Here you can see the entrance to the mosque which is off a street forming part of the bazaar. The mosque is an old one, reputedly built under Sultan Sanjar during the middle of the twelfth century, but extensively redecorated under the Safavid Shah Ismail at the start of the sixteenth century.
Along with the Mausoleum of Haroun Vilayat, which is more or less opposite and with which it is contemporary, it marks the start of the renaissance of Isfahani architecture which was to flower so
prodigiously under Shah Abbas I. However the similarity ends
there: whereas the Mausoleum demonstrates a new fluidity in the use of arabesques this Mosque draws spectacularly upon the strict lines of the seljuk brickwork and imbues them with new life.
The calligraphy was done by a Tabrizi, Shams Al-Din Tabrizi, and the presence of a Tabrizi craftsman at this time in Isfahan may have been due to Shah Ismail's early conquest of the city. The
redecoration of the facade was completed in 1522. The tile cutter has also signed himself above the entrance as Musaddiq. Its bold use of geometrical forms and the prominence given to the brickwork are in strong contrast to the completely different techniques employed in the Mausoleum.
Last Updated 20 November 1998