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A minaret (/ˌmɪnəˈrɛt, ˈmɪnəˌrɛt/; Persian: مناره‎‎ menare, Turkish: minare,), from Arabic: منارةmanāra, also known as Goldaste (Persian: گلدسته‎‎) lit. "lighthouse", is a distinctive architectural structure akin to a tower and typically found adjacent to mosques. Generally a tall spire with a conical or onion-shaped crown, usually either free-standing or taller than associated support structure. The basic form of a minaret includes a base, shaft, and gallery. Styles vary regionally and by period. Minarets provide a visual focal point and are used for the call to prayer (azān).

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