Home Tourism Dancing Minarets in Menar jonban, Isfahan

Dancing Minarets in Menar jonban, Isfahan

Menar jonban

by Parastoo Sahebi
8 minutes read
Menar Jonban

Menar Jonban is one of the hundreds of historical monuments and beautiful tourist attractions in Isfahan that attracts a large number of travelers to this city annually. The minarets that are seen in Menar Jonban today were not originally part of this structure and were added later. If the minarets were not added to the mausoleum of Sheikh Zahed, Menar Jonban probably wouldn’t be one of the best tourist attractions in Isfahan today. If you also want to learn more about this beautiful historical building and visit it on your next trip to Isfahan, don’t miss the rest of this article from Eligasht Tourism Magazine. In the following article, we will try to tell you everything about the dancing minarets in the shaking Minarets of Isfahan.

Book Iran Air flights from London to Tehran  and Tehran to London with Eligasht UK:

iran air

Introduction to Menar Jonban, Isfahan

Firstly, it should be mentioned that Isfahan is not the only city with Menar jonbans in Iran. Shaking minarets is a type of architecture found in Islamic countries such as Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and others. In this style of architecture, a minaret-bearing structure is built in such a way that when one of its minarets is shaken, the other minarets also tremble. However, one of the most famous Menar jonbans in Iran is located in Isfahan.

Menar Jonban in Isfahan was built on the tomb of a famous Sheikh and ascetic named Uncle Abdullah ibn Mahmoud Saqalai. Historians cannot accurately determine the exact year of construction, but the tomb of this Sheikh dates back to 716. Many archaeologists believe that the building materials used for this structure belong to the Ilkhanate period. However, upon examining the construction and decorations, it can be concluded that this building underwent significant reconstruction during the Safavid era.

One of the reasons why the period of construction or the original architect of Menar Jonban cannot be definitively determined is that the building was constructed in stages. Initially, it was just an ivan (a vaulted hall) on top of the tomb of Uncle Abdullah ibn Mahmoud Saqalai, but after some time, the minarets were added to it. An interesting point about Menar Jonban is that it seems the unknown architect initially did not intend to create a complex architectural structure and only planned to build a single-ivan mausoleum. However, the dancing minarets were later added to the building for an unknown purpose. During the estimated time of construction, it is likely that people were not yet familiar with the architecture of shaking minarets.


Architecture of Menar Jonban

The main and foundational architecture of Menar Jonban is a single-ivan structure that appears to date back to the Ilkhanate period. Within this structure, there is a cemetery, which is the burial place of Sheikh Zahed, along with two small rooms for spiritual practices and mystical activities. The minarets of Menar Jonban were later added to complete the structure. The original building is undoubtedly very ancient, as can be understood from the stone of Sheikh’s tomb. It is not listed among contemporary structures. However, if we observe the turquoise tilework and stone decorations on the building, we can see traces of Safavid-era architecture. Materials such as bricks and wood can also be observed in the construction of this building.

Menar Jonban

The Secret of the Dancing Minarets of Menar Jonban

Despite the beautiful architecture and design of this structure, the main reason for its fame that attracts many travelers to Isfahan is the dancing minarets. But perhaps the question has arisen in the minds of many: why do the minarets shake? This type of architecture is popular in the Islamic era, and as mentioned earlier, examples of this architecture can be seen in many Islamic countries. However, the exact reason for the shaking of the minarets has not been definitively determined.

The most accurate and technical theory is that Menar Jonban follows the law of resonance. The law of resonance deals with the vibration and reflection of these vibrations. When two interconnected structures exist, when one of them shakes, the other also vibrates along with it.


Reasons for the Non-Destruction of Menar Jonban

One of the reasons why Menar Jonban has not collapsed over the years is the presence of cracks in its structure. These visible cracks and grooves in the building allow Menar jonban to move without collapsing. Additionally, the choice of construction materials and the short height of the minarets contribute to its stability. The minarets are also protected with wooden clamps at the top and bottom, providing them with added balance and strength.

It is important to note that like other ancient monuments, Menar jonban is at risk of deterioration. In recent years, due to a large number of visitors to the site, the minarets experienced excessive shaking, putting the building in danger of collapse. The Cultural Heritage Organization took steps to restore the structure, and the shaking of the minarets was completely prohibited for a period of time. However, since the main reason for tourists’ visits was to witness the shaking of the minarets, it was decided that the minarets would be allowed to shake only during specific hours and for a limited number of times. Furthermore, this task is carried out only by professional individuals to eliminate the risk of building collapse.

Menar Jonban

Best Time to Visit Menar Jonban in Isfahan

Menar Jonban can be visited throughout the year. However, if you prefer a moderate climate that is neither too hot nor too cold, it is recommended to travel to Isfahan and visit this monument during early spring or early autumn. The working hours of this building are from 9 AM to 6 PM every day. However, as mentioned before, the shaking of the minarets occurs during specific hours to protect the structure. Therefore, if you wish to witness the shaking of the minarets, you can visit Menar Jonban at 10:30 AM, 12 PM, or 1:30 PM.


Location and Accessibility of Menar Jonban

Menar Jonban is located on the Isfahan-Najafabad road, approximately 6 kilometers away from Isfahan. When traveling on this road, you can spot Menar Jonban on the right side after covering the 6-kilometer distance. It is accessible by taxi or private vehicles. Visitors who have arrived by private vehicles can park in the parking lot of the complex and proceed to visit the monument.

Address: Isfahan, 6 kilometers on the Isfahan-Najafabad road

related post

Famous and Historical Churches of Isfahan
10 of the best hotels in Isfahan for a great stay

Final words

In this article, we became acquainted with one of the most fascinating attractions in Isfahan. Menar Jonban is not just the name of this building; it is a type of architecture that can be seen in other cities in Iran and Islamic countries as well. However, for certain reasons, Menar Jonban in Isfahan has become the most famous Menar Jonban in Iran, and some people might think it only exists in Isfahan. Excessive shaking of the minarets over the years has put this structure at risk of destruction. That’s why nowadays experts only shake the minarets during specific hours. If you want to witness the shaking of the minarets, make sure to visit this complex during the designated hours. To learn more about Isfahan and its tourist attractions, don’t miss other articles by Eligasht.

Menar Jonban


1- Where is Menar Jonban located in Isfahan?

Menar Jonban is located a bit further from the city center, west of Isfahan, on the Isfahan-Najafabad road, about 6 kilometers away.

2- What is the reason for the shaking of Menar Jonban’s minarets?

Although the exact reason for the minarets’ vibrations is not definitively known, it is said that the principle of resonance is the main cause of Menar Jonban’s shaking.

3- Why doesn’t Menar Jonban collapse?

Due to the presence of visible cracks, the lightweight nature of the bricks used in its construction, the presence of wooden clamps, and the short height of the minarets, this withstands controlled and limited vibrations without collapsing.

4- What is the best time to visit Menar Jonban in Isfahan?

This structure is open for visits from 9 AM to 6 PM. However, the minarets are shaken during specific hours.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More