Old, but even more valuable than gold; holding on to an ancient history, the rustic Jameh Mosque of Kashan is one of the most beautiful and oldest destinations in all of Iran! Also referred to as Masjed Jomeh Kashan and Masjed Jameh Kashan, this is one destination you should not miss while visiting the city!
Indeed the oldest Islamic structure in Kashan, Iran has some stories to tell… Believe it or not, the age-old history of Kashan’s Jameh Mosque goes even further back than the influence of Islam!
Albeit being restored and renovated multiple times throughout history, the beautiful antiquated Jameh Mosque of Kashan is not your ordinary, run of the mill mosque. Come along with goingIRAN to see and explore the beauty of one of the oldest and most beautiful sights in Iran!
Travel through Iran’s History
Many travelers and tourists know that throughout time, religion has played an integral role in Iran’s culture. The birth of the Jameh Mosque of Kashan has been known to date back to the Seljuq Dynasty. 1074 AD to be exact, as the Kufic inscription on the minaret’s base tells us.
However, this isn’t the true age of this building. This ancient date only signifies the time it became a mosque! Prior to the construction of its beautiful single-standing minaret, the Jameh Mosque of Kashan was actually a Zoroastrian fire temple.
Along with the local faith, it was converted to a mosque with the addition of the minaret and Islamic inscriptions and tilework.
The Features of Kashan’s Oldest Mosque (Jameh Mosque)
From close and afar, this ancient site just oozes rustic quality. No doubt, all travelers and tourists that visit this beautiful gem are captivated by its aged quality. The emotions one feels as looking upon this masterpiece are quite close to the heart. It can only be described as the same warm-nostalgic feelings one gets while lovingly looking at their grandmother!
The Jameh Mosque of Kashan doesn’t come without its quirks. For starters, one of the first differentiating features is that it has only one minaret; versus the conventional two.
The lone-standing minaret, itself, also features outstanding architecture for its time. It presents a double-shelled design, meaning that there are separate exterior and interior structures. This was a very uncommon design at the time; being the third oldest in all of Iran.
The minaret boasts exquisite examples of stucco, revealing verses from the holy Quran. Alongside the beautiful inscriptions, it also features a beautiful brickwork pattern running all the way around its entire exterior.
On in the interior of the Jameh Mosque, visitors will find themselves wandering through two shabestans. The higher winter shabestan, and the lower summer shabestan. Although uncommon, it is not very intriguing to see two shabestans.
What is fascinating, however, is the existence of two mihrabs; a smaller one facing the right direction (towards Mecca) and the larger one facing a wrong direction!
Alongside the beautifully intricate brick and tilework of the dome, many parts of the interior arcades and ceiling feature stunning works of stucco carvings.
Much of the Islamic artwork seen at the Jameh Mosque of Kashan, although familiar, is much simpler and more basic in comparison to their later counterparts. This in itself is quite a refreshing and extraordinary sight!
Travelers and tourists visiting this ancient mosque will truly begin to appreciate and understand the foundations of Islamic art, before its evolution into the more common versions seen today.
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