In the minds of many, Qajar buildings define the quintessence of Persian architecture. Having inherited the great achievements of the Safavid era, Qajar art, in turn inspired and influenced future generations of artists in Iran. Qajar architecture is essentially an amalgamation of Iranian traditions and fashionable European trends. Its style is characterized by a certain cosmopolitanism and an attempt to combine the achievement: of Persepolis, Safavid Esfahan, and Versailles in every single structure. Qajar tile work is usually unmistakable. Although many traditional designs were retained, it exhibits a great variety of completely new subjects. For the first time, representations of people and animals form the main subject matter.
View SEYED MOSQUE
It is worth mentioning that very few buildings Estahan were created at the orders of Qajar rulers; what does exist is the contribution of the affluent merchants and sometimes of the governors of the city.
The Seyed Mosque is the largest and most conspicuous religious building of the Qajar period in Esfahan. It was built at the order of Hojjat al-Islam Seyed Mohammad Baqer Shafti, a religious and public figure in Esfahan in the second half of the 19th century; the building expenses were covered by religious payments and personal donations.
The mosque had not been completed at the time of the founder's death, so the work continued under the supervision of his son and then his grandson. The mausoleum of the founder is located behind the small portico on the east side of the north eivan 1, The Seyed Mosque is lased on a four-eivan plan, developed and enriched by some peculiar features, It has two entrances, on the north 2, and east 3, the northern portal being the principal.
The northern portal opens onto an anteroom, which basically repeats the arrangement already brought to perfection in the Royal Mosque (pp81-85). As in the Royal Mosque, the north eivan 4,of the Seyed Mosque has an open arch at its rear wall, providing the view of the court and the south eivn. It is, however, blocked by a stone bench, which makes the visitor take a detour through either of the two corridors, which lead to the main court. The entire arrangement serves as an elaborate architectural device aimed at aligning the mosque's sanctuary to Mecca.
The court 5, is very spacious, and graced by a neat pool 6, in the middle. The court is surrounded by rows of arcades, interrupted by eivans on each side. On the east and west, the arcades are distributed on two levels. The lower level has very short arches 7, sheltered by a grille; the arches on the upper tier 8, are fronted by large open terraces 9, The east 10, and west 11, eivans are basically the same. In fact, the entire mosque is designed so that to draw the visitor's immediate attention to the south eivan 12, topped by a clock-tower 13 and leading to a domed sanctuary 14, Abundantly decorated with tile work, the sanctuary treasures the main mihrab of the mosque, featuring inscriptions in Nastaliq and Tholth. At-tractive white and yellow arabesques against the blue background makes the dome's interior resemble the Chahar Bagh Madreseh (pp100-103). There is a small courtyard 15, on the east side of the mosque, but nowadays it is inaccessible to the public. The most remarkable feature of this section is a peristyle porch 16, reminiscent of the Chehel Sotun (pp92-96). A large hypostyle hall is located in the northeastern corner of the building 17. The mosque's main fame lies with the impressive tile work done in distinctive bright colors of Qajar art. Other elements of the ornamentation include stucco moldings and paintings, among them the painting of the mosque's founder in the northern anteroom.