Gallery Virtual Tour Movie Description

Imam Mosque

On the southern side of the square stands the magnificent portal of the Abbasi Jame Mosque with its twin flanking minarets. Even after four centuries, this unique phenomenon of fine, delicate art has the power to strike the viewer with awe. The 27 metres high portal is predominantly blue and embellished with polychrome and faience mosaics. The two minarets soar to 42 metres in height having decorations of spiral turquoise tiles.

On the portal, there are some inscriptions on dark blue tile. Another inscription reveals the date of the end of the portal decoration and construction as 1616. The construction of Abbasi Jame mosque started in 1611 during the 24th year of Shah Abbas’s rule and was not completed until after his death.

Upon its top stand two minarets with a height of 48 metres. One can enter the main dome chamber through the southern porch. The chamber is connected to two east and west hypostyles, each including high-rise vaults held up by columns made of unified blocks of stones jointed together by molten lead. The dome chamber is the most significant part of the southern section, 22.5 metres in diameter and with walls 4.5 meters thick, supporting a turquoise high-rise double layer dome on top. The 52 metres high heart shape external dome shell is built over an internal 38 metres hyperbolical dome with a 13-meter gap between them. The structural logic behind the two shell domes lies in the way their weight is transferred to the cylindrical structure beneath. Since each shell has a different shape and section, the action forces go inwards and respectively away from the centre.

The proportions, shapes, and thicknesses of the two action forces (eccentric and concentric) balance each other and enhance the balance and functionality of the dome.

One of the most interesting characteristics of this dome is the acoustics. Standing under the dome (especially in the centre) all sounds produce an echo.

The beauty of the dome hall is enhanced by an exquisite marble pulpit with 12 stairs found next to the prayer niche.

There are two theological schools flanking the mosque and referred to as the Naserieh and the Soleimanieh Madrasahs. They were built in the Safavid era but the tile work of the Naserieh school dates back to Qajarid period.

In the Soleimanieh School, there is a stone sundial indicating the exact position of noon throughout the year. It is unassuming and appears at first sight to be simply a step, however a protruding stone edge causes one face of the step to fall into shadow at noon. At the base of the step is indicated the Kiblah. It is the work of the great mathematician, Sheikh Baha Od-Din Mohammad Ameli, otherwise known as Sheikh Bahaei who was involved in the design of the whole building. The mosque consisted of 11 prayer niches and had several exquisite stone water vessels.



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