Dominating the plain to the east of Isfahan, the 12th Century Minaret of Ziar rises high into the sky. On a fine day the sunlight catches the Kufic inscription on the top. The minaret is curiously difficult to see from within Ziar, about 33km to the East of Isfahan, but driving east through the small village it is immediately apparent as one looks back towards the village over the fields. It is reached along a tortuous track through well-cared-for fields, and the adventurous may still climb up the stair-like ramp inside it.

This minaret was almost certainly raised as a landmark or mil to guide travellers to Isfahan across the plain and may have been intended as one of a series which flank the current main road, e.g. at Gar and Rahravan. To those who argue that it would be inconceivable to place a fire at the top of the minaret, above the words from the Qur'an, it is interesting to note that the word 'Allah' is picked out in blue turquoise on one of the topmost square sections and was presumably also present on the others.

According to the local people, there used to be significant town outside Ziar and the minaret and local mosque formed part of this. This would help to explain the location of this minaret, well outside the village, together with its prodigious height and unusually shaped crown. It is also possible that it has been built on the site of an earlier, possibly Zoroastrian, site.


Last Updated: 5 April, 1999