All posts tagged “Iran

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Masjed-e Jāme’ of Isfahan – Uljeitu, the Sultan’s Mihrab

As I mentioned in my earlier posts of Masjed-e Jāme’ of Isfahan series, the Uljeitu Mihrab is in the most stunning mihrab in Masjed-e Jāme’ Mosque of Isfahan; it has the most elaborate and beautiful mihrab, dating back to 1310 AD.   Mihrab is the most important element of any mosque; its the niche that indicates the direction of Mecca / Kaaba, hence the direction that Muslims should face during prayer. In Iranian mosques, mirhab is normally decorated with great skill and devotion, as shown in the picture below, it’s on stucco but it was well decorated which shows details and decoration of the mihrab.


Other post on Masjed-e Mihrab Jāme’ of Isfahan:

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The Imam Square in Esfahan

Walking about in a souk or bazaar or traditional market can be enjoyable as well as frustrating. It’s enjoyable because you will see so many other things that you won’t see in high street shops, from the variety of the items they sell, the activities… Read More

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Monochrome Mosque

I wrote this in response to Leanne Cole‘s Monochrome Madness, photography theme. The picture above is one of the corridor in the Masjed-e Jameh, its one of the oldest mosques still standing in Iran, and  located in Esfahan. It consist of four-iwan architectural style (prayer’s hall), placing four gates face to face. Up to now this mosque is not only a witness of Architecture development of the area, but also still functioning as a busy place of worship.

In this post I will not write about the history of this fascinating building, but more to the Monochrome Madness theme, inside a mosque’s hall that is made of bricks with different style for each dome but creates a monochrome colour for the whole. I will however write about this mosque in my next posts.


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On our flight to Iran, my husband sat next to an Iranian who was curious on why we wanted to visit Iran; but in the end he told us not to miss Persepolis – it’s a must place to visit in Iran he said. Obviously we did not do our homework, as in the guide book – Lonely Planet or others always put Persepolis as the place to go to. From the name it sounds like another Roman-Ruin, and it’s located where the Roman Empire flourished around 5 BC, but the truth is this was a relic way before the Roman Empire.

So what is Persepolis? Literally it means City of Persia. Architecture style of Persepolis is neither Assyrian nor Egyptian nor Greek, nor a mixture of all. It is located in Iran, or you might say on Persian soil; it was said that King Darius I (an Achaemenian King) first built it in 515 BC. Other studies said that it was King Cyrus the Great who first initiated and chose the site, but it was King Darius who executed, he built the great terrace and the beautiful palace.

Images above is the plan and the sketch of what it was, the ceremonial capital of the Achaemeniad Empire during it’s glory days, between 550 BC to 330 BC. Archeological studies say that this magnificent ceremonial capital was first built in 520 BC, during King Darius I who took the throne, and carried on by his successors over a period of 150 years. They were still constructing the Apadana (Hall of Hundred Columns) when Alexander the Great – burned the Achaemeniad capital which marked the down fall of Achaemenian Dynasty.


architecture of Persepolis

So what kind of architecture is Persepolis we are looking at? as it is not Egyptian architecture nor it is Assyrian architecture, and the fact that it was the Romans who destroyed the culture, obviously this was before the Roman Empire. Persepolis was the creation of Persian architects and artists as per their king’s instructions as well as their own interpretation of their environment, animals, and religions  and beauty as you can see above. When you look carefully at the ornaments of the columns did not show anything like Corinthian Columns or any of those elaborate capitals; in fact like you can see in the slide show above, it has its own style of ornaments.

Sadly enough, the majestic grandeur of the Achaemeniad Dynasty as well as its architecture is hardly mentioned in any foreign records or history books.