Sheikh Safi al Din Monastery in Ardabil
Address:Ali Qapu Sq,Sheikh Safi At,Ardabil
Visiting Time:8 to 20 (Spring & Summer) – 8 to 17:30 (Autumn & Winter)
Important parts to visit:Whole complex
Special Suggestion: Eating Halva in halva shops of the street
The Sheikh Safi al Din Khanegah or monastery in Ardabil is a Sufi Spritual retreat dating 16th century and late 18th century.It is the burial site of Safi al Din Ardabili ,the founder of Sufism in Safavid era.This site is one of the world’s most impressive monuments which is listed in UNESCO World Heritage in 2010.It is a masterpiece of art and a rare example of Islamic architecture in Middle ages.
The site includes a library,a mosque,a school ,a mausoleum,a cistern,a hospital ,kitchens,a bakery,bazar,public baths and some offices.
Sheikh Safi, a famous leader of an Islamic Sufi order set up by the Safavids, was conceived in Ardabil where this complex is located. The Safavids esteemed the tomb-mosque form, and the tomb with its mausoleum and prayer corridor is situated at a correct edge to the mosque.The complex is entered through a long garden.
Sheikh Sadr al Din Musa ,son of Sheikh Safi ,was the first builder of the mausoleum after the death of his father in 1334.The complex was built during 16th century till late 18th century.Several parts of the complex were added to the main building during Safavid dynasty.Some of great Sheikhs and heroes of some battles of Safavid such as Chaldiran battle were buried at this site.
Sufi Complex is located in central area of the town.Most of it is hidden behind the brick walls.The entrance is a small gate which is designed with different glazed tiles.Inside the garden theres is another gate and then you will see the site.The courtyard is surrounding with different buildings which artistically decorated with blue,green and yellow tiles.
There are three tomb towers inside the complex.The oldest one is hidden behind the other two towers.The biggest one is Allah Allah Tower which is decorated with countless times the word Allah in Arabic.Another important building is the School,where the teachers taught various religious and secular subjects to their students.
The Chini Khaneh (Chinese house) is located on the eastern side of Qandil Khaneh(Cresset house) or main entrance.The Chinese house has four prayer rooms and vaulting of chalk muqarnas which decorating with paintings and gildings.The colors have amazing harmony to create an arabesque landscapes.This building was the storage of silver and golden containers of Shah Abbas which came from China.