If you have plans to travel to Iran and specially travel to Isfahan, it is highly recommended to visit Shah Mosque. Visiting this religious place is among the programs of many of Isfahan tours.
The Shah Mosque, also known as Jame Mosque, Soltani Mosque and Imam Mosque, is one of the mosques of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan, which was built during the Safavid period and is one of the most important buildings in the Islamic architecture of Iran and is one of the popular Isfahan tourist attractions. This building is an immortal masterpiece of architecture, tiling, and carpentry in the eleventh century AH. The mosque was registered on January 6, 1932 with the number 107, as one of the national historic places of Iran.
Nowadays, many of Isfahan hotels are built near to Shah Mosque. Hotel Abbasi is one of those hotels, which is one of the best hotels in Iran, is only 10 minutes far from this mosque.
The Shah mosque is located on the southern side of the Naqsh-e-Jahan Square and is one of the most prominent works of Iranian architecture in terms of construction, rich decorations and exquisite works. As it turns out, its construction started in the third stage of the implementation of Naqsh-e-Jahan square by the order of King Abbas the great and ended in the period of King Safi.
The subject that draws attention about Shah Mosque and most tourists and travelers have referred to it, and architects and engineers have considered it one of the most elaborate architectural techniques, is the subject of observing the Qibla in the mosque. The mosque's builders have created a doorway that runs through the entrance door without being felt, half-turning to the right. In fact, the prominent architect of this work built the mosque at a 45-degree angle in the direction of the Qibla.
The Mosque also known as: Mahdieh Mosque, Al-Mahdi Mosque, Abbasi Mosque, New Soltani Mosque, Shah Mosque.
Location: South side of Naqsh-e-Jahan Square and near to many of Isfahan hotels.
Establishing Year: 1020 AH (Shah Abbas I)
Architect: Professor Ali Akbar Esfahan and supervisor of the building Muhib Ali Beykullah
Calligraphy: Alireza Abbasi, Abdol Baghi Tabrizi, Mohammad Reza Emami, Mohammad Saleh Emami
The inscription in the Shah Mosque, which is written in Sols font by Ali Reza Abbasi, suggests that Shah Abbas built the mosque with his own budget and dedicated it to the great soul of Shah Tahmasb.
The huge dome of the mosque is 52 meters, the height of the minarets inside it is 48 meters and the height of the minarets on its façade in Naqsh-e-Jahan square is 42 meters. One of the interesting points of this mosque is the echo of sound in the center of its southern large dome.
The Shah Mosque at the southern end of Naqsh-e-Jahan Square, is a valuable example of the architecture of the 11th century AH. The building of the mosque began in the year 1019 AH (1611 AD) and ended in 1038 AH (1629 AD). The mosque was built as a public building for people.
The beautiful and magnificent facade of the mosque is mosaic tiled, but the other parts are decorated with clay tiles. Many scholars of Safavid history, believe that the difference between the interior and exterior tiles is a result of Shah Abbas I’s hurry to complete the mosque.
The architect of the mosque is Professor Ali Akbar Isfahani, a prominent architect of the Safavid era, whose name appeared in the inscription on the facade. The mosque in the Safavid era called Mahdiye Mosque, al-Mahdi Mosque, and in books, travelers’ diaries, was titled by other names such as the Abbasi Mosque and Soltani Mosque.
The magnificent facade of the mosque with the minarets on both sides adds to the beauty of the building. It is decorated with colorful decorative tiles with flower designs, plants and birds, and Muqarnas covered with mosaic tiles with various and beautifully decorated patterns.
At the top of the inscription there is a pavilion whose tiling is very interesting. The two peacocks shaped on the sides of a pot and decorated with mosaic tiles are considered as the mosque’s attractions.
The mian door of the mosque was installed during the reign of Shah Safi, the successor to Shah Abbas I. The phrase that is written in Nastaliq font "the door of Kaaba was opened in Sepahan", says the installation of this door dates to 1047 AH. In different parts there are signs that indicate the some tax exemptions in different periods.
The famous stone that is known as the Indicator Stone which shows the religious noon in four seasons, is located at Soleymaniyeh School. Calculating and installing this stone is the innovations of Sheikh Baha'i who was a unique scholar of the Shah Abbas I era. This stone represents the “religious noon” during the four seasons of the year.
The northern roofed Iwan of the mosque is a vast and lofty space full of beautiful tiles. The double shell dome is majestically decorated and is located on this courtyard. This dome is considered to be the largest and most prolific and most masterful architectural work of the 11th century AH.
The characteristics of this dome, which is about 52 meters high, is the echo of sound and this is due to the double shelled structure and the 16-meter space between the two domes.
In this courtyard, there is a monumental marble pulpit which is the masterpiece of this era. The courtyard has two openings to the adjacent Shabestans. The interior surface of these two Shabestans is also covered with tile and exquisite inscriptions.
On tow sides of the southern Iwan of the mosque, there are two wide Shabestans which represent the features of the advanced architecture of the 10th and 11th centuries AH.
The upper floor, located in the northern part of the Shah Mosque, has pavilions devoted to the rooms of religious scholars during the Safavid period.
In general, the Shah mosque of Isfahan with its magnificent minarets and its sumptuous Iwans and altars, as well as its integrated and balanced design, is one of Safavid's unique architectural masterpieces and Isfahan tourist attractions. The mosque that has been a wonderland of its time in its era, and in fact, due to its beautiful design, magnificence, dimensions, and glory of its tile, is a brilliant star of the art of the Safavid era.
If you travel to Isfahan, absolutely take one of Isfahan tours to visit this mosque.