoy in different periods. The data in Venetian merchant’s travelogue (Barbaro, 1873, 165) and Pascal Coste’s drawing map (Alemi, 2006, 65) has been used for computer simulation of the Royal Garden.
In a follow up the method of planting the skulls in the wall of the minaret was evaluated through field observations and necessary measurements and the collected data was been analyzed. Osteological studies were carried out to determine the characteristics of the skulls applied in the wall of the Minaret and their age, sex, species and some of their biometric features were researched.
Identified Traces: The findings of this study determined the position of the royal garden of Shah Ismail, Bazaar, Shahi Square, Tomb and Shams Tabrizi minarets in the Safavid castle in comparison with the Qajar period and the present city.
Osteological studies of the skulls applied in the wall of Shams Tabrizi Minaret showed that unlike many historical reports of travelogues which have attributed the applied skulls to wild goat, deer and gazelle, all of them belong to the species of Orientals (wild sheep, Ovis orientalis). The way the skulls were planted and arranged in the wall of the minaret was a muzzle downward and a muzzle upward in any row. Field studies of remained minaret showed that the skulls are embedded in 28 columns and 30 rows and with this account about 840 head of ram are used in every Minaret hereby reports of 15 to 30 thousand head cited in some historical sources have been corrected. Findings from James Morier’s travelogue and painting also showed that the second minaret was approximately five to six meters north of the existing minaret and was deviated from the vertical axis to the north
The present study tracked the locations of the royal garden of Shah Ismail, Bazaar, Shahi Square, the tomb and the triple minarets of Shams-e-Tabrizi in the castle of the Safavid period in comparison with Qajar period and the contemporary era. These studies show that Shah Ismail’s Dawlatkhaneh, like other historical gardens of the Safavid period, had distinct sections. Therefore, efforts were made to create a single structure through the symmetrical sections based on its geographical location, enabling the usage of the gardens and mansions.
Osteological studies of the skulls used in the Shams-e-Tabrizi minarets indicated that, contrary to historical reports of many travelogues which attributed the skulls to ibex (wild goats), gazelle and deer, all of the skulls belong to the Ovis orientalis (mouflon, wild sheep). There was no significant difference between them in terms of appearance and anatomy. Accordingly, the skulls are arranged in a row within the walls of the minaret, highlighting the muzzle upward and muzzle downward configuration. Field studies show the skulls are placed in 28 vertical columns with 30 skulls on average. The density of the skulls used in the saucer-shaped section has made it difficult for the total number of skulls used in each column to be fully matched. Moreover, about 840 mouflons were hunted and used in each minaret. In addition, a total of about 2, 520 mouflons were used to build the three primary minarets. Nevertheless, previous studies reported that 15000 to 30000 wild mouflons were hunted in order to build these structures. Biometric characteristics of skulls and horns were thoroughly investigated in this study. According to James Morier’s travelogue, the second minaret was at a distance of approximately five to six meters away from the present minaret, located in the north of present minaret. Moreover, it was inclined to the north.
The studies on the architecture of the existing minaret would pave the ground to repair and renovate the structure. Therefore, it is necessary to strengthen the minaret and eliminate its distortion using natural mouflon skulls or molding with synthetic materials. Moreover, it is possible to reconstruct the façade, which was decorated with the skulls of hundreds of mouflons. Therefore, researchers and tourists would know how it looked like 500 years ago.