Ferdosi Mausoleum


Domestic tourists flock from miles around to see the mausoleum of Abulqasim Ferdosi (c 940–1020), the great 11th-century poet credited with preserving Persian as a literary form during the era of Arab control. Set in its own park, the pale stone tomb is very classically designed to resemble Cyrus' tomb in Pasargadae. The current form dates from 1968 but there’s been some kind of tomb here since Ferdosi’s death.

The hollow chamber within the main monument contains a series of reliefs representing Ferdosi’s works. A nicely presented if limited museum within the gardens displays a mishmash of paintings, medieval pottery, swords and versions of Ferdosi's classic work – the Shahnamah, an epic poem.

Behind the mausoleum are remnants of the 5m-thick city walls, pierced here by the Razan Gate. The city cemetery had been outside the walls but at the time of his death Ferdosi's historicist writings had been considered too anti-Islamic for him to be buried there, so he was interred in his own garden.

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