Shiraz is one of the most beautiful cities in south of Iran, where many tourists visit it every year. It is one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia and is known as the city of poets, literature, flowers and gardens. It is one of the main tourism sites in Iran and its cultural heritage is of global importance. Due to many historical, cultural, religious and natural attractions, Shiraz has always attracted many tourists. One of these magnificent places is Nasir-ol-molk Mosque.
Nasir-ol-molk Mosque is one the tourist attractions of Shiraz which was built during the Qajar dynasty at the end of the 19th century. It is one of the most unique and different mosques in Iran. The mosque is famous for its colored glasses and its tiles are unique in their kind.
This mosque is called by many different names. Mostly known as the “Pink Mosque” because its tiles are beautifully decorated with a pre-eminently pinkish rose color, it is also called the “Mosque of colors,” the “Rainbow Mosque” or the “Kaleidoscope Mosque”.
It is located in a region in the southern part of Lotf Ali Khan Zand Street. The mosque was built by order of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir ol Molk, a Qajar ruler. Mohammad Hasan-e-Memar, an Iranian architect, and Mohammad Reza KashiSaz were two designers of this mosque. The construction of this elegant mosque was finished after 12 years.
It is 2890 square meters and considered as one of the most valuable mosques in Iran in terms of construction, especially tiling and muqarnas (a form of ornamented vaulting in Islamic architecture). It has two shabestan (an underground space that can be usually found in traditional architecture of mosques, houses, and schools in ancient Iran which were usually used during summers) in east and west.
The eastern Shabestan has seven columns that are located in the middle of the space and are in a row. The most amazing part of the mosque is the western Shabestan. There are twelve columns which are placed in two rows of six. Seven arches are located between the two pillars, and at the end, there is an attractive tiled altar. The floor of the altar is made of marble and its surface is lower than the floor of the Shabestan. The western Shabestan has seven wooden doors with colored glasses that open to the courtyard.
With dazzling stained glass, thousands of painted tiles on the ceiling and Persian rugs covering the floor, this place of worship is a gorgeous rainbow of color in every direction, like stepping into a kaleidoscope.
There is an open courtyard with a rectangular pool in the center of the mosque, surrounded by flowers. The building’s facade features dozens of Islamic arches, adding to the beauty of the light show from the stained glass.
Despite other mosques, Nasir-ol-molk Mosque has no dome, which indicates that this religious building was quite personal and not used by the public. The tiling of this mosque is unique and the use of pink color is one of the features of the mosque which is not usual in any other Iranian mosques.
In autumn and winter, when the sunlight shines through the colorful glasses, and reflexes it on blue mosaics, make a dazzling view inside this mosque which making this mosque outstandingly aesthetic among other mosques of Iran.
Recently, Nasir-ol-molk Mosque has been lighted at nights as well; the light passes through the colored glasses and spreads into the yard and all over the mosque.
Nasir-ol-molk Mosque is still used for worship. It was registered in Iran’s National Heritage on February 1955 under the registration number of 369.
The best time to visit Nasir-ol-molk Mosque is early in the morning before 9 a.m when the hall and its Persian carpets are illuminated with a kaleidoscope of patterned flecks of light.
- source : Mehrnews