December 3, 2023

Persian News

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UNESCO-designated mosque invites sightseers to its rarely-seen nooks

TEHRAN – The UNESCO-registered Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, which resembles a museum of Iranian architecture, offers a special tour to take visitors to its rarely-seen sections.

With arrangements made with Isfahan Municipality, tours to visit unknown and lesser-seen places of this huge historical mosque are offered from January 21 to 27, a local tourism official said on Sunday.

Covering an area of 22,000 square meters, the Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, also known as Atiq Mosque, dates nearly 1,300 years. In fact, it is one of the oldest mosques in Iran and the first mosque registered on the World Heritage list.

The Jameh Mosque of Isfahan has experienced many changes from the point of view of architecture and decorative arts related, therefore, in this huge and historical mosque, there are various parts that tourists haven’t visited yet due to protection restrictions.

The mosque’s core structure dates back to pre-Islamic Iran, according to archaeological excavations and historical records. It is said that the building was first built as a fire temple, and it had been used to practice religious rituals. This assumption was confirmed by the discovery of a column torus engraved with Sassanid motifs.

However, the remains from the Seljuk era (1037–1194), especially the key elements of the ground plan, the four iwans (porches), and the two domes are sufficient to illustrate the advances in mosque and dome architecture made at the time.

Isfahan has long been nicknamed as Nesf-e-Jahan, which is translated into “half the world”; meaning seeing it is relevant to see the whole world. In its heyday, it was also one of the largest cities in the region with a population of nearly one million.


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