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Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Among the architectural pearls of the most beautiful city of Iran – Shiraz, Nasir al-Mulk mosque (Masjed-e Naseer ol Molk) or Pink Mosque, holds a special place. It is located near the mosque of Shah Cheragh. The mosque was built between the years 1876 and 1888, thanks to the donations of Mirza Hasan Ali Nasir al Molk - one of the richest 19th century representatives of Qajars’ royal dynasty. Architects of the building were Muhammad Hasan-e-Memar and Reza Kashi Paz-e-Shirazi.

The main characteristics of the mosque are the arcades, vitrages and mosaics that cover the ceilings and inner and external walls of the mosque. Arches and niches are decorating almost every corner of the building. Walls of the mosque, both outside and inside are almost completely covered with colorful mosaics. During the creation of these mosaics pieces of colored glass were widely used.

The mosque has a spacious courtyard - with an artificial pond with live fish swimming in it. The mosque has two Iwans - in the southern and northern parts of the yard. North Iwan, with two small parallel towers, is much more beautiful than the southern one.

The mosque has two prayer halls - in the east and west wings of the building. The most beautiful part of the mosque, without any doubt, is the prayer hall in the west wing. Its windows are beautifully decorated with stained-glass. When the sun rises in the morning, the reflection of the colorful windows merges with the wall murals, creating an incredible range of colorful pictures. Every inch of the ceiling and walls of the mosque is a work of art. Walls and ceilings of the mosque are like oriental rugs. In cold seasons the floors of the Western praying hall are completely covered with Persian rugs. This enhances the brightness of the mosque, dragging the visitors to the enchanted world of Eastern mosaic. No wonder that among the inhabitants of the city the mosque is better known as the Pink or Rainbow Mosque.

Today the mosque is still open for the visitors and protected by the fund Nasir al Mulk's Endowment Foundation. In the mosque there is also a small museum that tells the history of this amazing building.

By Anna Pambukhchyan,


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