Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque: Combination of Architecture and Colors
This unique mosque was built on the orders of Shah Abbas Safavi and the construction took 18 years. It was named after Sheikh Lotfollah. He was Shi'a great scholar who used to live in Lebonon and came to visit Isfahan at the invitation of Shah Abbas. He then built the mosque to commemorate and sheikh Lotfollah. This mosque is dedicated to the prayer and teaching of the Sheikh. This mosque is located on the east side of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square opposite the Ali Qapu palace.
The mosque has no iwan and minarats and the lack of these two common elements of Persian mosques has made it unique. There is no minarats because minarats which are the symbols of inviting people to the mosque for prayers, but this mosque the mosque was initially designed as a place of praying for the royal family and courtiers not for the public and the mosque wasn’t meant to invite people to gather for prayers. Minarats used to serve caravans as a guide of navigation in pre-Islam period. 
Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1619. It was built by the chief architect Shaykh Bahai, during the reign of Shah Abbas I . Mohammad Reza Esfahani was the architect of this glorious building and there are two inscriptions on the portal of the mosque written by Alireza Abbasi, the great Iranian calligrapher of the time. 
 
The dome rests on a square dome chamber from where light enters the mosque and shines on the intricate design on the ceiling of the dome. There are some high chambers inside the dome decorated with verses of Quran. On top of the mosque there are some holes with fine metal decorations serving as ventilators and lighting. The "peacock" at the center of the interior side of the dome is one of the unique characteristics of the mosque. If you stand at the entrance gate of the inner hall and look at the center of the dome, a peacock, whose tail is the sunrays coming in from the hole in the ceiling, can be seen. 
The dome is covered with Islamic arabesque patterns (Eslimi), all coming together in an octagonal star made of tile works and mosaic. The mihrab is also a vault the walls and ceiling of which are also decorated with intensive mosaic works. 
Another great feature of this mosque’s unique architecture is the 45 degree rotation from the north to the south of the Qibla, which is truly praiseworthy, because the visitor, after passing through the dark entrance and the long corridor, reaches the main court and mosque area. The north-south orientation of the Maydan does not agree with south-west direction of qibla; it is set at 45 degrees to it. This feature, has caused the dome to stand not exactly behind the entrance iwan. 
At the front of the mosque, there is a beautiful octagonal fountain that delights each viewer at sunset. The reflection of light through the lattice window is marvelous. The turquoise blue color of the dome, the stunning paintings and calligraphy, the quadrangular structure of the mosque, converting to an octagonal structure as it reaches the peak of the dome all speak of the skill and taste of the great artists who created such an everlasting masterpiece 
The specifically Shi’i passages and their prominent placement in the mihrab, on the two lateral walls and in the horizontal bands of each corner, underscore the pre- eminence of this creed in Safavid Iran. The poem of Sheykh Bahai on the right wall prays for help from the Fourteen Immaculate Ones while the inscriptions on the interior of the dome emphasize the virtues of charity, prayer and honesty, as well as the correctness of following Islam and its prophets versus the error of other religions.
The reconstruction of the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque took place in the time of Reza Shah Pahlavi, and in 1935 it was registered in the National Monument No. 105.

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