Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, The Prayer of Light in Architecture
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque: Isfahan is a dense city in the heart of Iran that draws many exemplary sights. Half of the world has been named to perhaps describe some of its greatness in history.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is a historic and famous mosque in Isfahan that is considered a masterpiece of architecture and tiling.
Many believe that the building does not merely play the role of a mosque like other mosques, and the architect has artfully created a space in which even the followers of other religions and all human beings can see the divine and mystical light in it.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, one of the masterpieces of the Safavid era, began construction in the year 1603 and ended in the year 1619.
The mosque, located in the beautiful city of Isfahan, was built by the order of King Abbas I and by the skillful architect Mohammad Reza Isfahani. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque was built to commemorate Sheikh Lotfollah al-Misi. This mosque is a masterpiece of 11th-century architecture and tiling.
The mosque was built on the orders of King Abbas in honor of Sheikh Lotfollah Jebel Ali, He was a Shia cleric at the time and, like Sheikh Baha’i, had emigrated to Iran from Lebanon with Shah Abbas.
Because the Safavid government was a religious state and paid a high price to Islam, and especially to the Shia religion, scholars of this religion were also honored.
On the other hand, Sheikh Lotfollah was also the father of Shah Abbas’s wife. For these reasons, the mosque was built on the site of the Sheikh’s life for worshiping God and the Sheikh himself, and next to it, a school was built to teach this prominent scientist, with no traces left today.
The mosque ledge of this mosque was built and finished by the end of the year 1011 AH and the construction of its tile decorations finished in the year 1028 AH.
At first glance, this mosque is mind-bogglingly lacking a minaret next to the dome, while in all mosques the minaret is an integral part of the architecture.
Before Islam, minarets were built on the buildings as navigation, and the presence of minarets indicated the existence of a city. From the arrival of Islam, the minaret and the goldsmith became a sign of the mosque and were used to read the Azan and invite people to prayer.
Since this mosque has neither a minaret nor a courtyard entrance, the entrance to the staircase is a bit unnatural. no minarets were erected to prevent the public from coming to the mosque.
The inscription of the mosque is on the line of Master Alireza Abbasi and also the lines and scrolls inside the mosque of this master and Baqer is an anonymous caller of that period whose sample line equals Alireza Abbasi’s line.
At the entrance of the mosque is a double-sided mosaic made of a single-toned plane tree that still stands after 400 years.
One of the features of this mosque is a 45-degree rotation with respect to the north-south axis and towards the qiblah, which is called the architectural heel, but it is so elaborate that you will not see any traces of it from the outside.
To overcome this angle, a corridor is designed that is completely covered with seven-color tiles in the dominant green and blue. This corridor is to the left at the beginning of the entrance and then to the right.
After crossing this corridor, you will reach the main courtyard and below the low-rise dome (33 meters from the ground).
This dome has become one of the most beautiful domes of Isfahan and Iran, due to its greatness, formations, and dark blue decorations on the white background.
While most of the domes covered with tile are blue and turquoise, the dome has a garlic blue color. It is also designed in the inner center of the Peacock Dome, whose feathers are complemented by light from the top arch at the entrance to the mosque. You will see a stunning display of light rotating beautifully inside the dome.
The mosque is built on a quadrilateral and turns into an octagon in the upper part, eventually joining the circular dome. The walls of the building are built to be very thick so that the diameter of the windows reaches 1 meter and 70 cm and in the main parts even more than 2 meters.
At the top of the entrance of the corridor, there is an opening for the public lighting, especially the altar lighting.
But for the lighting of the mosque, there are 16 windows at the stem of the dome, and because they have grid windows around the building, they will bring in some sunlight throughout the daytime into the nightstand.
Professor Mohammad Reza Bana Isfahani could have added more light to the building by opening more windows, but by inserting the same amount of light absorbed on the tiles, he would draw attention to each of them.
One of the architectural masterpieces can be found on the altar of the mosque, where its delicate tiles, as well as two tablets inside the altar that carries the phrase ” God’s mercy, Mohammad Reza ibn Master Hussein Bana Isfahani”.
There are other inscriptions on the line of Master Alireza Abbasi around the altar, on which are written some of the Prophet (PBUH) and Imam Jafar Sadegh.
There are also poetic narratives that experts believe are the poetry of Sheikh Baha’i, a poet, and scholar of the Safavid era.
In the four corners of the mosque, there are some lines of verses written on azure with white mosaic tiles.
The view of world-renowned architect Luis Eun during his visit to Isfahan has been such in this remarkable monument: I can only imagine such a work in the fantasy world with gold and silver.
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