The Goharshad Mosque : A Must-See for Any Visitor to Mashhad

The Goharshad Mosque is a grand congregational mosque located in Mashhad, Iran. It was built during the Timurid period in the early 15th century by the order of Empress Goharshad, the wife of Shah Rukh. The mosque is one of the most important architectural masterpieces of the Timurid era and is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The mosque is located on the south side of the Imam Reza shrine, the holiest shrine in Shia Islam. It is a four-iwan courtyard mosque, with a large iwan (arched portal) on each of the four sides of the courtyard. The iwans are topped by domes, and the courtyard is surrounded by arcades. The mosque is decorated with intricate tilework, calligraphy, and muqarnas (stalactite-like vaulting).

The most striking feature of the mosque is the iwan on the southern side, which is known as the Maqsura Iwan. This iwan is larger than the other iwans and is topped by a larger dome. The Maqsura Iwan is reserved for the use of the imam of the shrine.

The mosque is also notable for its use of brick and tilework. The brickwork is used to create geometric patterns, while the tilework is used to create floral and other decorative motifs. The tilework in the mosque is some of the finest in the world.

The Goharshad Mosque is a masterpiece of Islamic architecture and is one of the most important tourist destinations in Iran. It is a testament to the artistic and architectural achievements of the Timurid period.

Here are some additional facts about the Goharshad Mosque:

  • The mosque is 200 meters long and 130 meters wide.
  • The iwans are 30 meters high.
  • The dome of the Maqsura Iwan is 53 meters high.
  • The mosque is decorated with over 40,000 tiles.
  • The mosque was built using a technique called “khosrau-i badgir”, which is a windcatcher system that helps to cool the interior of the mosque.
  • The mosque was damaged in an earthquake in 1722, but it was later restored.

The Goharshad Mosque is a beautiful and impressive building that is a testament to the artistic and architectural achievements of the Timurid period. It is a must-see for any visitor to Mashhad.

History Of Goharshad Mosque

The history of the Goharshad Mosque can be traced back to the early 15th century. In 1405, Shah Rukh, the son of Timur, ascended to the throne of the Timurid Empire. Shah Rukh was a great patron of the arts and sciences, and he commissioned the construction of many magnificent buildings, including the Goharshad Mosque.

The mosque was built by the architect Ghavameddin Shirazi, who is also responsible for the construction of other important Timurid buildings, such as the Chehel Sotoun Palace in Isfahan. The mosque was completed in 1418, and it was named after Empress Goharshad, who was the main patron of the project.

Here are some of the key events in the history of the Goharshad Mosque:

  • 1405: Shah Rukh ascends to the throne of the Timurid Empire.
  • 1418: Construction of the Goharshad Mosque is completed.
  • 1722: The mosque is damaged in an earthquake.
  • 1935: The mosque is damaged in the Goharshad Mosque rebellion.
  • 1970s: The mosque undergoes extensive restoration.
  • 2003: The mosque is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

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