Document Type : Research Paper


1 Assistant professor. Department of Art and Architecture. University of Payame Noor, Iran.

2 Professor. Department of Industrial Arts, Tabriz Islamic Art University. Iran.

3 Alexander von Humboldt Research Fellow at the Otto-Friedrich-University of Bamberg.


Based on the results of preceding research in the field of architectural history and archeology; the largest brick arch in the Islamic world during Ilkhanid era (1256-1353 AD), in the remains of so-called Alishah Gilani, Minister of sultan Muhammad Khodabandeh Öljaitü, and in the city of Tabriz has been erected. In the present survey, by providing the structural weakness of the architectural volume of the building attributed to Alishah to execute such a huge arch in a span of thirty meter, while the previous studies have been questioned, the incompatibility of modern architectural remains with the mosque in historical texts has been confirmed. With this pre-assumption that the U-shape structure had been considered to create a brick arch of a huge architectural project; clarifying the statically limitations of the mentioned building in terms of the impossibility of creating any kind of arch or vault in the mentioned span would shed new lights on the identity of this structure. After responding to the question of static feasibility of any kind of arch or vault in the so-called Ark-e-Alishah and besides static analyses, what paradox of historical engineering does the results highlight is that the tension result of loading due to any kind of arch would exceed the mechanical potentials of structure's buckling capacities, causing gross deformation and fracture of vertical units under any conditions. From this point of view, there has never been any kind of arch nor vault in this building anytime - The engraving drawn by Jean Chardin seems to represent an accurate picture of the Alishah building before the new southern part was annexed to it, and the connection of the southern part took place after the early seventeenth century (the year this engraving was drawn)– and in other words, what is known as today’s remnants of the so-called Ark-e-Alishah is in the complete contradiction with what is known as Ali-Shah Mosque including a great brick arch


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