Photographer's Note

Shah Mosque is a mosque in Isfahan, Iran standing in south side of Naghsh-i Jahan square. Built during the Safavid period, an excellent example of Islamic Architecture in Persia(Iran). This mosque has been constructed during the Safavid period, in 1611, and its splendor is mainly because of the beauty of its seven-color mosaic tiles and valuable inscriptions. The splendid portal of the mosque measuring 27 meters high, crowned with two beautiful minarets being 42 meters in height, frames the front of the mosque which opens into Naqsh-e Jahan square. On top of the entrance, among the attractive stalactites and above the turquoise lattice window, there is a frame of seven-color mosaic tile shaped like a vase with two peacocks on both sides which is a very precious example of mosaic tile. The inscription above the entrance being made of white mosaic tile on ultramarine background, is written in Sols script by Alireza Abbasi. The wooden door of the mosque, covered with layers of gold and silver, is ornamented with some poems written in Nasta'liq script. The overall entrance hall proves the mastery of the designer of the building. The master architect has designed two passageways being different in length on both sides of the hall to assimilate the axis of the mosque to the direction of kiblah which has an angle of 45 degrees, to cover the change of direction without losing the proportions.
The Mosque is surrounded with four ivans and arcades. All the walls are ornarnented with seven-color mosaic tile. The most magnificent ivan of the mosque is the one which is toward kiblah measuring 33 meters high and has two minarets being 48 meters high. Behind this ivan is a space which is roofed with the most enormous dome of the city being 52 meters high. The dome consists of two covers. The outer cover is 12 meters away from the inner one. The reflection of sounds at the central point under the dome is a physical phenomenon which is very interesting and wonderful for many visitors. There are two schools for religious education at the southwest and southeast of the mosque. The southwest school has an inscription from the Safavid period. There is also an indicator stone, inserted in the inscription, the shape of which is right-angled triangle. This stone shows the mid-day of all the days of the year scientifically in a simple way. The mosque has two halls in the east and west part of its interior. The eastern hall is bigger but its walls are covered with plaster without any ornamentation while the walls and ceiling of the western hall are covered with seven-color mosaic tiles. The mihrab of this hall, which is one of the most beautiful ones of the mosque, has an inscription written by the master artist, Mohammad Reza Emami. Of the other valuable things in the mosque we can mention the water stones. The one placed in the entrance hall lack any inscription but it has some beautiful engraved designs. There are also two water stones under the domes of the eastern and western ivans but the most precious is the western Chehelsotoun one which has beautiful designs round the upper part and an inscription in verse which shows the date of its creation, 1684.

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