Shrine of Esther and Mardocai, Hamadan.

Shrine of Esther and Mardocai
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Shrine of Esther and Mardocai

Mausoleum of Esther and Mardocai in a small walled garden on Shariati Street 200 m west of Imam Khomeini Square, is traditionally believed to be the place where Esther, the Jewish Queen of Susa and Xerxes wife, and Mardocai, her uncle, have been buried. It is considered as the most important Jewish pilgrimage site in Iran, and used to be visited by Jewish pilgrims from all over the world. Inside the brick dome and upon the plaster work of the walls there are some Hebrew inscription. The experts now say Esther was in fact buried in Susa, and this tomb probably belongs to another Jewish Queen, the wife of Sassanian king Yazdgird I (339-420 AD), Shushan Dokht.

There has been a Jewish colony at Hamadan according to Herfeld since the latters time. The simple brick building, constructed in the 13th century on the site of an earlier (probably a 5th-century tomb), is entered through a rough stone door, which swings open into a large assembly room, a vestibule, an elevation, and a Shah Neshin. Actually, it has nothing to speak about from the architectural point of view. The exterior form of this mausoleum, built of brick and stone, resembles Islamic constructions. Another smaller chamber facing the twin tombs is used for prayers aided by an ancient Torah on vellum. The two ebony tombs are covered with a striking collection of colorful clothes.

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