Address: Allameh Majlesi Street, old city center
Timings: open daily 8am to 11am, 1pm to 5pm
Tickets: IRR 5000
The mosque that defined the old center of Isfahan, the Jameh Mosque stands today as grand and as functional as it did when it was the only prominent mosque in the city, about a millennium ago. It speaks of the very rudimentary themes of Islamic architecture, which gained momentum with age, resulting in gradual additions, enhancements, and modifications to make the present monument of today. From the Seljuks who gave it striking geometric proportions and great domes, to the Mongols who brought in styles from the steppes, to the opulent Safavids who adorned it with ornamentation techniques that were revolutionary for its time, the Jameh Mosque has been a proud witness to all that have come forth and prayed within the mosque’s great courtyard.
Of special note are the domes of the mosque. These were added by rivaling Seljuk viziers – the south dome came first, the larger of the two, done by Nizam ul Mulk. Soon afterwards, Taj ul Mulk built one at the northern end – this, although smaller in size, was more intricately crafted and mathematically proportioned. It is considered an outstanding example of brick construction, having survived major earthquakes over the past 900 years almost without losing a single brick.
In the central courtyard of the mosque is the grand ablution fountain. This, together with the 4 towering portals around it, creates a classic 4-iwan setting, providing a splendid 360-degree panorama when standing at the center of the court – comparing these structures to the human scale acknowledges the beauty of their proportions, and the accuracy of the craftsmen of that era.
Even today the Jameh Mosque is the largest mosque in all of Iran.