Menar Jonban (Shaking Minarets)

On the western side of Isfahan, bricks have been ornamentally risen to form one of the most amazing constructions in Iran. Built at about 700 years ago, this small mosque owes its fame to two elegant minarets that tremble when the caretakers give them a shake. What’s surprising to the visitors of this site is that if you give one minaret a shake, the vibration transfers through the whole building, and the other minaret trembles as well.

Many tourists and travelers come to see Menar Jonban’s mystery and they are eager to discover the reasons behind this wonder of Islamic architecture. This wonderful feature and the fact that these minarets have protected themselves through the last seven centuries has been a question to the architects as well. There are many details in the construction of these minarets that you must come and see them for yourself: from wooden blocks at the top and the bottom of them to the light materials used in the fabric of these minarets.

Every hour the caretaker ventures for the dark spiral stairs set into one of these brick columns and while you’re wondering about the architectural spell of this building, he gives them a shake and it’s visible to the eye even when you’re inside the building. You either feel it or you can see the bowl of water on the tomb inside the structure; the surface of water trembles as well as the building. The tomb belongs to Amu Abdullah from whom no one has much information but rumors have it that the minarets shake in respect of him since he was a great hermit in Ilkhanid Era. Among the tall pines of this area, bricks are simply lying on each other since the 8th century and have been decorated with turquoise frescoes to catch your attention. Turquoise tiles also twinkle on the surface of minarets as the caretaker gives them a shake and you can also enjoy the serene atmosphere of the place.

Mitra Gholami
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