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Vakil mosque

One of the strong and beautiful buildings constructed by Karím Khán zand is the Vakil Mosque (also called the Royal Mosque), which according to the custom of former kings was built close to the Royal Citadel, and although two centuries have elapsed since it was built, and it has experienced several alarming earthquakes which destroyed houses, yet it foundations are so firm and secure that no defect has appeared, and it has remained as solid as at first. But a quantity of the glazed tile has fallen in the course of time, and limited repairs, as they became necessary, have been carried out by the governors and residents of Shiráz in the past, latterly also by the Supreme Directorate of the Archaeological Service.
The façade of the mosque on all four sides, the great northern and southern porches and the main entrance were decorated with intricate patterns of richly coloured tiles, each section having a distinctive design, and this tile work is evidence of the taste and talent and prefect craftsmanship of the designers and tile-markers of Shiráz in the eighteenth century. In addition, the building itself, the pillared hall, and the great porches also testify to the skill and competence of the architects and masons.

Vakil mosque

The compound of the mosque is very large, and with the halls on the south and other annexes of the mosque, it covers an area of about 10,000 square meters. The southern pillared hall has 48 stone columns and measures 100 meters by 50. A pulpit with 14 steps carved out of one pieces of marble, on the top of which is the seat for the preachers, has been placed beside the Mehráb (Prayer Niche). This may leave been brought from Marágheh in Azarbaiján. The conveyance of this immense piece of stone, which is 6/40 meters long, 1/25 meters wide and 0/55 meters thick in such instruments as were then available from the north of Iran to Shiráz was in itself an important and hazardous feat. The columns of the Pillared Hall are all with their capitals monoliths. They are decorated with spiral designs, and the carving of the capitals is worthy of note. In the two halls the two great porches, north and south, and the vestibule there are inscriptions relating to the time of the construction, and the changes carried out there. The mosque was completed in 1733.


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