Vakil Mosque, Shiraz, Iran

Shiraz tourism attractions are countless. Each corner of the Shiraz is filled with exuberant historical monuments, greenery gardens, tombs, mosques and many more which were constructed by the hands of prominent Iranian architects during the reign of different dynasties. Particularly, in the time of Zand Dynasty, Shiraz was considered to be one of the most vibrant and lively cities in Iran. Karim Khan Zand, the founder of Zand Dynasty and one of the most cherished crowns, was responsible for constructing a number of historical and artistic monuments in Shiraz which are now regarded as precious treasury of Iran and the world. One of these prominent buildings, is the Vakil Mosque, one of the masterpieces of art and architecture in Shiraz and Iran. The mosque is renowned for its unique design, beautiful pillars, the two decorative iwans (porches), the large Shabestan (praying hall) and the carving and tile work embellishment. If you travel to Shiraz, never forget to visit this magnificent mosque in your Shiraz Tours or Iran tours.

Nasir-Ol Molk Mosque is one of the most ancient mosques of Shiraz and undoubtedly one of the most beautiful sites in Iran. Nasir-Ol Molk Mosque, also known as the Pink Mosque or Rainbow Mosque, looks like an ordinary Islamic mosque at first sight, but as the sun rises, the art of architecture turns the mosque into a huge kaleidoscope. Sunlight, passing through mosaic windows, paints the walls and floor carpets with hundreds of colors. Magic will vanish in a couple of hours, so plan your visit for an early morning.

Architecture of the Vakil Mosque

Located in the vicinity of Vakil Bazaar, next to its entrance in the west side, the Vakil Mosque was built in 1766. Covering an area of about 11000 square meters, the Vakil Mosque is one of the grandest two-iwan mosque in Iran This 18th century monument was reconstructed and restored several times during the time.

The major reconstruction was undertaken between 1827 and 1828 when the entrance and the porche`s tile work were added to the mosque. Generally speaking, the mosque comprises different parts such as the portal, the corridors, the courtyards, the praying halls, the magnificent Mehrab (altar) and Minbar (pulpit), and the beautiful.

The Entrance and the Corridor of Vakil Mosque

Located in the northern side of the mosque, the entrance of Vakil Mosque, has a beautiful arcade, adorned with impressive tiled Moqarnas (Stalactites), calligraphy and stone friezes with beautiful floral motifs. The portal of the mosque is flanked by two left and long corridors leading to the spacious courtyard.

The Courtyard of the Vakil Mosque

The spacious courtyard of the mosque is a rectangular area measuring for about 60 to 65 meters and surrounded by tiled alcoves. In the middle of the courtyard there is a large pool measuring 40 to 5 meters. In the northeastern part of the mosque there is another cozy courtyard with a length of 35 meters and a width of 20 meters. Through the corridor one can access this courtyard.

The North and South Iwans of the Vakil Mosque

The Vakil Mosque features two grand iwans in the northern and southern sides of its large courtyard. The northern iwan of the Vakil mosque, is flanked by two minarets and a beautiful Pearl vault with intricate calligraphy, Shirazi haft rangi (seven – color) tile work and floral motifs. In the southern part of the courtyard, there is also another vault, which is exactly the same as the Pearl vault decorated with haft rangi tiles and carvings.

Shabestan of the Vakil mosque

The most impressive part of the mosque is the large Shabestan behind the southern iwan. Covering an area of 5,000 square meters, the spacious Shabestan features 48 spiral pillars that populates the interior hall. The pillars join one another on top through the plain brick arches and are decorated by acanthus leaves at the capitals. In the southern part of the Shabestan there is an impressive Mihrab embellished with Shirazi Haftrangi. The Mihrab features a single cut marble Menbar with 14 stairs which complete the royal majesty of the mosque.

The Winter Shabestan

There is another Shabestan hall in the mosque holding 12 stone pillars measuring 5 meters in height. There is also an inscription on the portal of the winter Shabestan decorated with some versus of Quran in Sols calligraphy.

Shiraz Tourism Attractions near the Vakil Mosque

If you travel to Shiraz never forget to visit the grand bazaar of Shiraz adjacent to the Vakil Mosque. It is one of the most amazing Shiraz tourism attractions that is worth visiting. The grand bazaar of Shiraz is one of the oldest and largest bazaar in Iran which was built as the heart of Trade center in Shiraz for about 200 years ago by the order of Karim Khan Zand. It is where when you can find high quality commodities such as the famous Shiraz Carpet, jewelry, spices, traditional clothes, and etc. Another Shiraz tourism attractions near the mosque is the Vakil mosque one of the largest traditional bathhouses in Iran which is now turned in to an anthropology museum.

Shiraz Restaurants near the Vakil Mosque

There are a number of nice restaurants near the mosque which are good place to eat traditional food of Shiraz in traditional atmosphere. Sharze Restaurant, Saraye Mehr Restaurant, Saraye Ayene Restaurant, House of Poems Café, Vakil Traditional Restaurant, Hafez Café, Aqo Ash Restaurant are cozy Shiraz restaurants with delicious Shirazi food near the Mosque

Hotels in Shiraz near the Vakil Mosque

If you want to spend the night a budget hotel during your travel to Shiraz in, Golshan Traditional Hostel is just perfect for you. Accommodating in a traditional house is also a unique experience one should not lose. Parhani Traditional House and Raz Traditional House are perfect traditional houses near the mosque where you can enjoy a traditional stay with local Shiraz cuisine. However if you want to stay in one of the luxury hotels in Shiraz, Arg Hotel is what you are looking for.

Best time to visit the Vakil Mosque

The best time to visit the mosque is in spring and summer when the weather is moderate. The mosque is open from 8:30 to 20:30 in spring and summer, and from 8:30 to 20:00 in autumn and winter.

The fabulous mosque with its eye-catching design and decorations is the good example of the Iranian Islamic architecture in the Zand Era. Therefore, visiting the Vakil mosque is something one not ignore in his Iran Tours or Shiraz Tours.

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