Nasir al-mulk Mosque is one of the most beautiful tourist attractions in Shiraz. The mosque has been constructed by Hasan Ali Nasir al-mulk in the reign of Qajar dynasty. It took several years from 1293 to 1305 (SH) for the construction of the mosque to be finished. Currently, Nasir al-mulk Mosque is located in Lotf Ali Khan Street in Shiraz. After Safavids took power, religion became an important part of policy, and Shi’a Islam officially became the dominant religion of Iranian people. Since then, numerous mosques have been constructed all over Iran. Nasir al-mulk Mosque is one of the most famous and popular mosques remained from this historical period. Due to many pink tiles used in decoration of the mosque, it is also called the Pink Mosque.
Best time to visit the Nasir al-mulk Mosque is early in the morning till 10 a.m. when the place is still empty, and beautiful colors of the building can be observed in the sunlight. During autumn and winter, the oblique angle of solar altitude creates beautiful colorful lights in the mosque’s “shabestan” (part of mosques designed for night prayers). To access the mosque, you have to go to Lotf Ali Khan Street. Public transportation is available for this purpose; it is recommended because it is always difficult to find a parking place near the mosque. Nasir al-mulk mosque is open to visitors from 7:30 Am. to 6:30 Pm. To enter the mosque, you have to buy ticket.
Book Shiraz city tour to visit this stunning mosque.
Nasir al-mulk Mosque Architecture
Nasir al-mulk complex including mosque, bathhouse, etc. is located in one of the oldest districts of Shiraz, near Shah-e Cheragh Mosque. The mosque has been constructed upon the order of Mirza Hasan Ali, known as Nasir al-mulk. The process of construction took more than 12 years, and the chief architect of the building was Mohammad Hasan Memar. Nasir al-mulk Mosque has a large floor area of 2212m2. In addition to the main building, a big courtyard is also located at the northern part of the mosque.
Nasir al-mulk Mosque has two different entrances. The main entrance has a traditional arch with various tiles used for its decoration. At the upper part of the arch a couplet is written on a marble stone, in addition to the year of construction of the mosque. After the entrance, you will enter the gallery with a dark area which fills the gap between the mosque and its surrounding. The dark atmosphere is created so that people pay more attention to the environment upon curiosity. After the mosque gallery, visitors are guided towards the main building passing through the corridor. The corridor, contrary to the gallery, is filled with bright lights. After the corridor, you will enter the big courtyard of the mosque in the middle of which there is a large shallow basin. Around the basin, usually there are many pelargoniums planted in flower pots. Outer building of Nasir al-mulk Mosque is observable from the courtyard; and there are beautiful tile-works observable on outside walls of the building.
In different parts of the building, there are some decorations made of seven-color tiles. The mosque has two separate places for night prayers (called shabestan); the western one is more glamorous with more time taken for its construction. The arch in the western shabestan of Nasir al-mulk Mosque has 12 columns as a symbol of 12 infallible Imams. Seven separate doors connect the shabestan to the main courtyard of the mosque. These doors have colorful glasses; however, these colorful glasses were not a part of the original architecture, and they have been added to the building in 1969.
In addition to two separate shabestans, the mosque has two porches in northern and southern parts of it. The porch located in the north with especial beauty is more expanded. It has three separate arches with the middle and the highest one called Morvarid. The arch is decorated in arabesque design, and many Persian poems can be observed on its inside walls. Many wooden columns have been used in walls of the arch to add to its durability.
Shabestans in Nasir al-mulk Mosque
Shabestans are roofed spaces in the mosque, usually connected to the porch and courtyard. As it was stated before, Nasir al-mulk has two eastern and western shabestans facing to the Qiblah. The western shabestan is of especial beauty and very eye-catching. In decorations and tile-works of the mosque, those patterns from famous mosques of the time (e.g. Vakil and Moshir Mosques in Shiraz) have been imitated.
The upper part of shabestan is decorated with Islamic florid architectural styles, creating a very beautiful view. Shabestan floor is made of tiles with turquoise color, and the altar is built of marble stone. The western shabestan is constructed to be used in summer and warm seasons of the year. Colorful windows in different hours of day create an unforgettable view of colorful lights reflected on the ground.
The second shabestan is located in the eastern part of the mosque. It is constructed for cold seasons of the year with beautiful tile-works. It is less decorated compared with the western shabestan; however, this part of the mosque is especially tranquilizing. Shabestan has seven main simple columns located in the middle of the building. In the front part of the shabestan, a large courtyard is observable, and the shabestan is connected to the water reservoir of the mosque, with a small basin in it.
Shiraz is one of the most beautiful cities in Iran. This old city was the capital of Iran in ancient times, with many glamorous buildings having been constructed all around the city in different historical periods. Having a good climate, Shiraz is known as the city of flowers and there are many different historical attractions in various parts of it. The history of the city dates back to more than 3000 years ago, and there are various monuments available in this city. When reviewing main attractions of Shiraz, Nasir al-mulk Mosque is always listed among the most attractive tourist attractions in the city. Those travelling to the city usually pay a visit to this beautiful mosque.