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Tughrul Tower

Tughrul TowerTughrul Tower

In the 11th century Rey district in south Tehran was one of the capital cities of the Seljuk Empire (1037-1194). Founder of the empire is said to be buried under a 24-sided tower still standing in Rey.

Sultan Tughrul Beg, who founded an empire stretching from Central Asia to the Persian Gulf, and from the Hindu Kush to western Anatolia and the Levant, died in Rey in 1063. Tughrul Tower, his tomb, is testimony to his interest in astronomy. Now 20 meters tall, the tower is a giant sundial showing the time of the day by the play of light and shade on each of its 24 sides.

Originally, the tower was taller and capped by a conical dome. The cone collapsed in an earthquake and Rey became a ruin after a Mongol raid. In the mid-19th century drawings by French orientalist, painter and archaeologist Eugène Flandin (1809-1889), the city is still seen in a state of ruin while the tower bears damages.

In 1882, the tower was restored by the order of Qajar king Nasser al-Din Shah (1831-1896). Since then it has what it takes to be called decent. It is listed as a national heritage and belongs to Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization.

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