DestinationsIran TourismMashhad

Ferdowsi's Mausoleum: A Testament to Persian Literary Heritage

Discover the Legacy of Ferdowsi

Ferdowsi’s Mausoleum, situated in the northern outskirts of Mashhad, has been a significant site of cultural pilgrimage since its establishment in 1934. After the demise of Abu’l-Qasim Ferdowsi in the 11th century, the renowned Persian poet was initially denied a proper burial.

Battle scene from the epic poem The Shahnameh written by Persian poet Abu ʾl-Qasim Firdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), aka Ferdowsi.
Battle scene from the epic poem The Shahnameh written by Persian poet Abu ʾl-Qasim Firdowsi Tusi (c. 940–1020), aka Ferdowsi.

Consequently, he was laid to rest in a vast garden in the city of Tus, Tabaran. Over the years, this site transformed into a mausoleum dedicated to his memory, designed by Hossein Lorzadeh and constructed under the architectural guidance of Hooshang Seyhoun. Today, it continues to welcome visitors from around the globe, eager to pay homage to the creator of the Shahnameh, the Persian epic of kings.

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The Architectural Splendor of Ferdowsi’s Mausoleum

Spanning over six hectares, the mausoleum’s design draws inspiration from Achaemenid architecture. The entryway leads to a vast courtyard centered around a large pool reflecting the image of the main building. The pool features three lotus-shaped fountains, symbolizing the decades Ferdowsi spent composing the Shahnameh. Directly across the pool, the tomb crafted by Abolhassan Sadighi stands as a focal point of the complex. Both the interior and exterior of the mausoleum boast unique designs that merit further exploration.

Inside Ferdowsi’s Mausoleum

The western entrance guides visitors underground to a chamber where Saadi’s tomb, made of marble and measuring 90 by 154 cm, is located. The journey to the tomb is adorned with bas-reliefs depicting narratives from the Shahnameh.

Surrounding the tombstone, twenty columns each standing 460 meters tall encircle the grave. Additionally, the hall features statues of other characters from Ferdowsi’s epic, all crafted by Freydoun Sadighi.

A beautifully engraved stone rests atop Ferdowsi’s tomb, the work of master stonecutter Zanjani, with calligraphy by Master Taherzadeh.

The Exterior Design

The mausoleum’s outdoor space is meticulously designed, covering approximately 1043 square meters with a square-like shape. Stairs on either side lead up to a prominent platform where the mausoleum sits, elevated 18 meters above the ground and constructed from seven smaller cubes stacked together.

The platform is adorned with lines and verses from Ferdowsi and the Shahnameh, beautifully inscribed in twelve couplets. Additionally, twelve columns featuring Achaemenid designs add to the site’s historical resonance.

More Than Just a Tomb

Beyond the tomb itself, the mausoleum complex offers a range of facilities and attractions for visitors, including:

  • Library: Established in 1968, it houses around 9,000 printed books and a precious 37-meter carpet.
  • Museum: Converted from a rest house in 2005 by Dr. Behrouz Ahmadi, the museum showcases a variety of historical artifacts from the region.
  • Resting Place of Mohammad-Reza Shajarian: The beloved Iranian vocalist was interred here in 2020, with his gravestone marked by his own handwriting.
  • Tomb of Mehdi Akhavan-Sales: The contemporary Persian poet’s resting place is marked by a monument crafted by Alireza Ghadamgahi.

Surrounding Attractions

Visitors to Ferdowsi’s Mausoleum can also explore nearby sights such as the Mausoleum of Mohammad Ghazali, Haruniyeh Dome, Koohsangi Park, Arghavan Valley, and Zoshk Village.

Getting There

Located in the city of Tus, 25 kilometers northwest of Mashhad, the mausoleum is accessible via public transport or personal vehicle from Mashhad. Bus 202 from Mashhad’s terminal directly serves the mausoleum, offering a convenient route for visitors.

Visiting Ferdowsi’s Mausoleum

Inside Tomb of Ferdowsi
Inside Tomb of Ferdowsi (photo by Wikipedia)

Entry to this historic site requires a ticket, typically priced between 5,000 to 8,000 Iranian Rials.

The mausoleum is open from 9 AM to 5 PM in the first half of the year and until 4 PM in the latter half.

Accommodations Near Ferdowsi’s Mausoleum

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For those wishing to stay close to the mausoleum, several hotels within a 30 to 45-minute drive offer convenient lodging options.

Ferdowsi’s Mausoleum not only serves as a monument to one of Persia’s greatest poets but also as a cultural hub that connects visitors to the rich literary and historical heritage of Iran.

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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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