Minarets of Herat

The Minarets of Herat

The Minarets of Herat

I can’t get out to these parts of town.

So…I gave my camera to my boys Shoaib and Wahid.  They cruised down to the Minarets and took these photos for me and did a pretty good job of it.

Great photos.  I cropped and shaped some of them up a bit.  The photos give an excellent idea of the experience of visiting these ancient edifices. I would love to be able to get out there someday and see the Minarets myself.  Touch them.  Feel their spirit or their vibe so to speak.

Perhaps I’ll get the chance someday.

These links give a bit of background information about the Minarets.


Times Online

Letters from Herat

Function of a Minaret

As well as providing a visual cue to a Muslim community, the call to prayer is traditionally given from the top of the minaret. In some of the oldest mosques, such as the Great Mosque of Damascus, minarets originally served as watchtowers illuminated by torches (hence the derivation of the word from the Arabic nur, meaning “light”). In more recent times, the main function of the minaret was to provide a vantage point from which the muezzin can call out the adhan, calling the faithful to prayer. In most modern Mosques, the adhan is called not in the minaret, but in the musallah, or prayer hall, via a microphone and speaker system.

In a practical sense, these are also used for natural air conditioning. As the sun heats the dome, air is drawn in through open windows and up and out of the shaft, thereby causing a natural ventilation.

Minarets have been described as the “gate from heaven and earth”, and as the Arabic language letter alif (which is a straight vertical line).

The world’s tallest minaret (at 210 meters) is located at the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco. The world’s tallest brick minaret is Qutub Minar located in Delhi, India. There are two 230 meter tall minarets under construction in Tehran, Iran.

4 comments on “Minarets of Herat

  1. Swimming pool. Segregated. Men on most days and certain times/days only women can be there. Dumbest thing I’ve ever seen. lol

  2. When the tourist industry is restored in
    Afghanistan this will be a wonderful place
    to visit. In 20 or 30 years, I’ll be happy
    to tour the Minarets in Afghanistan.

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