Saturday, May 7, 2016

Atiq Mosque

The Congregational Mosque / Atiq Mosque

Unlike other mosques of Isfahan that saw little changes and restorations as time passed, Atiq mosque is the epitome of change. The current shape of mosque has nothing in common with the original format of it in the Zoroastrian Sassanid when it was used as a fire temple. One can see and compare at least 800 years of Islamic design in this place. At more than 20,000 m2, it is the biggest and one of the oldest mosques of Iran, depicting traces of Seljuk, Mongol and Safavid era. The first sizable mosque on this site dates back to Seljuk dynasty. The 4-Iwan plan of the mosque and the two large domes of north and south belong to this time. There is a Kufic inscription on the monumental porch of north Iwan, behind it is a prayer hall with many pillars which leads to Taj al-Molk Dome, the finest brick dome of Iran. although small, it is mathematically perfect, surviving many earthquakes for 900 years with little destructions. The south Iwan is decorated with Mongol stalactite molding and mosaic works, there is also a minaret remained from this era. The west Iwan was built by the Seljuks but restored and decorated by Safavids. The mosaics here are more geometric than the southern hall. The hall of Uljeitu, next to the west Iwan, with its magnificent stucco Mihrab is the highlight of the mosque, beautifully adorned with Quranic inscription and floral patterns. 


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