A mosque, often frequented by the famous Persian poet, Hafez, the Atigh Jame Mosque (Masjed Jame Atigh) in Shiraz, Iran, is still standing in a healthy condition after albeit its twelve centuries of age!
It’s strangely unique architectural and decorative style, is pure icing on its rich cake of deep-rooted history. All throughout the mosque, there are various features of Islamic architecture from different time periods.
Come along with goingIRAN to see and discover more about one of the oldest mosques in Iran!
Atigh Mosque’s Antiquity
Built in 894 AD, the Atigh Jame Mosque sure won’t be the glossiest of them all, but is definitely the oldest in Shiraz, Iran! Due its deep roots in history, the old mosque is recognized as the seed of Shiraz’s history.
Its age is even reflected in its name, where atigh in Persian means ‘antique’ and of course masjed jame means ‘Friday mosque’. Ironically, this mosque is so old that it actually predates the prevalence of Islam in Iran!
After damage from a few earthquakes, the ancient mosque was renovated and restored during the Safavid and Qajar Dynasties. A total of five times, to be precise; once in 1565, 1617, 1618, 1681 and 1900.
Visiting the Atigh Jame Mosque
The ancient Atigh Jame Mosque stands tall with its two-story structure housing many different rooms and shabestans. It has six doors leading in and out of the building; with one in the north and south and two on the western and eastern sides.
The northern entrance portal is called Davazdah Imam which is Persian for ‘Twelve Imams’. The portico is beautifully decorated with muqarnas–style tiles and has inscriptions dating its restoration back to the year 1622!
Alongside the description, the names of the twelve Shia Imams are also beautifully inscribed on the decorative tiles. On top of that high entrance portal, there are two minarets on either side, decorated with brickwork-muqarnas.
Interestingly, unlike many of the mosques we see today, the minarets at Atigh Jame Mosque aren’t free standing towers. They have actually been built onto the mosque’s building structure! This is quite a rare and unique style of mosque architecture.
On both east and west wings of the mosque, there are two-story shabestans. The smaller, eastern one, features forty stone pillars, connecting the floor to the brick-ceiling. At the end of the room, visitors will also find a covered minbar beautifully decorated with famous Persian turquoise tiles.
The smaller shabestan in the west, has a stucco ceiling and features twelve marble pillars. In this shabestan, tourists of the Atigh Jame Mosque will find a twelve-stepped minbar made entirely from wood and marble.
All throughout the Atigh Jame Mosque, travelers will find various dates alongside the inscribed tiles and structures. These dates will specifically reflect 5 particular years, in which that the mosque has been restored and renovated during the past centuries.
All in all, the rather large mosque has a plethora of antiquated beauties within its confines. Some dating right back to its origins, and others added and restored along the way.
It’s not only the mosques ancient history that makes it unique, among the others. The architecture and many various decorative features (plasterwork, tilework, muqarnas, calligraphy and paintings) are what give it its trademark character!
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