Gunbad-i Haruniyya
Tus, Iran
Following the discovery of a gravestone belonging to Muhammad Ghazali in the vicinities of the monument, this Muslim thinker has been identified as the possible owner of the mausoleum.

The mausoleum or tomb tower consists of a square double-domed chamber entered through a monumental vaulted iwan facing south and flanked by three rooms to the north. Although the outer dome has not survived, a new one was recently constructed in its place. Four spiraling staircases built into the corners of the chamber give access to a gallery hidden behind the dome squinches, with windows facing the exterior.

The entry iwan is set in a monumental rectangular frame articulated with a few vertical and horizontal bands on its surface. The pointed iwan arch is supported on two engaged columns. Two shallow niches are carved into its sides. The rectangular entryway is topped by an ornamental arch with a window in its tympanum, also framed within a rectangle. Muqarnas carvings of the vault supports have not survived. The identical east and west façades have arched niches that were originally used as entrances. Recessed panels divided by vertical and horizontal bands decorate the exterior.

Inside, the square chamber has four iwans, each crowned by a pointed arch and decorated with a muqarnas vault. The southern iwan is shallower and connects with the entry portal. Four squinches provide the transition to the octagonal drum. The drum is inscribed with sixteen niches, of which four are windows. The interior walls are animated with vertical and horizontal ribs.

The three northern rooms are entered from the main chamber; they are linked with arched doorways. The central room, which is also entered from the exterior, has ten niches carved below its dome; the six niches facing east and west are perforated to admit light into the chamber. Its dome, which has remained in segments, is decorated with muqarnas carved in plaster. There is a mihrab on the northern wall of the northwest room. The shallow roofing of these rooms gives a terraced exterior profile to the mausoleum that contrasts with the symmetric composition of most other Seljuk and medieval Iranian tomb towers.


Pope, Arthur Upham, ed., Phyllis Ackerman, assist. ed. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. Vol. 3, Architecture, Its Ornament, City Plans, Gardens, 3rd ed., 1072-1077. Tehran: Soroush Press, 1977.

Uqabi, Muhammad Mahdi, ed. Dayirat al-ma arif-i binaha-yi tarikhi-i Iran dar dawrah-i Islami, 19-20. Tehran: Awzah i-i Hunari-i Sazmani-i Tablighat-i Islami, 1997.

Wilber, Donald Newton. The Architecture of Islamic Iran: The Il Khanid Period,145-146. New York: Greenwood Press, 1969.
On the road to Mashad, Tus, Iran
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early 14th c./ early 8th c. AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Haruniya Mausoleum
Haruniyya Mausoleum
Building Usages