Monar Jonban

February 13, 2019

A landmark in the glamorous city of Isfahan, Monar Jonban, literally Shaking Minarets, is a touristic site for both domestic and non-domestic visitors. Left from the Timurid period, it was originally isolated from the undeveloped city in the past, located in a village named Karladan, but now it lies inside the expanded city.

The building with two minarets is ornately decorated with starred azure tiles and multi-sided turquoise stones. Through a spiral stairway, you can find your way to the roof. Its iwan showcases the Mongol’s style in masonry but the building has also undergone through some renovations in the Safavid period.

Apart from the beauty of the structure, there is an interesting thing which makes it a remarkable site. Once one minaret is shaken, the other one sways in unison inconceivably, vibrating the whole structure.  This all happens as a result of the ratio between the width of iwan and width and height of two minarets. The height of iwan is 10 meters and the minarets are 7.5 m tall. To notice the unperceivable shake, you can test with a glass of water. Lay it on the gravestone and see how water is waving when a minaret is swung.

According to history, the building, home to Amu Abdollah Bin Mahmud Soqla’s grave, was built when Öljaitü was the monarch. The number engraved on the tombstone, 716, signifies the date of its construction. Bricks with higher elasticity rates and physical rules have been used to erect the construction; it implies the profound knowledge of designers and architects of the time.

The once-mysterious building now draws sightseers from everywhere who come here not only to admire the architecture but to learn a phenomenon in physics, namely resonance, with a real example in front of their eyes.

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