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Arg-e-Ali Shah Citadel, Tabriz

A Historic Marvel Standing Strong Amidst Time

The Ali Shah Citadel in Tabriz is one of the tallest and oldest historical walls in Iran, dating back 700 years and ranking among the most significant attractions in the beautiful city of Tabriz.

According to historical texts and accounts by historians and travelers, Ali Shah Citadel is the only tall structure in Tabriz visible from afar.

Originally constructed as a grand mosque, the Citadel has suffered considerable damage over time due to numerous earthquakes and wars in Tabriz. Today, only a part of this structure remains as a tall wall, known as Ali Shah Citadel.

History of Ali Shah Citadel of Tabriz

Ali Shah Citadel Of Tabriz
Ali Shah Citadel of Tabriz

The Ali Shah Citadel was initiated by Taj al-Din Ali Shah Gilani, the minister of the Mongol Ilkhans, between 716 and 724 AH, with the aim of building a grand mausoleum within the mosque’s courtyard.

Interestingly, the southern part of this mosque had a large arch, which Ali Shah asked the architects of the time to build four yards (each yard equal to 104 centimeters) larger than the arch of Ctesiphon.

Despite the damages it has faced, Ali Shah Citadel remains a robust and dominant fortress for the city of Tabriz.

The Citadel has had various uses and significance in different eras. For instance, during the Qajar era, the mosque and its surroundings served as grain storage and a military ammunition depot, leading to its transformation into a citadel.

Architecture of Ali Shah Citadel of Tabriz

Arg E Alishah
Architecture of Ali Shah Citadel of Tabriz

The Ali Shah Citadel is a masterpiece of Iranian architectural art, its grandeur and splendor unique in Iranian Islamic architecture. The Citadel’s architecture follows the Azari style, attributed to Azerbaijan, and was designed by Master Falaki Tabrizi.

The Azari style, also known as the Mongol or Iranian-Mongol style, was prominent during the Ilkhanate era. Durable construction materials like saruj were used in the Citadel’s construction.

A significant earthquake in the 10th century heavily damaged the Citadel, leaving a large crack in its structure.

What Will You See at Ali Shah Citadel?

Arg E Alishah
Ali Shah Citadel, Tabriz, Iran (photo by Tripadvisor)

During the reign of Taj al-Din Ali Shah, the Citadel served as the city’s grand mosque, adorned with tiles, stone plinths, marble columns, inscriptions, and beautiful plasterworks.

Visitors to the Citadel will observe three high walls shaped like iwans. The roofed part of the mosque, forming the iwan arch and a huge cylindrical arch, was the main prayer hall of the Ali Shah Mosque.

Each of these walls is 10 meters wide, consisting of two thick walls connected by arches. Excavations have revealed that 7 meters of the walls are buried underground. The remaining structure of the Citadel is 30 meters wide and 26 meters tall.

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What Hotels are Near Ali Shah Citadel of Tabriz?

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Tabriz Hotels

When traveling to Tabriz, don’t worry about hotels and accommodations! You can book your preferred hotel or guesthouse from a list of Tabriz hotels at the best prices, amenities, and local access.

Hotels such as Hotel Farid, Esteghbal Apartment Hotel, Hotel Aida and Ahrab Hotel.

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SURFIRAN Editorial Team

SURFIRAN is an Iranian tour operator and travel agency offering tour packages to those interested in Iran. It provides the tourists with services needed to travel to Iran, offers tours across the country, and assists the tourists in obtaining Iranian visas.

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