Imam Mosque, an important feature of Safavid architecture

The Shah Mosque, also known as the Jame Mosque, the Sultanate Mosque, and the Imam Mosque, is one of the Naghsh e Jahan Square Mosques in Isfahan, built during the Safavid era and is considered one of the most important Islamic architectural monuments in Iran. It is an eternal masterpiece of architecture, tiled in the eleventh century AH.

Geographical location

Imam Mosque is located on the south side of Naghsh e Jahan Square in the area of Safavid government. It is in the vicinity of important Safavid buildings such as Ali Qapu and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and is within the range of important Safavid buildings. The main entrance of the mosque is located on the south side of the square and other entrances are in the neighborhoods around the building (for quicker and easier access to the neighborhoods). It is easily accessible from the streets of Hafez and Sepah after entering the north side of the square.


This mosque is the most important mosque of the Safavid era in Isfahan city which is important both in terms of architecture and many decorations. The construction of the Abbasi Mosque on the south side of Naqsh-e Jahan Square began under the command of King Abbas I in the twenty-fourth year of his reign to decorate the square, while still occupying other parts of the mosque, Mosaic tiles have been completed.


The architecture of the mosques as the main element of the city and the distinctive “city” has a special place in post-Islamic architecture and urbanism. The role of the mosque in the physical formation of other urban elements such as markets, passages, etc. On the one hand, and the special attention of Islamic rulers to the construction of the mosque in each period, on the other hand, has always made the mosque as a sign of the city. Between the axis of the corridor facing the World Square and the mosque facing the Qiblah, an angle has emerged that the architect has responded to best. The architect of the south porch of the mosque in the back of the porch, so that the middle of the mosque can be seen from the porch, but cannot directly enter, but must reach one of the two corridors around the porch. Behind the long corridors, there are watersheds and sanctuaries.

The viewer enters the mosque courtyard after entering through the entrance and vestibule in a hierarchical direction by turning the corridors. At the heart of the Shah Mosque, located on the south side of the square below the magnificent shrine, covered with silver and gold, includes poems in the Nastaliq line that were completed and installed during the reign of King Abbas I. The mosque is a four-porch mosque, the mosque’s middle building has the proportions of a regular six-sided.

In the southeast and southwest corner of the mosque, there are two schools, Nasseri and Sulaimaniyah. The former was repaired by Nasser al-Din Shah and the latter by King Solomon.

In the southwestern school of the mosque, a simple piece of stone is embedded in a designated place that shows the true noon of Isfahan in four seasons and is said to have been done by the famous Sheikh Baha’i scholar and jurist and mathematician Shah Abbas. The upper level of the index is in the form of an orthogonal triangle, with the triangle’s chord pointing toward noon and one adjacent angular side to the wall and the other side representing the former mosque.

The great dome of the mosque is two discrete shells. Its dome (which means skull, also called the lower cover in double domes) is a cuneiform dome because its span is large and nearly 20 meters long, it is one of the most important domes, the empty space between the laminate stands. it is called “Nari dome”.

One of the interesting things about this mosque is the reflection of the sound in the center of the Great South Dome, the height of the huge dome at 52 meters above ground level, the height of the minarets inside is 48 meters and the height of the minarets is 42 meters in the Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

The mosque’s finest tile is located in the entrance hallway, complete with seven-color tile and mosaic tiles. The main entrance arch is framed by three rows of blue decorative spirals and encloses the arched marble vases. Half-dome frames are adorned with stars and elongated vines from vases. Magnificent frames like marbles that cover the entrance are decorated with marble. The rest of the mosque is adorned with inferior tiles of seven colors. Above the mosque’s upper house there is an animal-shaped mosaic tile frame – two green peacocks facing each other, symbolizing “eternity” in Iranian traditions (such as Phoenix). In the frame of the other tiles are sparrows and bunches of flowers and beetles; these motifs are reminiscent of heaven and its eternal gardens.

In the Imam mosque in Isfahan, many commands from the era of Shah Abbas I have been inscribed on stone slabs. Although every part of this monument is of great value and importance, some parts of it are more prominent and have more features. Among them, the rostrum is a monolithic monolith. This pulpit has 14 steps and the 14th step is wider than the other steps and the seat of the preacher. It is mostly used in the cold winter season.

There is also a double-walled altar at the top of the wall that is three meters long and two meters wide. The double-walled alter is made of recurring wood and is adorned with gold blades and has gold rings. In Imam Mosque there are four beautiful minarets which is a masterpiece of the architecture of the Safavid era and is considered a masterpiece of art and other decorations. There are two minarets on either side of the dome, each about 48 meters high. The height of each of the other two minarets at the head of the mosque is 42 meters. The Islamic motifs of these two minarets are a chessboard on a turquoise ground.

Know more about Isfahan, half of the world in terms of Architecture:

Naghsh e Jahan Square 
Ali Qapu Palace
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Menar Jonban
Siosepol Bridge
Khaju Bridge
Iran Souvenirs
Abyaneh Village