A Facebook friend posted a picture of a Cornish tin mine chimney stack today. It’s a tubular brick structure which seemingly is associated with the engine houses of the mines.
His point of course being that it’s St Piran’s Day today. St Piran being the patron saint of tin-miners and also generally regarded as the patron saint of Cornwall, although Saint Michael and Saint Petroc also have some claim to this title.
Seemingly the heathen Irish tied St Piran to a mill-stone, rolled it over the edge of a cliff into a stormy sea, which immediately became calm, and the saint floated safely over the water to land upon the sandy beach of Perranzabuloe in Cornwall. Quite a trick I think you will agree.
Anyway, this set me thinking about the Minaret of Jam. It’s in Afghanistan. Sixty five metres tall and elaborately constructed in 1194.
Unlike the Buddha’s of Bamiyan the Taliban have so far spared this UNESCO World Heritage Site from total destruction.
The criteria for the site’s UNESCO status includes:
1. The innovative architecture and decoration of the Minaret of Jam played a significant role in the development of the arts and architecture of the Indian sub-continent and beyond.
2. The Minaret of Jam and its associated archaeological remains constitute exceptional testimony to the power and quality of the Ghurid civilization that dominated the region in the 12th and 13th centuries.
3. The Minaret of Jam is an outstanding example of Islamic architecture and ornamentation in the region and played a significant role for further dissemination.
I hope and trust that such sites will continue to exist after the troop withdrawals from Afghanistan.