Imam Mosque of Isfahan
Safavid era was one of the golden periods of Iran’s history in science, culture, art and architecture. Nowadays most of Safavid monuments are still operational. Especially in Isfahan that was the capital of the Safavid Empire.
Naqshe Jahan Square in Isfahan has been registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. This historical square embraces some iconic monuments, one of them is Imam Mosque, it’s better to say the significant one. This mosque is known also as Shah Mosque, Abbasi Jama Mosque and Soltani Mosque. It’s located in the south side of Naqshe Jahan Square. The entrance is located in southside too, but there are some entrances around.
Imam Mosque is the best example of a thousand-year tradition in building mosques. The mosque comprises a main dome, two Shabestans (prayers hall), four porches, and four minarets. There are two seminaries next to the mosque to study theology.
Imam Mosque was built near 400 years ago by the command of Shah Abbas I Safavi, Abbas the Great. The architecture and decorations of the mosque are really picturesque. One of the wonders of its architecture is the angle between the entrance and the main axis of the structure. The propylaea is toward square to maintain the symmetry and harmony with the other buildings of square, while the structure of mosque is rotated toward Qibla. The wise architect dissolved this rotation by combining some empty space in arch forms, and when you enter the mosque you don’t recognize a rotating plan.
Decorations of the propylaea are really impressive, especially the magnificent tiles. When you want to enter the mosque, it’s better to take look above to shock. There is a perfect Muqarnas technique which has been decorated by the shrubs. Mihrab is the other significant part of the mosque.
Even some objects are really attractive in this mosque, one of them is Baptismal Font. There are some fonts in the mosque in order to drink and ablution.
Sheikh Bahayi, one of the influential scholars of Safavid era took apart in construction of mosque. He calculated astronomical measurements to build a solarium which represents all Salah times during all the seasons.