This gateway is found to the north of the district known as Ahmad Abad, opposite the Masjed-e-Mehdi, which in turn is accessed from a street opposite the hospital known as the Mehdi Hospital. Beyond the gateway lies a small courtyard within which are a number of graves, one of which is certainly that of the great Seljuk Vizier, Nizam ul-Mulk.
Nizam ul-Mulk found a number of religious schools in Isfahan to promote his views and one of them was in this part of Isfahan. The school was originally set in parkland and, by common account, was set at the foot of a giant Chenar Tree, so that it was still known as the Madraseh-yeh-pa-yeh-Chenar, of "The School at the Foot of the Chenar Tree" when Dr. Hunarfar compiled his great treatise on the monuments of Isfahan in 1967.
In 1998 the Chenar tree had gone and Dr. Hunarfar's concerns about increasing urbanisation of the area proved well founded. The entrance is clearly much later than the tomb inside and it seems likely that a number of graves have been collected here which were otherwise scattered in separate pavilions across the site. These may well have included those of Malek Shah and his close family as tradition attests.
Nevertheless there is little doubt that this was the original resting place of Nizam ul-Mulk, whose name is mixed in with the Qura'nic inscriptions on the central tomb, and it is well worth knocking on the door of the Mehdi Mosque so that the caretaker will come out and admit you to the mausoleum.
Last Update: December 13, 1998