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092. Herat: Abdullah al-Valid Shrine

Herat Province. 1,053 kilometers by road west of Kabul.

Dates:  Achaemenid, 6th-4th century BC (epigraphic evidence);
           Sassanian, 3rd-7th century AD (numismatic, stylistic);
           Seljuk, Ghurid, Kart and Timurid, 11th-16th century
           (architectural, documentary, stylistic).

Herat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site candidate (Sept. 2004), is thought to have been established before 500 BC as the ancient Persian town of Artacoana or Aria. The city's older section is partially surrounded by the remains of massive mud walls, where several monuments still stand, such as: the Qal'a-i Ikhtiyar al-Din (a 15th-century citadel) and the Great Mosque, which contains examples of 12th-century Ghurid brick-work and 15th-16th century Timurid tilework. The city's other important monuments are outside the walls. To the north, atop a large artificial mound called Kuhandazh (the likely site of pre-13th century Herat), we find the 15th-century Mausoleum of Shahzada 'Abul Qasim and the 15th-century Abdullah bin Muawiyah Shrine on the opposite side of the road. Farther to the north is the Gawharshad Musalla Complex. Two hundred meters southwest of the Herat city walls is a dated 1487 mausoleum, the Shrine of Abdullah al-Valid.

Abdullah al-Valid Shrine

Variant Names: Mir Shahid Shrine, Mazar-e 'Abdullah al-Vahid, Abdullah al-Vahid Mausoleum

In Khanchehabad Village, outside the Firuzabad Gate of Herat

Dates: Timurid period, 1487 (restored 1905)

All photos courtesy of Archnet.

Source: Warwick Ball, Archaeological Gazetteer of Afghanistan, 1982, n. 425

See also: Golombek, Lisa and Donald Wilber. 1988. The Timurid Architecture of Iran and Turan. Princeton: Princeton University Press I, page 313.


  34° 20' N
  34.33333º N
  62° 11' E

62.18333º E


Herat is found at the above
coordinates on JOG map