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Photos: Minaret of historic Qazvin Jameh Mosque heavily damaged by fire


Sources: Tavoos, CHN; photos by Erfan Dadkhah, Mehr News Agency

One of the two minarets of Qazvin Jameh Mosque was heavily damaged by a fire in the early hours of Saturday December 22. While thecause however has not been determined, the investigators believe that the fire was set by the building's electrical wiring.

"The fire started at 12h20 and the first firefighters arrived on the scene almost 6 minutes later. But unfortunately because the height of the minaret, the fire could not be easily reached and more than half of the minaret burned before the flames could be extinguished." Said Biranvand, the director of the Cultural Heritage office of Qazvin province. "The restoration team will begin their work as soon as tomorrow." He also added.

According to Mehr News Agencey, the firefighters could not get inside the mosque since the door was locked and they couldn't find the mosque's caretaker to open it. It took 45 minutes before the firefighters were finally able to find access to the burning minaret.

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The extent of the damage has been reported to be more than 50%.

"Jameh Mosque of Qazvin (‎ Masjid-e-Jameh Atiq Qazvin) is one of the oldest mosques in Iran, and is the grand, congregational mosque (Jameh Mosque) of Qazvin, in Qazvin Province.

The oldest part of the mosque is said to have been constructed by the orders of Harun al-Rashid in 807CE. Later additions were made, the last being during the late Safavid era. The double layered main dome of the mosque is from the Seljuk era, and is locked to the public. It houses some precious examples of relief calligraphy from medieval times. Renovations have also been carried out on many sections of the mosque.

The foundation of the mosque is laid on a Zoroastrian fire temple.

In spite of the devastating Mongol invasion, the mosque still stands today in its full glory. It is still in use. Parts of the mosque have been turned into a public library.

The mosque also contains a Shabestan and Ab anbar, both now under the protection of Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization."(Wikipedia)


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