In this latest installment of Trip to Kermanshah series I’ll take you to one of the sights you must visit if you are ever in the Land of Shirin and Farhad. I only had 3 short days in Kermanshah, but thankfully my thoughtful cousin Roshanak planned a great itinerary for our one main sightseeing day. First we swung by and explored the Grand Bazaar of Kermanshah (exploits of which were detailed here & here) and then Roshanak treated me to a delicious lunch at a wonderful restaurant, and in between, we visited “Takieh Moaven al Malek” in the old quarters of the city.
Takieh Moaven al Malek, a striking 19th century Qajar complex, is neither a mosque nor a palace nor was it ever a private residence; rather, it is a Hosseinieh, a shi’ite Moslem complex used to perform religious ceremonies and plays. For further (succinct yet detailed) explanation of the building’s purpose, I’ll take the lazy way out (akhaysh!) and direct you to Lonely Planet Guidebook. As for the history and provenance of the site, I’ll take the easy way out once again and point you to a good informative paragraph at Wikitravel for Kermanshah.
I will be more forthcoming with my impressions of this sight, however, which are thus:
a flurry of tiles and turquoise, colored glass, walls of patchwork mirrors, many murals of mustachioed kings and men and swords and horseback battles, a serene and blooming flower garden inner courtyard, and a small museum. Takieh was perhaps not as enchanting as Narenjestan in Shiraz, nor as breathtaking as the many incredible edifices in Isfahan, but in its own right: quite interesting, quite striking, and very beautiful!
I may have taken a few strategic shortcuts here in this post, but I will not skimp on sharing a bunch of cool photos with you that kind of drive home the point that this place was pretty much a sight for sore eyes.
Let’s go inside, shall we?
Well actually, gotcha, this was not the entrance! Or at least it remained locked during our visit. Note the turquoise tiles and the beautiful old door. The lion and the sun motif above the door has been one of the main emblems of Iran. In Farsi, we sometimes nickname the sun as “khorshid khanoom” or literally “Madam Sun” so the sun is nearly always portrayed as feminine in many depictions of this emblem.
Now this, the arched opening beyond which you see the hint of the blue-colored shallow pool (or what we call “hoze” in Farsi) is the real entrance to the complex. If you pay close attention and squint you can just about make out the silhouettes of the two guys who were acting as admission guards. (Also, if you check out the bottom right-hand side corner of the pic you’ll see where I was standing to take that photo above of the gate with the sun and the lion emblem design.)
Let’s go take a look around, shall we?
The sign in Farsi reads: “Entrance to this part is forbidden.” Zut alors!
Roshanak reading the tombstone’s inscription.
I also have a teeny short video of this mirrored interior:
And now, for your viewing pleasure, the many tile murals of mustachioed men and martyrs and kings to follow:
See? Lots and lots of tile murals and paintings.
There were also stacks of loose tiles piled here and there in the outer courtyard, set aside to be used to make repairs. At least that’s what the docent said.
Below I have for you a short video … a look at the interior, a medley of colorful tiles and mirrors and colored glass windows. In the video Roshanak tells me how she is so very fond of this type of colorful glass detail and we note how pretty it is to see the colorful light they cast inside the building. (I can’t dub it, it’s in Farsi!)
And below is another video, this one of the resident docent explaining the history and purpose of the building and the nature of the tile murals. (In Farsi! Not dubbed.)
Now let’s end this post with a photo of the docent lingering in thoughtful repose against a wall in the inner courtyard of Tekiyeh.
Hope you enjoyed this virtual tour and keep posted for the new installment of Trip to Kermanshah by tomorrow or shortly thereafter.