Gonbad-e Qabus

Also known as: Gonbad-e Kavus, Gonbad-e Ghabus, Gonbad-e Qaboos

Historical Tower & Tomb

There is a tall, proud tower standing on a hilltop in the middle of Gonbad city. The tower, which is called Gonbad-e Qabus ‘Tower of Qabus’ was once part of a fortress belonging to Qabus-bin-Voshmgir, a Ziyarid ruler of the land. Qabus, who was a polymath, directly supervised the construction of the tower, and in 1007 A.D. built it in the overall shape of a pencil with the cross section of a 10-pointed star. The tower later became his tomb, when he was killed by his son, as he had portended the event from the stars.


Persian Architecture

The tower follows Razi style of architecture, where Parthian might and simplicity mingles with Persian delicacy, and is further adorned by intricate works of Khorasani style. The 55-meters high tower is made of resilient bricks which were originally red, but turned yellow under the sun. The foundation is deep within an artificial mound, 15 meters high.
The tower is topped by a simple cone, which is in turn topped by lichens and weeds, looking over the streets and bazaars of Gonbad.


Acoustic Features

Sounds are reverberated inside the tower. Every step is heard several times in a weird distorted way. But the acoustic peculiarities of the building do not end here. Outside in the precinct, there is a spot some 20 meters away from the tower, in front of its only entrance. If you stand on the spot and talk, your voice enters the tower through its entrance, bounces off the inner walls and the ceiling, and comes back to you. You will then hear your words in a strange way, as if uttered by someone invisible standing just beside you. Since 2012 it is inscriptted as UNESCO world heritage.

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