The minaret of Sarban, literally meaning the minaret of the Camel Driver, stands a few hundred meters away from the minaret of Chihil Dukhtaran
, in the Jubareh quarter of Isfahan. Both minarets are excellent examples of twelfth century, free-standing, Central Iranian Seljuq
brick minarets. The Manar-i Sarban was built 48 meters high between 1130-55 and thus measures more than twice as tall and about two decades later than the minaret of Chihil Dukhtaran. No inscriptions or records ascribe the Manar-i Sarban to a patron but architectural historians understand it to be possibly part of a mosque complex that does not exist now.
The minaret consists primarily of a plain brick base and tiers of tapering cylindrical shafts with alternate bands of decorative brick and blue tile work in geometric patterns, and two girdles of stalactite ornament. The horizontal bands between the two cornices consist of rectangular Kufic inscriptions in the Banai style or intricate geometrical motifs with hexagonal, octagonal and lozenge shaped patterns. The highly ornamented cornices are composed of lapis-lazuli tile work and elegant brick stalactite squinches supporting a small platform, which could be accessed by a spiral staircase within the minaret. The minaret today displays an obvious tilt to the west and damage to its delicate cornices, raising concern for its state of preservation. Sources
Blunt, Wilfrid. Isfahan: Pearl of Persia,
41. New York: Stein and Day, 1966.
Hillenbrand, Robert. Islamic Architecture,
154. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2000.
"Monar-e-Sareban." Isfahan Webserver http://www.isfahan.org.uk/sareban/sareban.html
. [August 15, 2013]