Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the Safavid era masterpieces known for its architecture and tiling. This mosque is located in the east side of the Square; one of the world heritage site.
Some people believe this building does not just have the role of a mosque like other mosques. They believe architect created a space in which even the followers of other religions and all human beings will notice the divine and mystical light there.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque was built on the orders of Shah Abbas I in 1011 AH in honor of Sheikh Lotfollah Missi and was completed after 18 years in 1028 AH. Later the mosque was known as Mullah Fathollah, then it was known as the Sadr Mosque, since it was referred to the Mujtahid al-‘Alim or the reference of Taqlid; Sadr or Sadr al-‘Alāma, but nowadays it is known by its original name.
Who was Sheikh Lotfollah?
The Safavid kings invited and encouraged some scholars from Bahrain and Jebel Ali to promote Shi’a religion. Sheikh Lotfollah came to Iran with these scholars from Lebanon’s Missi and was selected by Shah Abbas Kabir to serve the Astan Quds Razavi and after a while went to Qazvin. Finally, at the invitation of Shah Abbas he came to Isfahan and settled there. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque was built to teach him to his disciples. He was also prayed in the mosque and people followed him.
The Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque was built by one of the most famous architects of the Safavid era, Professor Mohammad Reza Isfahani, the son of Professor Hussein Bana Isfahani in the style of Esfahani (the latest traditional Iranian architectural style).
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque Architecture
The dome of the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is the most circular and most beautiful dome in the world. This dome is of double-shell domes with a 12-meter span. The height of the dome is about 32 meters above the ground. On its field there are islimy patterns that show the harmony in the design. Also, on a number of tiles of the mosque is seen the art of calligraphy by Alireza Tabrizi Abbasi.
One of the interesting points of this dome is its color variation throughout the day, in the morning it is in pale color, at noon, in pink and at dusk, gray is seen. If the height below the dome was more than the current one, the lack of light to the tile of the dome roof would make the mosque lose its beauty.
The tiling with paradise plants and geometric patterns, blue, pebbly, green and white colors combine with the sunlight which puts in from the reticulated window and creates a pattern similar to the peacock in the center of the dome. The lattice windows, in addition to lighting and ventilation, play an important role in creating a clerical atmosphere in the mosque. Throughout the day, part of the sun’s sunlight enters the interior of the wardrobe through the windows and provides the light required.
The 400 years old entrance door of the mosque is made of planed wood. In the past, there was a beautiful pool in front of the mosque which remains the only trace of it today. After entering the entrance, there is a corridor that moves 90 degrees to the qiblah. This act divides the place of worship from urban space and prepares person to enter the shabestan and accustomed the eyes to low light, because if a person suddenly leads from an exterior bright space to a mid-dark Shabestan, it does not look beauty and may even have an accident for him due to the lack of light.