Gunbad-i Seh
Orumiyeh, Iran
Seh Gunbad was built in 1184 in the southeastern part of Orumiyeh. Although the name of the monument, which means three domes, suggests the existence of two other tombs in close proximity, the lack of archaeological evidence to support this case has led Andre Godard to believe that the name only suggestive of the simple shape of the dome.

The tomb consists of a square burial chamber encased in a round exterior with a rectangular portal facing north. A dome may have covered this structure, but no trace of it remains. Seh Gunbad is built in the tradition of tomb towers of Maragheh, with a brick chamber atop a stone base containing the crypt. The entrance to the crypt, a small arched opening, is directly below the raised portal. Aside from the entryway, two side windows admit light into the chamber.

All the decorative effort for the monument has been concentrated on the entry façade. The brick doorway, crowned by a muqarnas semi-vault inside a five-lobed arch, is framed with two brick columns and a pointed arch. There is a Kufic inscriptive plaque above the doorway. The outer rectangular frame of the portal is also inscribed with Kufic text in Arabic that gives the date of the construction. The surface of the portal is decorated with interlocking polygons. A third, largely effaced inscription, also appears above the doorway. Stone has been used to emphasize the inscription and other decorative elements of the portal.

Inside the main room and facing the entry is a mihrab whose decorative elements are carved in stucco. The four walls of the chamber are decorated with recessed arches. Muqarnas squinches are used in the transition to the dome. The interior is covered with plaster.

Some historians such as Andre Godard believe that She Gunbad was originally used as a Zoroastrian fire temple, and transformed into a tomb during the Islamic era.

Hatim, Ghulam Ali. 2000. Mimari-i Islami-i Iran dar dawrah-i Saljuqian. Tehran: Muassasah-i Intisharat-i Jihad-i Danishgahi, 107.

Daneshvari, Abbas. 1977. A Stylistic and Iconographic Study of the Persian Tomb Towers of the Seljuk Period. (Unpublished thesis completed at the University of California.)

Godard, Andre. 1965. The Art of Iran. (Translated by Michael Heron). London: Allen and Unwin.
In the central part of the city, Orumiyeh, Iran
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1184/580 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Seh Gunbad
Seh Gunbad-i
Building Usages