General

Ark-e AliShāh, also known as Ark-e Tabriz and Masjid AliShāh, is a remnant of a mosque in the center of Tabriz, Iran, built in the Ilkhanate period.According to some historians, it was used as a military castle however, others claim the structure was initially used as a mosque, but during the Qajar era was used as a military post and storage facility for weapons (in Persian ‘Ark’ or ‘Arg’ means “castle”). Consequently, after the Iranian Revolution the regime of Islamic republic damaged large parts of the Ark to make a new mosque. The structure today stands 28 meters high, and is still used as part of a space for holding Friday prayers in Tabriz.
The original construction was between 1318-1339, during Ilkhanate dynasty. Within the construction the roof of the mausoleum collapsed and the construction stopped afterward. By erupt of Russo-Persian_Wars in 1804-1828 the and Anglo-Persian War the compound quickly reconstructed as a military compound. During reconstruction of Arg compound a foundry factory for manufacturing of Cannon for Iranian Army, Iranian Army’s military headquarter, a barrack for Iranian troops, and a small palace were added to the original plan of the Arg.
 During Russian invasion of Tabriz in 1911 they shelled Arg in initial attacks. Once they captured city they used Arg as a central command center. During their occupation because of careless handling the artillery pieces they set fire on parts of Arg.During Pahlavi era Parts of Ark which have been constructed in 19th century Qajar dynasty is destroyed. This destruction was with the aim of purifying the original Arg construction from later developments. The southern part of the Ark is turned to a park, Mellat Garden before Iranian revolution in 1979.
 In early 1980s after suppression of uprising of supporters of Muslim People’s Republic Party against the new establishment of mixing religion and state and neglecting of Azerbaijani minorities, Moslem Malakuti selected as new Imam Juma of Tabriz by revolutionary government. One of his first orders was destruction parts of Ark wall and the cultural institutes surrounding it to make a new mosque for Friday prayers. Some people believe this destruction of local heritage was a systematic destruction of local Azerbaijani identity.In 1990s and 2000s a rehabilitation and renovation project was executed by the Iranian Organization for Cultural Heritages. During this rehabilitation however removed all of the remaining Qajar era development from Arg castle. Also by construction of a new mosque next to the Arg castle which has an elevation more than allowable elevation the architecture of Ark is dominated by the new mosque.
 Tabriz castle is located in the center of Tabriz and it`s known as AliShah castle. This historical building dates back to 700 years ago and the style of architecture is Azari style. Tabrize castle is the highest historical wall in Iran and it is the symbol of Tabriz city. This historical collection includes school, mosque and monastery. It`s been built in 8th century. Main materials of this building are mortar and lasting materials. A ruinous earth quake in 10th century ruined the whole historical buildings of Tabriz and many parts of Tabriz castle destroyed ,too. Nowadays, high walls and the altar of southern chamber of the mosque are signs of developing. The main elements of mosque are the walls of the arched balcony(Ivan) and the great carrier of arch.

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