Sultaniya: Tomb of Oljeitu, pattern on dado, south side entrance



Pope, Arthur Upham
Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham

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(Continued from previous card). Despite its size, the dome is as buoyant, as light and secure as the vault of heaven. There are no wide, empty walls to dilute or retard the harmonious upward flow, no thin multiple verticals to aggressively speed the effortless movement
there are only powerful scale and studied proportions. The walls were originally faced with light golden-toned brick, punctuated with small, dark blue faience tiles strung out to form large inscriptions of rectangular Kufic, but in 1313 the interior was redecorated with plaster. Fine ornamentation, often in low relief, with varied designs, e.g. huge lacy medallions or painted mosaic and floral patterns in garnet, soft rust, dark blue and gold on a light ground. Everywhere sacred inscriptions proclaimed the divine message, framing all arches, crowning the dado, encircling the base of the dome, in gentle flowing movement. The vaults of the outer 24 galleries (3 on a side) were decorated with painted panels of intricate geometric ornament, set in simulated brick bonding with handsome end ornaments. Intrado of window arches - carved stucco.


Mediaeval architecture, architecture, mosaics & inlays, book scan





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This image is provided for research purposes only and must not be reproduced without the prior permission of the Archives Program, Australian National University.


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