Rezvani-Naraghi, Ashkan. "From Architectural Entities to Social Spaces: Redefining the Notions of Takiyeh and Takiyeh Dowlat." pp. 141-165
This article demonstrates how the production of an architectural discourse through the works of nineteenth-century European travellers and orientalists has had a long-term effect on the studies of takiyeh spaces in Iranian cities, where mourning ceremonies were held during the month of Muharram. By analysing takiyehs as fluid social spaces, rather than as fixed architectural sites, this article argues that the co-presence of social relations was the main criterion for the production of takiyehs and the physical and architectural manifestations were the byproducts of the sociality of spaces. Moreover, it shows that the Royal Takiyeh of Tehran, Takiyeh Dowlat, became a flexible sociopolitical concept that had various architectural manifestations in different times. In contrast to the general assumption that a giant circular building in late nineteenth-century Tehran constituted the sole takiyeh dowlat, this article argues that takiyeh dowlat was a well-established sociopolitical practice that can be traced back to the early nineteenth century. Through these investigations, this article suggests that instead of applying foreign architectural discourses to nineteenth-century Iran, social analysis provides an alternative framework for understanding social spaces in nineteenth-century Iranian cities.
Keywords: Qajar; Takiyeh Dowlat; Tehran; architectural discourse; social space; takiyeh