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Iran: Masjed e Jame

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Masjed e Jame | Iran | Asia

[Visited: April 2001]

Esfahan has a great name where it comes to precious and advanced Islamic ceramic art. The two mosques on the Emam Khomeini square are clear examples of that art. However, a little bit outside the city centre, the Masjed e Jame, or Friday's Mosque, is a showcase of a different nature, of a different beauty. Its main attraction lies in its serenity and simplicity.

Picture of Masjed e Jame (Iran): Masjed e Jame mosque - Esfahan

The origins of this mosque lie in the 11th century, and parts of it seem to date back even to the 10th century. Personally, I thought this mosque is one of the highlights of Esfahan. It is precisely its simplicity which is so attractive. Walking through a labyrinth of bare, stone columns, with the occasional rays of sunlight filtering through holes in the ceiling, a feeling of eternity, of pureness, descended on me.

Picture of Masjed e Jame (Iran): Detail of Masjed e Jame mosque - Esfahan

Then, when arriving at the central square of the mosque, the tiles on the building were like gems in a crown. Because most of the building is a stone structure, the parts that are covered by tiles draw more attention and really stick out. Walking back through the older parts of the mosque I tried to imagine how many prayers had been said in these enormous halls, and tried to imagine what the stones would tell us, if they only were able to recount the many things that must have happened here.

Picture of Masjed e Jame (Iran): Masjed e Jame mosque - Esfahan
Picture of Masjed e Jame (Iran): Masjed e Jame mosque - Esfahan
Picture of Masjed e Jame (Iran): Masjed e Jame mosque - Esfahan
Picture of Masjed e Jame (Iran): Door in Masjed e Jame mosque - Esfahan

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