The shaking minarets of Isfahan

In one of the best known cities of Iran by the tourists, Isfahan, there is a monument which is considered an architectural wonder. However this is not due to the fancy shape or design of the building, rather due to its shaking minarets!

Monar Jonban (the shaking minarets) is a monument in Isfahan dedicated to Amu Abdollah, who was considered a great Sheikh of his time.

Menar Jonban - Monar Jonban

What makes this monument, one of the most visited sites in Isfahan, is the fact that by shaking one of the two minarets of the monument, the other one (and the whole structure) begins to shake as well. This feature is linked to the precise ratio of the height and width of the minarets and the iwan (the main part of the structure in the middle) and due to oscillation. It is believed that the iwan was built in 1316, however the brick minarets were built much later around the 16th century. This is proved through the difference in the architectural style of the iwan and the minarets.

The iwan is 10m high and the minarets are 7.5meters high each. Therefore the highest point of the structure is 17.5 meters high.

Due to constant shaking of the minarets by the tourists, the structure has been partly damaged. As a preventive measure, at the top of the minarets, wooden beams have been placed to facilitate the shaking of the minarets. However locals and the authorities are still worried that if continued like this, the structure can be irreversibly damaged.

To ensure this does not happen, shaking of the minarets by the visitors is restricted to once every twenty minutes.

There are other shaking minarets in Iran and in the Middle East, however what makes Monar Jonban different, is that not only the minarets shake, the whole structure including the iwan shakes with it. A single adult can move one of the minarets, and thus the whole structure! however to make the shaking more clear, a bell has been connected to one of the minarets for visitors to better observe it.

Below you will find a short video taken from Monar Jonban (externally hosted on Youtube).




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