Abbasi Great Mosque or Imam mosque is one of the masterpieces of the Safavid era (11th century Hijri Qamari) architecture in Isfahan and Iran, Which is located in south side of Naqsh-e Jahan square. The most striking feature of this mosque are its orientation towards Qibla with architectural techniques and beautiful tiles, which blurs the eyes of every visitor. The Shah mosque in Isfahan was registered in UNESCO World Heritage with Naqsh-e Jahan Square.


History of Abbasi Great Mosque

Mosque is the Muslim worship and in all the cities and villages of Iran, mosques are made simple or magnificent throughout history. Abbasi Great mosque is the most important mosque of Safavid era in Isfahan, which was built by the great Shah Abbas order in 1020 AH at same time with his 24th kingdom anniversary and decorations was continued still after him. In the historical books, this mosque is named Masjed Jameh Abbasi (Abbasi Jameh Mosque) and it is also known with Soltani Mosque. There is a calligraphy inscription on entrance of mosque that shows Shah Abbas built his mosque with his own property and presented it to his ancestor; Shah Tahmasb. Under this inscription, there is another calligraphy inscription that celebrates the architect of the mosque; Ali Akbar Isfahani. The mosque calligraphers were the best artists of that period including Alireza Abbasi, Abdolbaghi Tabrizi, Mohammad Reza Emami and Mommad Saleh Emami.


Architecture of Abbasi Great Mosque

After the entrance of Islam in Iran, mosques are considered as the most important centers of social and religious of Iranians and have a valuable position in architecture and urbanization. The Shah Abbasi mosque is one of the most magnificent monuments in Iran, located on the Naqsh-e Jahan square (Median-e Imam), its architecture is one of the masterpieces of Islamic architecture.



The square plan is rectangular and the Shah mosque is located along the south. Since Qibla is important element in mosques, the architect has turned it towards the qiblah (Mecca) side e.g. southwest with his own tact and art, as the worshipers or visitors stand to the qiblah through the corridors. The main entrance of the mosque is a large and heavy door of gold and silver, with poets in Nastaliq handwriting and the date of its installation. There are also other entrances from alleys to easy access. The mosque’s plan is four-porch and there are two schools in the southwest and southeast; Nasseri and Sulaimaniyah. In Nasseri Mosque there is a simple stone that shows the time of noon, which narrates it is related to Sheikh Bahaei; the famous scientist and mathematician of the great Shah Abbas time.



The dome of the mosque is in the form of two-shell and there are scaffolds in the empty space between them and its height is 52 meters from the ground. The attraction of the mosque is the reflection of sound under the dome that has involved many architects and physicists. The tourists are singing here and rejoicing their echo.



The tiles of Shah Abbasi Mosque are one of the most eye-catching Iranian architectures. The blue color and Eslimi patterns of the tile takes us to another world like paradise. The mosque is decorated by Haft-Rang (seven color) tiles and Moarragh tiles. The design of the every tile abreast create outline and represent the meaning of pluralism and monotheism; an Islamic concept. The main arc is framed with three blue spirals and is semi-dome shape. If you look carefully at the Moaragh tiles, you will see the peacock’s pattern, which in the Iranian traditions represents eternity. In general, tile patterns, including flowers and shrubs with mild colors, represent the heavenly gardens that have been promised in Islam.



All the parts of the Imam mosque in Isfahan are beautifully decorated; however, some of the elements in the mosque are emphasized by the architecture, the pulpit is one of this elements. The Pulpit of Imam mosque is made from prophyry stone and has 14 steps, which is the last step of the bigger. This Pulpit is usually used in winter.

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