Introducing different kinds of gates, the present article introduces and analyzes “Quran
Gate” of Shiraz and examines its characteristics.
Quran Gate is considered as one of city gates of Shiraz, but studies say that this gate with
its special characteristics has been a symbolic gate showing the religious belief of people
which has got the role of city gate by the expansion and development of city and destroy
of its fence in the end of Qajar time.
The connection role and special success of Quran Gate or “Tang 1 Akbar” as the only
connection way of Shiraz Plain with north western part of Fars and the effects of its
surrounding environment on travelers together with cultural and religious motives inspire
the feelings of visitors and gives special value to this symbolic gate of Shiraz.
Naming of this gate is for the Quran put on a high arch. This gate has a high camel-litter
arch in the middle with shorter arch surrounding it. This arch was built during Azdoddole
Deilamy government time in Fars and a Quran put on it; thus the travelers passing under
it would have safe trip. Passage of time made the arch broken and destroyed it. In Zand
time Karim Khan (1193-1172) reconstructed it and built an arch in upper part of it and
put two volume of Quran with Soloth and Mohaggeg fonts by Soltan Ebrihim Ebn
Shahrokh Gorkani in that room.
In 1327 in Solar calendar one of Shiraz traders known as Etemado Tejareh reconstructed
the present arch by his own expenses and established on the body of arch some Ayat of
Quran in Soloth and Naskh fonts written on a tile.
The main building of Quran Gate which has been a beautiful and strong building with
two rooms in each side is thought to be constructed in Azdoddoleh Deilami (388 in
Islamic calendar) time, the Al Bouyeh dynasty. In the upper house there was a big netted
window in the middle and there was a one volume or some say two volumes of valuable
and expensive Quran knows as “Hefdah Man Quran” was put there for the travelers to
pass under it when taking trip.
It was common among Shiraz people to come to this gate in the beginning of each month
(in Islamic calendar) and pass under this Quran and insure themselves against accidents.
In Karim Khan time this building was nearly destroy (1172 – 1193 in Islamic calendar)
and it was reconstructed by Zaki Khan, grand vizier of Karim Khan; it was on foot until
1315 in solar calendar.
To expand the route in that year the old gate was destroyed with dynamite by the
governor general of city.
Etemadodtojjar Igari the new gate was constructed with a distance from the old gate. The
new Quran Gate was constructed in a bigger size with a main entrance with sharp arch
and two small entrances on the two pillars in two sides and a rectangular room was
constructed on them to put the old Quran.
After Etemadotojjar was dead he was buried in the small room in the left side of gate
facing the valley according to his own testament.
Façade Inscriptions on Quran Gate:
In front façades of Quran Gate which was made of seven color tiles some Ayat of Quran
The beauty of Iranian Islamic Architecture is the result of balance and equilibrium
nourishing from observing drawing geometrical principals using detection of length sizes
coming from angle-detecting point.
Studying plans of Quran Gate geometrical order based on the use of compasses and ruler
and following symmetrical and dimension principals can be observed.
The basic of model and passing the drawing base is from the square parts and its
divisions; in this symmetry the pattern of square base and its divisions is used in two
In drawing the dimensions of Quran Gate facades the measuring expansion or
geometric plans. In this kind of expansion inter-squares and diameters are used.
The basis of drawing heights and place of arch pillars are got by passing the pillar as
much of one fourth of entrance length and measuring expansion.
In drawing the arch of main and secondary entrances and the cavity of entrance
and diameter of half square expansion, which were common in imaginative works
and golden compositions. By drawing a line parallel to entrance length from
conjunction point of mentioned diameters the width of entrance is gained; as a
result of this revision the ratio of width of entrance and entrance length is two to
The model of basis of drawing parts’ dimensions coming from square is one fourth of
entrance width and the details of façade is drawn using measuring expansion method.
Location of Quran Gate to changing route of Shiraz surroundings:
John Shadern, French tourist who traveled to Shiraz in Sofi time says in this case:
The city gate faces a beautiful long and narrow street whose width is 50 feet. In both side
of this street there are gardens whose frontline in street side is 200 feet and each have an
door head and a glorious entrance with half dome arch and there is European hat on tp of
each door head.
In the end of Qjar time and beginning of Pahlavi time and as a result of city expansion
and development the subject of city fence, fertility and city gate was cancelled and all
gates situated inside the city and Quran Gate was considered the city surrounding border
and a city gate.
Examining the topography of the region we can see that in northwestern of Fars high
places are joined to each other and has made deep and dreadful precipice and passages
are very difficult to pass, but the more we go toward southeastern the distance of
mountains from each other becomes more and the plains between them becomes vast.
These routes mostly pass the valleys and arduous gorges and most of them are
exceptional routes remaining from Achaemenian period and are repaired in other periods.
In times of Achaemenian and other dynasties before Islam this was the only route
connecting Shoush, Part, Send, Persian Gulf coast and other cities of Khouzestan to
Takht Jamshid and Pasarqad. In Sasanid times that Bishabour, Gour (Firouz Abad) and
cities of Iran was possible only by passing the Shiraz plain and the narrow pass named
“Allaho Akbar” where Quran Gate was constructed.
From the other hand naturally Shiraz is a city in a plain surrounded by high mountains;
due to high mountain no sign of city can be seen from the road when coming from
northern part of country until the travelers reach “Allaho Akbar” narrow pass and in this
place they can see the beautiful landscape of Shiraz city from Quran Gate frame; in such
moment they will be surprised and involuntarily open their mouth to praise all this beauty
and would say “Allaho Akabar” (God is the greatest) from heart.
Diyalafoa explains in his travel account: “… Suddenly between the mountains I saw a red
plain inside of which was covered with domes of colored tiles and it did not take long
that the fence and tower of city and the gardens around city with cypress trees showing
off in them appeared front of my eyes and remind me of Jackob grave yard in Istanbul.”
Of course it is natural that after the traveler endures the difficulties of walking in barren
deserts would get mad and happy of seeing such beautiful landscape of governor-resident
city of Fars province.
It is in such point where the “Allaho Akbar” (God is the greatest) would come to
anyone’s mind; thus the Quran Gate is constructed and the Quran is put on top of it.
The first thing coming to mind seeing Quran Gate is passing through a glorified and
magnificent gate where Quran is put on top and putting the soul and spirit of oneself
under the care of a God who has created all universe.
Passing under our holy book, the Quran, when traveling, is one of the visual aspects of
our religion and is propounded as a religious tradition and custom. The people aiming to
take travel to other cities and leave city would pass under Quran as a custom in the
beginning of their trip to avoid difficulties and dangers and keep healthy during their trip.
This tradition had surely influenced construction of Quran Gate; one volume of Quran is
put in a room on top of Quran Gate thus the travelers would take trip unworried and
tranquilly passing under this gate.
One of the characteristics of this gate which needs profound thinking is its exceptional
geographical situation and the effect which it puts on the soul, mind and feeling of
When passing under the gate the travelers would pray God and be thankful to him with a
calm and quite heart for the successful trip they had and for being away from dangers and
difficulties during their trip; in such a point the hearts will calm down and the Quran gate
with a Quran on it is located just there.
Know that remembering God will calm the hearts down. Remembering God and passing
under Quran and moving toward city the nature changes; the wide and orderly street
double the immunity and tranquility feeling of passengers and would remind the paradise
for some moment as if they exit from hell and enter paradise.
1-Iranian architecture Islamic period- compiler- M.Y. kiani
2- Information Site of Quran Gateway – Country Cultural Heritage News Agent