A conglomeration of buildings. which are the most important Islamic relics of Natanz, consists of the Congregational Mosque, the mausoleum of Sheikh Abdolsamad Esfahani, a portal of a ruined khaneqah, and a minaret. Except for a domed prayer hall of the mosque, dating from the Buyid era, the other structures were built in 1304-1325 and belong to the Il- Khanid period. The complex is surrounded on three sides by narrow alleys.
The alley on the south side forms a small square, where the entrance to the mosque and the facade of the khaneqah are located. Here grows a remarkable plane tree 1, whose immense size is surely indicative of its long history.
The mosque 1, surprises with its fanciful layout and lack of decorations. It has three entrances, the one on the south 3, (today the only open one) leading to the mosque by a flight of twelve steps. The mosque was built in 1304, and this date, along with the names of its founders, is written in blue-glazed letters on a yellow background of the south eivan as was customary in Il-Khanid architecture. The mosque was built on a four-eivan plan, and the Buyid prayer hall was incorporated into the structure in a very elaborate way. In the middle of the courtyard, eight steps lead to a qanat 4, from which visitors can still obtain drinking water. The south eivan 5, is not at all as sumptuous as is common in most Iranian mosques. It features a fine plaster-decorated mihrab, flanked on either side by two vestibules, only one of which (right) leads to the domed sanctuary 6. This prayer hall was originally built as an octagonal kiosk in the 10th century. In the 14th century, when the mosque was essentially remodeled, it was converted into the sanctuary of a four-eivan mosque.
It is, however, displaced in relation to the axis of the south eivan, The shallow brick dome is dated 999, making it the oldest dome with a historical inscription in the region.
The north eivan 7, is most remarkable for its lofty arch and interior plaster decorations. 'The inscription in Tholth script on a blue plaster background includes verses from the Koran. On the two sides of the north eivan, there are two roofed vestibules 8. Through the western vestibule, the visitor enters a small anteroom and then a larger one connected to the court on the one side and the northern entrance corridor on the other side. Following it, the visitor can reach an ancient inlaid door, which, according to its inscription, was made in 1563 and installed on its current site in 1603.
The east eivan 9, is the largest of all, but lacks any kind of decoration. In its northern passage, there is a fine fireplace with some plaster adornments. In the southeast corner of the court, a two-story prayer hall 10, is located.
Its ceiling is supported by six bulky columns and two half-columns. The prayer hall has two Windows facing the south eivan, two windows facing the east eivan, and a Window facing the yard. The ceiling and walls of this prayer hall feature plain plaster moldings.
The west eivan 11, is the smallest and is without decoration. The difference in the porticos relates to the design of the structure. The rule of symmetry was strictly followed during the building of the mosque.
A new prayer hall 12, was built in 1996 on the site of the ruined khaneqah To the west of the mosques southern Corridor is the Mausoleum of Sheikh Abdolsamad Esfahani 13, the 14th-century Sufi. It comprises a rectangular room with a pyramidal dome, embellished with turquoise ceramics on the outside. The scarce remains of tile work inside the mausoleum, practically all of which have been plundered, give a hint of their original beauty. Today the mausoleum's only decoration consists of superb moqarna, of the dome's interior, a Tholth inscription running along the dome's perimeter, and a wooden sarcophagus.
Of the Sheikh's khaneqah only a portal 14 has survived, but this is inarguably the most important element of the entire complex. This impressive facade was built in 1313. Its tile work resembles in quality and design the contemporary work at Sultaniyeh. It is likely that, upon the completion of Oljeitu's tomb, craftsmen were dispatched throughout the empire to ornament religious and public structures. The tiles are laid in beautiful combination, with bricks arranged in geometric designs. Several fine inscriptions in Kufic, Reyhan, and Tholth complete the portals decoration. The khnneqah itself existed until the end of the Safavid period, but was ruined after the Afghan invasion and never restored. Its superb mihrab (dated 1307) was looted in the end of the 19th century. Today London museum goers can see it in the Victoria and Albert Museun The tall brick minaret 15, features a beautful tile work and an inscription dated 1324.
It is 38 m high. Located in the complex's vicinity are a large hosseiniyeh and a shop that sells distinctive local pottery.