Being an Islamic country, there are a number of mosques and holy shrines in the country. Generally speaking, the architecture of mosques in Iran is a combination of symmetry, geometric designs, and vibrant colors creating an astonishing view which no one can forget easily
1. Nasir Al-Molk Mosque, Shiraz
This is probably the first image coming to your mind when we talk about Iranian mosques. It is also known as Pink mosque, because of pink color tiles for its interior design. When standing outside the mosque, you cannot guess what waits for you inside. Just step in and see the magic of light and color.
The mosque was constructed during the Qajar era, over the course of 12 years during the late 1800s, but restoration and maintenance efforts continue today. The mosque was built by the order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir Al-Molk, and it is designed by Mohammad Hasan-e Memar.
2. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Isfahan
The Sheikh-Lotfollah Mosque is a stunning example of intricate Iranian architecture, standing strong since 1619. The design of the building itself is rather simple, but the tile work makes it well worth the visit. The dome is without a doubt the focal point of attention with its arabesque designs that become smaller as they approach the center. The mosque's dome is covered in vivid colored tiles inside and out, but our favorite view is the hypnotic blue and yellow patterns on the inside of the dome.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is best recognized for its defiantly off-center dome and lack of minarets. The cream-hued tiles shift colors as the sun moves throughout the day, giving them a pinkish tint at times.
3. Shah Cheragh Mosque, Shiraz
Shah Cheragh is a mausoleum and mosque, which is one of the most important pilgrimage sites in ran. The mausoleum attracts millions of tourists on an annual basis. Looking to the monument from outside, it seems like an ordinary mosque with a tomb and two minarets, but what makes it so different and valuable is the breathtaking interior design, with millions of small mirror and glass pieces covering the walls and ceiling of the temple. Therefore, Shah Cheragh Mausoleum is known as the magnificent mirrored mosque in Shiraz. It’s no wonder the name of this mirrored mosque translates to “King of Light.”
4. Imam Mosque, Esfahan
The Imam Mosque is situated on the southern side of one of the most beautiful squares in Iran; Naghshe Jahan Square. The mosque is an excellent example of Islamic architecture in the country which has been listed as the World Heritage Site by UNESCO along with other monuments at the square.
The mosque dates back to the 1600s. It's made of mosaic tiles of seven different colors and is considered as one of the most stunning examples of Iranian architecture. It has four towering minarets, 18 million bricks and hundreds of thousands of tiles. The ornamental entrance of the building is packed with colorful mosaic tiles and elaborate inscriptions.
5. Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble, Ardabil
In 2010, Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah was listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Constructed between the 16th and 18th centuries, it includes a fusion of Sufi and Iranian traditional construction as well as representations of the seven stages and eight attitudes of Sufi mysticism in its architecture. The tomb of Sheikh Safi is constructed as an octagon, and the dome is known as "Allah, Allah" is placed on top of it.
The most important parts of this collection are the main entrance door, a mosque, the
6. Jameh Mosque, Yazd
Jameh Mosque of Yazd is also named the Friday Mosque, which is a beautiful sample of Iranian architecture with the Azeri style. The mosque is crowned by a pair of minarets of 52 meters, the highest in Iran.
The mosque was built in the 12th century and it is still in use today. It was first built under Ala'oddoleh Garshasb of the Al-e Bouyeh Dynasty and later rebuilt largely between 1324 and 1365. The exquisite calligraphy and complex geometric patterns create a great view of outside, while the interior part is full of honeycomb tiles, Kufic script, and plasterwork, all of which lead to the dreamy star-filled dome.
The mosque is well-known for being the oldest architecture of its kind, using indirect light in the mosque, and also extensive ceilings with astonishing decorations.
7. Blue Mosque, Tabriz
Blue Mosque or the Turquoise of Islam is covered beautifully with blue tiles. The mosque was built in 1465 by the order of Jahan Shah, the ruler of the Qaraqouyunlu Dynasty and it was suffered in a massive earthquake in 1779.
The Blue Mosque was a member of a larger architectural complex called the Mozafriya Collection. This collection consisted of a mosque, a monastery, a courtyard, a library, and other parts, all of which were destroyed, and of all the buildings, just the blue mosque remains.
8. Gohar Shad Mosque, Mashhad
The Gohar Shad Mosque is the largest and most beautiful mosque in the monument of the holy shrine of Imam Reza". It was built by order of Empress Gohar Shad, wife of Shahrokh, the kings of Timurid Dynasty, in 1418 AD. Its courtyard with 2,850 square meters is the oldest one in this complex. The mosque is a classic mosque built in the form of four ivory mosques.
It has a dome with a height of 41 meters and 2 minarets with a height of 43 meters. Its azure dome creates a beautiful view in contrast to the golden dome of Imam Reza holy shrine. This is one of the exceptional examples of Islamic architecture for sure.
9. Agha Bozorg Mosque, Kashan
Kashan is mostly known and visited for Fin Garden, and historical houses. However, in the historical part of the city, there is a magnificent mosque called Agha Bozorg Mosque which has been described as "the finest Islamic complex in Kashan.
The mosque along with a school was built in the late 18th century by
10. Vakil Mosque, Shiraz
Vakil Mosque is located on the western side of the entrance of Vakil Bazaar. The mosque was built during the Zand Dynasty between 1751 and 1773 and covers an area of 8,660 meters square. The mosque constructed for public use.
Unlike most of the mosques in Iran with four iwans, this mosque has only two iwans which are located on the northern and southern sides of a large court. The decoration of iwans is typical colorful polychrome tiles known as seven-colored tiles which are the symbol of art and architecture of Zand Dynasty in the 18th century. The Shabestan (prayer hall) covers an area of approximately 2,700 meters square with 48 monolithic pillars carved in spirals, each with a capital of acanthus leaves.