The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai in Hamadan is recognized as the second most sacred Jewish site, holding significant value in Judaism. Visiting this shrine allows you to explore a historic monument constructed from stone and brick, dating back to the 9th century A.D.
Located in Hamadan, the tomb has been a pivotal reason for Jewish gatherings in the city across various periods. This article aims to provide you with detailed information about this historical pilgrimage site.
As mentioned, the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai is considered the second most valuable pilgrimage site for Jews after Jerusalem. It is situated very close to the center of Hamadan, on Shariati Street, known for its prominence. Understanding the history of the tomb and its namesakes, Esther and Mordechai, adds depth to our exploration.
Let’s delve into the history of Esther and Mordechai, figures of great significance in Jewish tradition. Esther, also known as Hadassah, was born in Persia 500 years before Christ. Orphaned at a young age, she was raised by her uncle Mordechai. Her beauty and grace, coupled with the vicissitudes of life, led her to become the queen in the court of King Xerxes.
King Xerxes had a cunning minister named Haman, who, fearing the Jews’ increasing influence at court, convinced the king to decree their execution. The bravery of Esther and Mordechai in preventing this calamity is a cornerstone of their popularity.
They used their positions at court to annul the execution order, a day now celebrated as Purim. This event significantly contributes to the tomb’s popularity.
Architecture and Structure
Observing the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai, you’ll notice it primarily consists of stone and brick. The architectural style belongs to the Islamic era of the 1321–1322 AD, constructed by Argun Shah.
A small stone door at the main entrance leads to the tomb’s interior, where you find two sarcophagi belonging to Esther and Mordechai, adorned with Hebrew inscriptions.
The tomb once housed a Torah scroll written on deer skin, now preserved in the Hamadan Cultural Heritage Museum.
Significance of the Tomb
Discussing Purim highlights the importance of the tomb for Jews, commemorating their salvation from certain death through Esther and Mordechai’s courage.
On this day, Jews pray and celebrate, marking the tomb’s significance. Additionally, its historical value adds to its importance.
Esther’s birth name was Hadassah, but her striking beauty earned her the name Esther, meaning “star.” Mordechai, an influential man in King Xerxes’ court, was named after his bravery and wisdom.
The tomb also contains texts from Prophet Moses, indicating the significance of Saturdays for Jewish celebrations. Consequently, the Tomb of Esther and Mordechai is closed on Saturdays.
Visitors can explore the site from 9 AM to 8 PM in two sessions, morning and afternoon, on other days. Family visits are recommended, and photography inside the tomb is prohibited.
Visiting the tomb also allows for exploring Hamadan’s other historical and cultural sites within a short distance, such as the traditional bazaar, Baba Tahir’s tomb, Alavian dome, and the Hegmataneh Hill, among others.
Iran Hotels Online
The tomb’s convenient location in Hamadan ensures easy access for travelers. For a comfortable stay close to this famous pilgrimage site, consider booking hotels near Shariati Square, such as Hotel BuAli, Hotel Khatam, Parsian Hotel, and Hotel BabaTahir.