Maraqeh Observatory


Mongol ruler Hulagu Khan constructed an observatory here in the 13th century for brilliant mathematician Nasruddin Tusi (Nasir al-Tusi), who advanced Ptomely's planetary theories using his geometric Tusi couple device, later used by Copernicus. On a windswept hill 3km northwest of town, a white golf ball–like geodesic dome has been built over the ruins as protection from the elements.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Iran attractions

1. Gonbad-e Qaffariyeh

1.21 MILES

The squat Gonbad-e Qaffariyeh sits forlornly in a riverside garden with a tacky trio of concrete dolphins.

2. Gonbad-e Kabul

1.67 MILES

The lovely Gonbad-e Kabul is thought to be the tomb of Mongol ruler Hulagu Khan’s mother. It’s attractively dotted with blue-tiled inlay but let down by…

3. Gonbad-e Arqala

1.74 MILES

An attractive, domed stone building, Gonbad-e Arqala houses a fine collection of gravestones and pre-Islamic totems.

4. Gonbad-e Sorkh

1.94 MILES

Of several fine tomb towers scattered around town, this has the most interesting form, with a square plan topped by a pinched octagon. An upper window…