Investigation in permanence of the concept of Chalipa(cross) in Iranian Architectural patterns


Faculty of Architecture and Urban Development, Imam Khomeini International University (IKIU), Qazvin, Iran


Chalipa is known as one of the oldest ancient symbols, and also one of the most popular motifs in Iranian art. The application of this concept in not limited to pottery and artworks, but in many other fields of art such as painting and architecture. This concept can be widely found in Iranian architectural patterns and decorative motifs during different periods of history, before and after Islam. The present article aims to investigate the meanings of the concept of Chalipa in different historical eras, and the reasons behind its durability in Iranian buildings and architecture. In this order, many historical evidences and materials had been studied with a critical approach. Several materials about ancient buildings such as plans and inscriptions had been studied in order to seek the evidences about Chalipa. Another important topic that has been investigated in this paper is the origins of this supernatural concept, and its effects on architectural geometry and formation during different historical periods. Consequently, an analogical approach has been taken based on the documentary studies with descriptive and analytical methods. The findings indicate that this concept has been a symbol of supernatural and sacred power in human life during different eras of history. As a result, the following concept can be found in geometric structures and ornamental elements of buildings in the template of four-square, dome house and pavilion, and also in valuable spiritual buildings such as tombs, houses of worship and mosques.