Location of Theological Schools in Islamic Historical Cities (Case Studies: the Cities of Qazvin and Isfahan)

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate professor of architecture, Architecture and Urban Design Faculty, Islamic Azad University, Central Tehran Branch, Iran

2 Assistant professor of urban planning, Faculty of Architecture and Urban Planning, , Islamic Azad University, Qazvin branch, Qazvin, Iran

3 PhD candidate in architecture, Faculty of Arts and Architecture, Science and Research Branch, Islamic Azad University, Tehran, Iran

4 MA in architectural technology, College of Fine Arts, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran


The expansion of urban system in the Sassanid period and the significant increase in the number of teachers did not reduce the prohibition of mass participation in higher education and science education centers, and it was rarely possible for an individual to exceed the limits of the class system, and to a class other than the class of Self Improvement. After Islam, education was removed from the monopoly of the privileged classes, and the possibility of studying secondary and higher education was more or less available to many people. The sciences such as medicine and astronomy were still concentrated in the centers like Jundishapur, but religious science was taught in the early centuries in mosques and scholars' homes. 
This is a historical research with a descriptive-analytical method. Content analysis method has been used in descriptive research method. The method of data collection has been used through library and documentary studies with the study samples (Qazvin and Isfahan). In the research, we have discussed the places of establishment of the theology schools.
Results and discussion
According to the studies conducted by the religious schools in the cities near the Jami Mosque, there were some markets, inside the neighborhoods, and sometimes around the streets or squares. This is noteworthy that the schools are considered as one of the most important elements in the spatial structure of Islamic cities, either directly with other important functions such as the mosque or the core of the city's market, or through the intermediary functions. The endowments of the lords and elders of the city were formed inside the neighborhoods. By examining case studies, it was concluded that most religious and religious schools in Isfahan were formed during the Safavid period mainly from the market and bazaar of Isfahan, while the religious schools of Qazvin during the Qajar period were mainly in the neighborhood and adjacent to the main streets of the city of the settlement they found.
Historical data show that, as a rule, in large cities and capitals, the one hand, worldly and cultural investments could well be proceed with development of religious sciences and the socio-historical conditions. Thus, the education of a large number of religious schools required a great deal and, then, a significant number of religious schools was built, which was initially deployed in or near the proximity to the central mosque. In the second place, due to the fact that the school was a public and masculine space, it was part of the marketplace. In the third place, some of the scholars or the lords and the Rijal of the city who wanted to build a school would prefer to act in their own neighborhood. To some extent, they have contributed to development of their neighborhood. Thus, a number of schools were developed in residential neighborhoods, along with the main ways of the neighborhood to the market and far from the inner passage. In some cases, a number of schools were set up next to or near the city streets or the streets that were the direct route.
In this research, two cities have been considered different from the historical-social aspect and the function-demographic in different conditions. As a result, location of the religious schools was different from other schools. First of all, Esfahan as a populated city, the capital and an important political administrative center in the country, experienced religious conflicts between Islamic sects. In the second Safavid period, these conflicts existed between religious groups inside and outside Iran. In both cases, it was necessary to educate students and build schools. Of course, the place of establishment of schools in the Seljuk period is not easy due to the historic distance and urban transformation, but the location of the Safavid period schools has been investigated. Despite of the fact that in the era of Shah Tahmasb and his successor for nearly half a century the city of Qazvin, not yet developed historically, socially and demographically to a single point, could play a role in development of a large number of schools
During the Qajar period, due to the transfer of the capital to Tehran, it became a relatively minor city. On the other hand, the government and the Rijal of the Qajar period seemed to have slightly different religious ideals relative to the Safavid period. As a result, a number of mosque-schools were built in Tehran. In other cities such as Qazvin, many of the schools were developed along the main roads of residential neighborhoods. In addition, it is necessary to consider the movement of the old Qazvin bazaar due to the relocation of the urban administrative center and the formation of a new market for the establishment of the schools.


Main Subjects

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