Menar Jonban Isfahan | An engineering Masterpiece

Menar Jonban (meaning: Shaking Minarets) is a historic monument in Isfahan city. While the monument dates back to 14th century as a shrine for a Sufi hermit, the shaking minarets are believed to have been built in the Safavid Era (1501-17036).

An anti-earthquake monument, is considered as one historical, architectural and scientific site in Iran and is one of the famous sites of the world, and of the top Isfahan tourist attractions.

Minar Jonban address and opening hours are included in the end.

Before continue reading, let’s watch this video about amazing beautiful city of Isfahan!

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#1 Menar Jonban Explanation

Menar Jonban (literally meaning shaking minarets) or Sheikh Amir Abdollah construction started in 14th century in order to cover Amu Abdollah Soghla’s grave (Amu Abdollah-ebne Mahmoud Soghlabi was a famous gnostic of the time). The gravestone of Amu Abdollah shows the carved number of 716, which according to archaeologists, architects and existing documents, declares the year in which his tomb was built.

Menar Jonban Isfahan -

Menar Jonban – 1873

You can see the various parts of the monument including:

  1. Minarets from Safavid Dynasty (15th to 17th century),
  2.  Iwan from Ilkhanid dynasty,
  3.  Amu Abdollah’s grave,
  4.  Other graves of Safavid Dynasty,
  5.  Menar Jonban Chell-e khane (two small rooms in which Gnostics stayed for forty days in order to pray and to undergo mortification).

Also, in environ of the building there is another construction called fire-temple.

Menar Jonban Isfahan

The iwan consists hermits and shrine and minarets were later added to the building and are built from bricks. The iwan is 10 metres in height and 10 meters in width and the minarets are 7 meters taller and 4 meters in circumference. A corridor and spiral staircase makes the connection between rooftop and minarets. Turquoise-colored polygonal tiles and star-shaped ultramarine tiles were used to design the monuments by the artists of the time.


#2 Menar Jonban Mystery

The reason to name this monument Menar Jonban (Shaking Minarets) is that in spite of the building’s firmness, it shakes in its place. The minarets were shaking every hour for the past few hundred years and are still standing. The major distinguished feature of the monument is that whenever one minaret is shaking, the other also shakes, along with the whole building and Menar Jonban Isfahan, gets its uniqueness from this feature.

A clear film of the movement of the Menar jonban of isfahan in 1335!

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The engineers of physics believe that the Doppler Effect (by the Austrian physicist Christian Doppler) is the reason of the building’s movements.

The employees of the site shake minarets in specific hours (every hour sharp) for tourists to observe the shaking minarets explained earlier.


#3 Shaking Minarets’ Movement Indication

Being aware of the information about shaking minarets, the tourists wonder how to indicate the movement. The coupled oscillation can be observed from the ground level and are as follows:

  1. Little bells are placed on each minarets. Whenever the monument shakes, the bells also shake and we can hear the noise being produced by the bells.
  2.  There is a clock hanging on the wall of iwan and its movement is obvious on the wall.
  3.  The glass in front of the grave at the end of iwan. A glass is placed in front of Amu Abdollah’s grave to protect it and when the glass shakes, it makes a noise.
  4.  A bowl of water was previously placed on the grave to show the movements, but it is not anymore.

Menar Jonban Isfahan


#4 Shaking Minarets Isfahan

Besides Menar Jonban, there is another pair of shaking minarets in Imanshahr, Isfahan province, which belongs to the earlier Ilkhanid dynasty era.

One shaking minaret is also in Ahmed Abad, India.

Menar Jonban Isfahan - shaking minarets in ahmedabad

Shaking minarets in Ahmadabad


#5  Menar Jonban Facilities

There are a few facilities in Menar Jonban which you can enjoy using after you’ve visited the site including the lush and paving area, small snack store, temporary stores of souvenirs, the guide book consisting the historical monuments of Isfahan, etc.



Menar Jonban Opening Hours

Everyday, 9 AM to 6:30 PM

Menar Jonban Address

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1 Comment

LILI.LU · July 11, 2019 at 3:54 pm

Thanks for the informative post! so i am traveling to Iran in 4 months, and i wanted to know if these minarets can be shaken whenever one gets there? or there’s a schedule maybe?

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