Sunday, August 27, 2023

Mofakham House of Mirrors

Located in Mofakham Complex, Mofakham's House of Mirrors is the largest and most significant architectural monument of the Qajar period in Bojnoord, North Khorasan province. It was constructed under the reign of Nasseredin Shah by the mayor at the time Yar Mohammad Khan Shadloo, known as Sardar Mofakham. Aside from the House of Mirrors, Mofakham Complex also included a pavilion, springhouse, and portal.

The design for the structure was conducted by Mirza Mahdi Khanshaghaghi (Momtahen Al-Doleh), the first Iranian architectural engineer that graduated from the Architecture College of Paris. Brick, sand, lime and plaster along with stone (for the foundation) were used in its construction. As the name indicates, this building boasts of its mirror work and tile design. It was used as an office for official visits of Sardar Mofakham and the Qajar political men. 

The Mofakham House of Mirrors is a two-store building with nine chambers, spreading over an area of 10 by 18 meters and a height of 10 meters. The second floor contains a hall with an area of 24 square meters (3 by 8 meters) where all the walls and ceiling are decorated with mirrors. The doors on this level are made of Sandalwood and decorated with bone. 

Images of 134 figures from the Safavid period through the Qajar Dynasty in addition to heads of government of adjacent countries are sprinkled throughout the mirrors

There are three entrance gates for this mansion. The larger one is on the north side and two smaller gates are located on the east and west sides. 

Above the main entrance is a semicircular fixture depicting a lion attacking its prey. 

On either side of the entrance is a painting of an armed Qajar soldier, symbolically guarding the structure. All of the entrances converge on an east-west corridor that includes four rooms on one side and some chambers on the other. Stairs on both east and west sides lead to the second floor.

On the north side of the mansion, there are four half-columns (two of which envelope the main entrance) with a diameter of 110 centimeters and a height of 10 meters that are decorated by colorful tiles and script. The word Mohammad is repeated 12 times all over the half-columns in Kufic script. The two central and longer of these half-columns resemble minarets.

In 1941, the heirs of Sardar Mofakham devoted the mansion and its court to a hospital built by Imam Reza Hospital authorities.  In 1973 the Mofakham Complex was registered on Iran's National Heritage List. In 1991, Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization took over the mansion which turned it into the Museum of Anthropology and Archeology. 


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