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New (Shohada) Mosque

Called "New", as opposed to the Old Congregational Mosque of Shiraz, this mosque is in fact the second oldest mosque in the city. It was built at the order of Atabak Saad ibn Zangi between the years 1201-1218. As attested by some medieval historians, the mosque was at first built as a part of Atabak's house. When his only daughter was threatened with a fatal malady, he vowed to build a mosque if health were returned to her. She got well, and the ruler kept his promise. The earthquakes of 1587, 1766, and 1852 almost razed the structure to the ground, but after every quake, the mosque was rebuilt anew. In the past, the building was also known as the Atabak Mosque, while currently it is called the Shohada (Martyrs of War) Mosque.
The mosque is built on a four-eivan plan and has two prayer halls behind the south and north porches. The Nou Mosque is most notable for its spacious courtyard, which measures 200 m long and 100 m wide - the largest among Iranian mosques. This courtyard was formerly planted with ancient cypresses and plane trees, and for a long time served as a popular promenade. The courtyard spring emptied into three stone-edged tanks placed at even intervals, and the overflow was channeled further on to the various quarters of the city. The building never boasted any particular decoration but was attractive because of its outstanding architectural treatment.
The mosque's fortunes have, however, changed. The trees were cut down, the courtyard roofed and the mosque itself extensively remodeled. Thus, the beautiful historical edifice was turned into an ugly and depressing structure, enjoyed perhaps only by the local clergymen on whose initiative the reconstruction was undertaken. Today the mosque serves as a site for Friday communal prayers.