Mosques and bazaars have long been two important social centers of Iran. The tourists usually visit these places during their trips to Iran for a better understanding of social aspects and lifestyle of people in each region. In Addition, the Jameh mosque of each city is considered it's most important and, commonly, most beautiful building. This rule applies to Urmia, too. Jameh Mosque of Urmia is an attractive destination that should not be left out of a site seeing list.
After the introduction of Islam in Iran, a lot of mosques replaced the fire temples. It is said that it was the same for Jameh Mosque of Urmia. The construction of the building began in the seventh century AH because the pictorial decorations of this mosque such as stucco, columns and vaults match the architectural style of Seljuk dynasty.
The altar is estimated to be built in 676 AH. During different eras, many damages have been inflicted to the body of the building. Many repairs have been conducted, too. But their dates are not known. Even though the date of the restoration of this building is not known, it is certain that this mosque has been repaired and restored along with other old parts of the city, the bazaar in particular.
Jameh Mosque of Urmia has many sections. The first section that a visitor will encounter is two entrances that connect the mosque to bazaar. The old sanctuary that has a dome, is one of the sections that attracts the attention of the tourists. It was built in the Seljuk era, and the famous altar that is located in this section is attributed to Ilkhanate dynasty. The stucco in the altar is one of the highlights of this building. Chehelsotun hall, literally meaning a hall with forty columns, is younger than the sanctuary and is connected to it.
The materials used in different parts vary, too. The main materials of the sanctuary and Chehelsotun hall are bricks mostly seen in the upper parts. There are chambers located around the sahn of the Jameh Mosque of Urmia that, according to the tablets located in them, belong to 1184 AH, early years of Zand dynasty. In addition to these historical parts, restoration and expansion of the building, related to the last two decades, can be seen around the mosque complex.
Jameh Mosque of Urmia is located in the center of the city, in the texture of old bazaar of Urmia. After visiting the bazaar and shopping, one can head toward this valuable site.