Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

Places to see in Isfahan, Iran

Sheikh Lotfollah mosque in Esfahan shows the grandiose richness of the Masjed-e Shah. It was built in 1602-1619 during the reign of Shah Abbas I. The mosque was built in honor of the father-in-law of Shah, Sheikh Lotfollah, who was a respected Lebanese scholar of Islam. Once he was invited to Esfahan to see the king's mosque and theological school which took his name.

The dome of the mosque has delicate cream-colored tiles that change their color from cream to pink during the daytime. The dome's summit carries the blue-and-turquoise signature of Esfahan.

The mosque has an extraordinary design. It doesn't have either a minaret, or courtyard. The reason is that it wasn't built for public use, but for serving as a worship place for the harem women of the Shah.

You can get to the prayer hall by a twisting hallway, where your eyes will accustom to the darkness of the hall. You can admire the complexity of the mosaics that adorn the walls and ceiling with yellow motifs inside the sanctuary.

The sunlight rays produce constantly changing views of shadow and light that interplay through the latticed windows.

Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfollah is a wonderful place. It will be unfair to reach Iran and never see it.

Isfahan, Iran