Highly inspired by the art and architecture of the Safavid era (1501-1736), blending with fashionable European trends, the Qajar period (1785-1925) has its own architectural masterpieces that among them the Seyed Mosque constitutes the advantages of new structural ideas and amazing ornamentations.
As the largest religious building of the Qajar period in Isfahan, the mosque was built at the order of Hojat al-Islam Seyed Mohammad Baqer Shafti, the 19th century religious and public figure in Isfahan and named after him, funded by religious payments and faithful Moslems donations.
The four-porch based style mosque is replete with peculiar features including two entrances on the north and east that the northern main portal opens onto an anteroom and porch with nice colored tiles already used in the Imam mosque of the Naghsh-e Jahan Square, making visitors take a detour through either of the two corridors ending up to the main court.
Surrounded by rows of arcades cut by porches on all four sides, the spacious court is graced by a big pool in the middle. The arcades on the east and west are two levels; short lower arches and tall upper ones fronted by large open terraces.
The south porch is the most eye-catching part of the mosque topped by a clock-tower leading to a domed sanctuary which is beautifully decorated with tilework and amazing patterns where the main mihrab (decorative panels directed to Mecca) of the mosque is located displaying fantastic tiled inscriptions in Nastaliq and Tholth.
Of the other remarkable features of the mosque, a peristyle porch in the small eastern courtyard similar to that of Chehel Sotun palace and a hypostyle hall in the northwestern corner must be mentioned which are amazing in their own type.
The mosque’s main feature of fame is due to the wonderful tilework done in distinctive bright colors, stucco moldings, and paintings, making it a must-see tourist site and a suitable place to get acquainted with the nice artistic and architectural style of the Qajar era.
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