Archeological Reports

The Evolution of Religious Architecture in the Sasanian Period

Ali Hozhabri; Editor: Milad Vandaee
Translated by:
Greg Watson

The chahārtāgh – meaning „four arches‟ – was the most distinctive and emblematic religious architectural form produced in ancient Iran, particularly in the Sasanian period (ca. 224-650 CE). It is a true Iranian national architectural symbol (Godard 1371/1992: 78). The essential architectural plan of the chahārtāgh was a form much employed for religious buildings of Iran in the pre-Islamic period and after, either in standalone form or as an element of a larger complex (Neyestāni et. al, 1391/2012: 173). The chahārtāgh is a symmetrical architectural form on a square plan with four corner piers that form the pillars for the arches and support a domed roof.