Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Iran: Esfahan's Masjid Sheikh Lotf Allah

After Grand Bazaar, I headed back to the second largest square in the world, Imam Square.  There were a lot more families having a picnic in the Square, enjoying a leisurely afternoon.  There were also a few tourists who just sat on the grass, soaking in the atmosphere and the view.  I wished I could join them.  But I was already late and had to rush.  I needed to see the inside of Masjid Sheikh Lotf Allah and Masjid Imam before running back to the hotel for the airport pick up.  As it was, I already had to drop Ali Qapu Palace out of my itinerary :-S

Masjid Sheikh Lotf Allah was built in the early 17th century, purposely for the use of the royal family who lived in Ali Qapu Palace, which is located opposite the Masjid right across Imam Square.  There is an underground tunnel that connects the Palace and the Masjid to allow the royal court members to walk between the two without having to walk in public in Imam Square.  As this Masjid was built just for the use of the royal court members, it is much smaller than Masjid Imam that is located on another side of Imam Square.

Despite its size, the Masjid is no less impressive.

The front sides of the Masjid.
(click on any of the photos for a larger image)

The Masjid is no longer used for performing prayers.  Visitors may enter the Masjid during its opening hours but have to buy a ticket from a ticket booth located near to the front entrance.

Luckily I got there just in time before the ticket booth was closed for the day :-)

The corridor

The main prayer hall and the minbar (the place where an imam leads a prayer)
(click on any of the photos for a larger image)

Different sides of the main prayer hall.
(click on any of the photos for a larger image)

What do you think of the Masjid?

For other www.RambleAndWander.com blog entries on Iran, click here.


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  1. was meaning to ask yesterday, what's the use of a mosque if you cannot pray in it? mosques in Beijing are beautiful also.. but no need to buy tickets to view them and still become a tourist attraction.

    1. That is quite true but because this mosque was originally designed for the then ruler's family members, it actually has a quite small prayer hall - more like the size of a small musolla or a surau - thus might not be quite feasible to open it for use by the general public. This is especially more so when the bigger Masjid Imam is located just a few meters away from this mosque.

      With regard to having to pay for a ticket to enter this mosque, as this mosque is no longer in use (which might mean no donation is received from the public), the small fee paid for the ticket could be used for maintenance of the building :-)

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