If you visit Isfahan while traveling in Iran, then a trip to Masjed-e Imam is a must. This is the great monument in the south side of Naghsh-i Jahan (image of the world) square which presents an artistic view of the Islamic architecture. It represents the Persian style and is a masterpiece in its own right.
This sight is now listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The grandeur of the monument is evident in the calligraphic inscriptions and the unique seven-color mosaic tiles. The relic is deemed important enough to have found a place on the banknote of Iran valued at 20,000 Rials.
A Unique Style
The Masjed-e Imam in Isfahan dates back to Safavids who portrayed their architectural excellence through this monument. The construction of the mosque is such that it places more importance on the courtyard facade, than the exterior ones. The four-ivan format came to be accepted as the dominant plan for mosque building under Seljuqs. It depicts the transition of the soul from the material world to that of the spiritual. The embellishments in this mosque are a bit different as you will note when you visit Isfahan. The turquoise blue and lapis colors are given preference over the glazed brickwork and tiling.
Poetry in Stone
This blue color can be seen in its entire splendor when you view the mosque from the Meidan. The tile mosaics depict the traditional Iranian motifs which speak volumes of the culture of the ancient Persian society. The ivans are perfectly balanced with symmetrical arcades and there is a great deal of intricate arabesque all done up in dark blue and golden yellow.
You cannot refrain from staring in awe at the front doors of the mosque which have calligraphic fresco on them. It is like divine poetry about the greatness of God and also of Shah Abbas I, who initiated the monument. It is indeed a great pleasure to be traveling in Iran when you have such wonderful artwork to feast your eyes upon.
The grand spectacle of the Persian architecture during the Safavid period is manifested in the Masjed-e Imam which you must see when you visit Isfahan.