AḤMAD B. AYYŪB ḤĀFEẒ, 7th-8th/13th-14th Azerbaijani architect, one of the best representatives of the architectural school of Naḵǰavān. He constructed in Barda (Barḏaʿa) a mausoleum, completed in 722/1322 according to the building inscription.

Externally the mausoleum is cylindrical (height 14 m, diameter 10 m), while its interior is decagonal; the tomb is cruciform. The mausoleums outer facing is of glazed and unglazed brick finished by a broad frieze, the central band of which bears an inscription from the Koran. Above the upper framing of the frieze some fragments of a stalactite cornice can still be seen. The mausoleum has two entrances with imposing portals. The northern portal is particularly remarkable by its composition and effects of light and shade, its dimensions and rich ornamentation. It is among the best in the architecture of Azerbaijan. The architect found a masterly solution for the planning of the interior of the mausoleum, both its above and underground parts. The importance of the mausoleum of Barda lies in its overall expressiveness, the completeness of the compositional concept, and the perfection of its architectural forms.

Another mausoleum (Akhsadan Baba) near the first may also be a creation of Aḥmad b. Ayyūb. Its remains display the same architectural and building techniques as the first and are probably contemporaneous with it. The round plan of this mausoleum is distinctive; particularly noteworthy is the rich mosaic ornamentation of the interior.


E. A. Pakhomov, Bashennye mavzolei v Barde i ikh nadpisi, Baku, 1936.

M. A. Useĭnov, Pamyatniki azerbaĭdzhanskogo zodchestva, Moscow, 1951.

L. K. Bretanitskiĭ, “K voprosu o nakhichevanskoĭ arkhitekturnoĭ shkole,” in Arkhitektura respublik Zakavkaz’ya, Moscow, 1951.

M. Useĭnov, L. Bretanitskiĭ, A. Salamzade, Istoriya arkhitektury Azerbaĭdzhana, Moscow, 1963.


Archived version of  the EIr.  printed edition



(A. A. Kalantarian)

Originally Published: December 15, 1984

Last Updated: May 24, 2012

This article is available in print.
Vol. I, Fasc. 6, p. 639

Cite this entry:

A. A. Kalantarian, “AḤMAD B. AYYŪB,” Encyclopædia Iranica, I/6, p. 639; an updated version is available online at http://www.iranicaonline.org/articles/ahmad-b-3 (accessed on 16 March 2014).