The gateway also played an important role politically. Here the sublime Gateway or Ali Qapu reinforces the presence of government, just as an eivan reinforces the presence of God. The raised platform above it has replaced the watchtowers of the city gateway, but its purpose is the same. For many years a chain was slung across the rear of this great gateway and supplicants would come and tie their petitions to it in much the same way as people still do on the shrines of holy men.
This then represents the exoteric manifestation of the principle; the esoteric one can be found in the illuminated angles of cloisters where the concept of transition is achieved without any real door way but
merely by the passage from dark to light and back again. A prime example of this is shown at the angle in the entrance corridor to the Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque.
Last Updated November 28, 1998