Shiraz is a famous tourist destination for travelers to Iran. Many monuments in this city have been left from the short but important reign of Karim Khan Zand. Among the monuments in Shiraz, the Vakil complex including the Vakil mosque is what Shiraz is famous for.
Vakil or Soltani Mosque is a historical mosque dating back to the Zand era in the 18th century under the order of Karim Khan Zand. Being a part of the Vakil complex, this mosque is located in the west of Vakil Bazaar. Travelers are mostly fascinated by the architecture of this historical building.
The unique decorations of this mosque are stunning tiles, 48 columns of the shabestan, a large pool, and an integrated marble mihrab. The most considerable difference between Vakil Mosque in Shiraz and most Iranian mosques is the lack of a dome. This mosque has two minarets about 20 meters long.
Although all parts of the Vakil Mosque have gorgeous decorations, the three magnificent arches are breathtaking. These arches include the entrance door arch, the Taq-e Morvarid, and the entrance arch to the large shabestan.
Vakil mosque has only two iwans instead of the usual four, located on the northern and southern sides of a large open court. The iwans and court are decorated with typical Shirazi “haft rang” (7-coloured) tiles, a characteristic feature of the art and industry of Shiraz during the latter half of the 18th century. The 2,700 square meters of southern Shabestan (night prayer hall) contains 48 monolithic pillars carved in spirals. The fourteen-step integrated green marble minbar is another beauty of the hall.
This historical monument was registered as a national monument of Iran on July 9, 1961, and it is now under the care and protection of the Iran Heritage organization. Join Leaveabode Shiraz City Tour, Shiraz Walking Tour, Shiraz Mosque Tour to visit this beautiful mosque.
Pierre Loti mentioned Vakil Mosque in his “The way to Isfahan”: "Today, fortunately, I managed to enter the Karim Khan Mosque. The city is very gentle and kind to me, the lines and architectural motifs of the mosque are simple and uncluttered, but everywhere, enamel and green and red colors can be seen, and this luxury has reached its extreme. No part of the wall can be found that accurately. It is not enameled. We are now in the Azure and Turquoise Palace."
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Karim Khan Zand built a collection of valuable and magnificent buildings during his reign such as Vakil Mosque, Vakil Bath and Vakil Bazaar. Various colors and enamels on walls and different parts of this mosque are an extremely spectacular collection. As Pierre Loti mentioned in his “The way to Isfahan”, Vakil mosque is described as a lapis and turquoise palace. The tiles done in different parts of the Vakil Mosque are beautiful and remarkable in their kind.
Vakil Mosque is 11,000 square meters.
With its unique architecture, extraordinary carvings, inscription lines, manuscripts and various tiles, Vakil Mosque is an admirable architecture in which harmony between the artistic beauties and the religious culture is created.
Different parts of this historical building are the entrance, corridor, courtyard, large shabestan, winter shabestan, mihrab, marble minbar, backyard, two Iwans (porches), Taq-e Morvarid (pearl arch), and so on. Here are some parts in detail:
The entrance arches of the mosque are eight meters high and about three meters wide. The entrance door opens towards a corridor that has eight sides and a beautiful ceiling decorated with floral tiles and beautiful phrases of the Quran in the Kufic script.
In the northern part of the Vakil Mosque, there is a 20-meters high arch called Taq-e Morvarid or pearl arch. It consists of two tiled minarets. The roof of the Pearl Arch is decorated with the floral Shirazi seven-color and marquetry tiles and ornaments. In different parts of the pearl arch, Quran verses are engraved in thuluth script.
Vakil Mosque has two porches and two Shabestans (night prayer hall) in the southern and eastern parts. The arch of the southern part is symmetrical with the pearl arch. The 36X75 entrance door of the large hall has been installed under this arch. The floor is covered with smooth stone under the 48 stone columns that are spirally carved.
Another interesting part of the southern hall of Vakil Mosque is a 14-steps high minbar made of marble, which adds extraordinary beauty to the hall. It is said the marble stone came to the mosque from Maragheh in the Northwest of Iran.
The mihrab of the southern hall is also the reflection of Iranian art in the Zand era. The Left and right sides of the mihrab are decorated with seven-colored tiles and floral designs.
This shabestan of Vakil Mosque is made of a brick roof. It has 12 pillars 5 meters high. Above the door and the walls of this shabestan, there are inscriptions decorated with verses of the Quran.
Indeed, Vakil Mosque in Shiraz is a masterpiece of Iranian architecture where a new style of tiling is done by the masters of this art. It is in principle in accordance with the predecessor style of Iranian tiling, but the innovation can be seen in this tiling. The tiles used in this building are of the seven-color type mingled with the Quranic verses that create a pure and unique work. So, this mosque shows that however, the architecture of the Zand era has similarities with the architecture of the Safavid era (Isfahan mosques), it has its own gorgeous distinction and individuality.
Vakil Mosque is located in the central part of Shiraz, Fars province.
Vakil Bazaar is located in the center of Shiraz. It has several entrances in Zand, Taleghani and Lotfali Khan Zand streets. The main entrance of Vakil North and South Markets is located on Zand Street, on the east side of Shahrdari Square.
|March-September||from 9:00 to 22:00|
|October-February||from 9:00 to 19:00|
The required time from this monument is 2 to 3 hours.
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Shiraz Vakil Mosque was built during the reign of Karim Khan Zand in the 18th century.
Shiraz, the cultural capital of Iran, is synonymous with the city of poets, education, nightingales, and wine. It is a must-see that you would not miss during your trip to Iran. It is very close to Persepolis in the Fars …