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Saturday, 23 June 2012

Iran: Masjid Vakil in Shiraz


Masjid Vakil or Vakil Mosque is located next to Vakil Bazaar in Shiraz.  It was built in mid-18th century during the lifetime of Karim Khan, founder of Zand Dynasty, who used the title “Vakil” or “representative” and had been described as one of the most just rulers in Iranian history.  The Citadel of Karim Khan is located not that far from both the masjid and bazaar.

 
(Above) The tile work on the “arch” of the main entrance gate to Masjid Vakil; and
(Below) one side of the main entrance gate.






(Above left) View of the main iwan from across the courtyard; and
(Above right) View of the minbar (pulpit) with its 14-step staircase that is made of and cut from a solid marble block.

(Click on each photo for a larger image)



The intricate tile work on the concave of the main iwan.





(Click on each photo for a larger image)


The masjid can essentially be divided into 2 main areas; the very large open courtyard (almost 6,000 square meters in size) and the smaller open covered area.  The open covered area at the front is called shabestan (night prayer hall).  The hall is about 75m long and 36m wide (equivalent to about 2,700 square meters in area), and is covered by beautiful cupolas and arches resting on 48 carved stone columns.  Some areas of this hall are covered in gloriously beautiful tile work while some other areas are just plain but no less soothingly beautiful.  The overall effect is really quite something.





(Click on each photo for a larger image)





(Above left) The second iwan at the back of the masjid, as viewed from across the courtyard; and
(Above right) View of the concave of the second iwan.
(Click on each photo for a larger image)



This beautiful Masjid Vakil is still in use to this very day although when I was there, the evening prayers were conducted in a room located somewhere to the left of the courtyard.  Imagine the masjid and its courtyard full with the faithful on a Friday noon, listening to a sermon being delivered by an imam standing on the marble minbar...

That would have been a truly beautiful and unforgettable experience, don't you think?



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


22 comments:

Comments and feedback are always appreciated. So do leave one or two if you have the time. Thank you!

  1. cantiknya gambarnya! simetri dia begitu tepat skali! saudara ni pakar matematik? atau pakar geometri? nnt amek gmbr sy pulak! hahah

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Gambar tak berapa cantik kalau dibandingkan dgn pandangan sebenar di depan mata. Macam org putih cakap, they don't do justice to the place. Saya bukan pakar apa2. Pakar berjalan pun bukan. Cuma suka berjalan.(Jwpn utk soalan2 CSI ;-))

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    2. John: How come i couldn't find any free WIFI there, and u're forever online? Jealous betol!!!

      RBA: Cantik...cantik.. memang pakar matematik! U keep mentioning the word 'iwan'? What is 'iwan' by the way?

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    3. Pakar matematik ke? Kalau cikgu2 matematik saya baca ni, mesti dia gelak ;-S

      More info on iwan can be found here, by the way:
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iwan

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    4. Ohh..it's a hall...arabic ya..

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    5. Yup, I think "dewan" was derived from that word. But iwan is a hall with wall on its 3 sides while the 4th side is open with some arch- or gateway-lookalike, whereas dewan can just be a simple hall.

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  2. Iran... yang saya tahu melalui google hanya tentang hukuman gantung di kalayak ramai tu aje... apa pun negara ini masih dikira selamat untuk kita kunjungi kan???

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Daripada segi keselamatan diri, insyaAllah tak ada masalah. Berdasarkan pengalaman sendiri, rakyat Iran antara orang yang paling peramah di antara rakyat negara2 yg pernah saya lawati :-)

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  3. noticed that your pics alway taken at night? lepas solat isyaq ke? anyway, putting iran in must visit ctry becos of you. dpt commission dr iran tourism board ke? hehehehe.. catch up with you another time.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah-ha! It's because I was there during winter so daylight hours were relatively short. But yes, I do prefer to take photos in the evening when every place of interest is all beautifully lit-up :-) And of course, that's also when there are not that many tourists around, haha! ;-)

      Re: Visit Iran. Yes, you really should. I bet everyone you know who has been to Iran would highly recommend the country ;-)

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  4. Anonymous26 June, 2012

    cantiknyaa.... diorang mmg pakar pasang tile eh?

    siti rozina

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    Replies
    1. Memang lawa & very detailed. Rasanya memang specialty dan trademark Iran dlm bab2 menggunakan tile di bangunan ni. Di Dubai pun, hospital Iran dan masjid Iran, semuanya menggunakan tile. Jadi bila jalan2 kat sinipun dan ternampak bangunan yg penuh tile yg base colour dia biru, terus boleh tahu yg bangunan tu ada kaitan dgn Iran.

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  5. You should compile all these photos and produce a book perhaps call it 'Mosques of the world'. I can't recall this sort of book being published before.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi there, Fie! Perhaps I should ;-) Thanks for the vote of confidence :-)

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  6. Anonymous27 June, 2012

    When I read your blog just like I read my book "Seni Islam" by Dr D'Zul Haimi bin Hj Md Zain but in new style with more interesting story & good photos. I think if you write the blog earlier so maybe subject History of Islamic Art and Design I was taken in 2008 out with better result.

    Anyway the book is good for reference & memberikan inspirasi untuk saya mendalami seni Islam.

    Saya tertanya2 kenapa masjid ini hampir sama dengan Masjid-i-Jamii, Isfahan yang saya lihat di dalam buku tersebut dan adakah ianya berkonsepkan masjid terbuka?

    ArtandSoul.Art

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, it has a similar concept, i.e. a masjid with an open courtyard, to the one in Esfahan. The designs however are different. This one doesn't have any dome.

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    2. Anonymous02 July, 2012

      Alhamdulillah, Allah pilih saudara berkunjung dari masjid ke masjid serata dunia... bestkan! Usaha saudara mengadakan blog sebaik ini mengingatkan pembaca akan kebesaran Allah... Tahniah!

      Artandsoul Art

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  7. cantikk :)
    and so different from Malaysia's concept, i guess ?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Yaya! Yes, beautiful, isn't it? In Malaysia, I'm not too sure but Masjid Putra in Putrajaya does have a small courtyard concept too. And the bridge near to Masjid Putra was inspired by one of the bridges in Esfahan, if I'm not mistaken. You can check them out in one of my blog posts on Putrajaya as well as on Bridges of Esfahan :-)

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  8. Impressive tiles work. I believe Persian arts/architecture is one of the best in the world. Now I know why Shah Jahan was inspired by Persian architecture to build the majestic Taj Mahal ;p

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    Replies
    1. Yup, very impressive indeed, especially knowing that it's actually built more than a century ago, without any modern day tools, e.g. computer, etc. ;-) Hmm... Interesting to know that Shah Jahan was inspired by Persian architecture because Taj Mahal is all marbles, I think? Or it has tiles on the inside? I don't know, I didn't go inside Taj Mahal when I was there last year. The queue was too long, haha!

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    2. Yes, it was all marbles inlay with colorful stones inside out kt Taj Mahal tu.. but i think the design of the bunga2/pattern quite similar from the Parsian & also the architecture itself.. do u that the architect who designed Taj Mahal was actually from Iran? ;p

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