There are places of worship throughout the world that can claim to be extraordinarily beautiful in design and form. Among these places, Iran is home to breathtaking mosques filled with intricate mosaics and a kaleidoscope of colors. Dignified, magnificent, and impressive. The arches, tilework mosaics, and the very round domes are the post-Islamic method of building structures in Iran. However, Iranian architecture has a history from at least 5000 BC to the present which significantly inspired the architecture in India, Turkey, and Tajikistan to Zanzibar."The supreme Iranian art, in the proper meaning of the word, has always been its architecture. The supremacy of architecture applies to both pre-and post-Islamic periods." Says Arthur Pope, a pioneering American expert on Iranian art. Various buildings and complexes including mosques, mausoleums, bazaars, bridges, and palaces have survived from ancient times. Iranians knew how to build tall buildings with vast inner space, and their worship places have always been in harmony with their belief and the surrounding nature. The architecture of mosques in Iran varies from region to region, based on the local geometry, materials, and styles. They have often very complicated structures, with the vast use of colors, tilework, and great symbolic patterns. Reflecting the light of the sun, the domes of the mosques appeared like glittering turquoise gems and could be seen from miles away by travelers following the Silk road through Iran. There are many modern mosques around the world built in the past decades which are indeed architectural masterpieces. But they might not be considered historically as precious as the ancient mosques in Muslim countries. For that matter, Iran has a collection of beautiful mosques which - sadly - a lot of people may not even know to exist! Let's take a look at some magnificent mosques around the country.
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran
From the outside, it looks like a conventional mosque, but inside there is something more ... The mosque is called by many different names. Mainly known as the "Pink Mosque", it is also called "Mosque of Colors", "Rainbow Mosque" or "Kaleidoscope Mosque". It is a space where light and worship intermingle. The mosque comes to life with the sunrise and the colors dance throughout the day like whirling dervishes. It is reflected on the floor, walls, arches, and towering spires. It even reflects on visitors as if a colorful ball is struck by the first ray of sunlight and explodes at thousands of butterflies all around. Built by the order of one of the lords of the Qajar dynasty, Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al-Mulk, it took 12 years to complete in 1888. Its interior reveals a magnificent design masterpiece in stunning colors.
|The supreme Iranian art, in the proper meaning of the word, has always been its architecture. The supremacy of architecture applies to both pre-and post-Islamic periods." Says Arthur Pope, a pioneering American expert on Iranian art.
Imam Mosque, Isfahan
Masjid-e Shah (Royal Mosque), Masjid-e Jam 'e Abbasi, Imam Mosque, and Isfahan Imam Mosque all are the names of one wonderful mosque from different times.
One of the finest and the most stunning buildings in the world decorated the south side of Naghsh-i Jahan Square(Isfahan) well. The Mosque, was founded in 1611 by the order of great Shah Abbas the most famous king of the Safavid dynasty. It represents the culmination of a thousand years of mosque building and a magnificent example of Iran architecture and art in stone carving, and tile work, plaster-working with majesty and splendor that places it among the world's greatest monuments.
It is registered along with the Naghsh-i Jahan Square as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Sheikh Lotfolah Mosque
The most unusual mosque in Islamic countries or maybe one of the best ones because it has neither a minaret nor a courtyard. Maybe, was never predesignated for public use, but rather served as the worship place for the women of the shah’s harem. A twisting hallway with low light where the eyes become accustomed to the darkness will guide you to the most beautiful dome. This mosque along with other unique elements like Ali Qapo Palace, Qaisaria Bazaar, and Imam Mosque have created the most beautiful artwork in the world called Naghsh Jahan Square.
Vakil Mosque or Soltani Mosque and Jame Vakil, Mosque-Shiraz
This Mosque was built by the order of Karim Khan Zand the most famous king of the Zand dynasty(1766) near the royal palace. Now after 256 years this building is still standing. Masjed-e Vakil The Regent's Mosque is one of the most beautiful Karim Khan's creations in Shiraz. It is significant not only as a major religious building of the Zand period but also as the only important building of its kind to be constructed in late 18th-century Iran.
Isfahan is the greatest museum that people are living there. When you are in Isfahan a list of beautiful mosques which are a collection of the best artworks can mesmerize all visitors. Seyyed Mosque is the biggest and most famous mosque from the Qajar era in Isfahan. The eye-catching architecture, lovely tile work, and spiritual ambiance encourage visitors to spend some time sightseeing at the splendid structure. This is the largest mosque of the Qajar dynasty and some parts of this mosque are similar to the Imam Mosque of the Naghsh-e Jahan Square.
Yazd Jame Mosque -The tallest minarets in Iran
A great mosque remained from the 12th-century that is still in use today. Yazd Grand Jame Mosque is one of the most important mosques in Iran and Yazd, is built on the remains of the Sassanid fire temple. Overlooking the old area of the city, this magnificent building is adorned with a tiled entrance gate (one of the tallest in Iran), flanked by two 48m high minarets and adorned with 15th-century inscriptions.
One of the most important and valuable monuments left from the Mongol period in Iran. Goharshad mosque is one of the most important and crowded mosques in Iran due to its many endowments and proximity to the tomb of Ali ibn Musa al-Reza(8th Shiit Imam) consider the most visited mosque in Iran. This mosque was built in Mashhad by the order of Gohar Shad Begum, Shahrokh's wife during the Timurid era.