Soltanieh Dome | An outstanding work of architecture


Soltanieh Dome | An Outstanding Work of Architecture


31 kilometers away from Zanjan, north-western Iran, you will be fascinated by one of the most significant works of Islamic-Persian architecture which dates back to 700 years ago and is also recorded in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Initially built within the ramports of old Soltanieh, the capital of Ilkhanid dynasty, under the order of Oljeito, the king of the time, it is the third biggest dome in the world. When Oljeito died, at the age of 34, they buried his body in its crypt.


It is an octagonal building whose sides are about 83 meters each. This structure which is surrounded by 8 minarets is the oldest double layer dome in Iran. The thickness of the dome is 160 cm and the layers are 60 cm apart. This quality makes the dome stronger against quakes. The color of the dome is blue, you will be enchanted by the turquoise tiles covering the dome as well as plaster work and colored bricks that decorate the rooms at the top. You can also find carvings of Quranic verses. The height is 48.5 meters and the interior span is 25.5 meters in diameter. Knowing the time by the light coming from the main hole in the dome showing midday, from the large windows showing the hour and from the small windows showing the minutes is another fascinating quality of this place. About 45 years ago they tried strengthening the structure through grouting.

You will also see Molla Hassan Kashi’s tomb in the site of Soltanieh. Molla Hassan Kashi was the poet and theosophist of the king’s court.

Other places to see

Zanjan, the city close to Soltanieh, has abundance of tourist attractions and receives many national and international tourists every year. Every tourist may want to visit Jame Mosque which is in the heart of the city and dates back to Qajar Dynasty. (that is about 200 years ago)

Archeology Museum can also tempt you with Saltmen Mummies dating back to Achaemenid Dynasty.

Haj Dadash Bath is another old building with alluring architecture dating back to 100 years ago that might interest you.

There are many other places to visit in Zanjan like Khanoom Mosque, Mir Baha eddin Bridge, Ala-Dogh-Lar Hills, Katle Khor Cave, Soleiman Throne (Takhte Soleiman) and so on.

The best time to see

As a mountainous city Zanjan is cold in Winter but very pleasant in Summer. If you want to enjoy the sightseeing there you need to plan a 3-day trip. From Tehran to Zanjan would take a 4-hour drive. In 3 days and with a good plan you can see most of the attractions in Zanjan.


There are shared taxis and buses within the city. From Tehran to Zanjan, you can either take a cab or go by bus. Taking a cab may give you the chance to stop wherever you feel like enjoying the view, specially you can plan to visit Soltanieh on the way to Zanjan.

* Written by Fereshteh shokouhi.

Official Website: N/A Entrance fee:500.000 IRR
Wikipedia: Click here Name(s) in Persian: گنبد سلطانیه
UNESCO Website: Click here Public transportation availability: Yes
Province: Zanjan Accommodation availability: Yes
Phone: +9824 35823105 Facilities: Yes
Working days: All days Restaurant & Cafe availability: Yes
Opening hours: 8:00 AM-8:00 PMBest time to visit: All Season 

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