Masjed-e-Jomeh - The Sanctuary of Taj Al-Mulk

Map of Masjed-e-Jomeh The dome from outside


If the Friday Mosque is the Crowning achievement of Islamic architecture in the city, the Sanctuary of Taj Al-Mulk is its jewel. It is no coincidence that it is situated opposite the great dome of Nizam Al-Mulk since Taj al Mulk, who sponsored the dome, was the chamberlain to Malek Shah and the greatest rival to Nizam Al-Mulk.

The rivalry between these two great figures even extended to the choice of Architect - they both employed the same one; but whereas Nizam al-Mulk employed the architect to restore an existing sanctuary, Taj Al-Mulk, or Abu'l Ghanai'im Al-Marzban ibn-e-Khusrau Firuz, to give him his full name, gave him a completely free hand to create something totally new. Nizam al- Mulk's dome inspires and even intimidates the visitor with is simple, straightforward, and even arrogant simplicity. the sense of power is implicit in the straightforward structures which it employs. This sanctuary, on the other hand, is a precursor of the Renaissance, setting numerical puzzles, appealing through elegance and proportion rather than massive presence and power.

When visiting each of the domes you cannmot help but compare the two men who sponsored them. Nizam, supremely powerful, a stern and intimidating personality, and his rival Taj, who appears to have been more subtle, and who in the end triumphed over his lifelong rival.

The dome here is shown from the outside of the mosque. Before examining the inside you may find it helpful to know a little of the design principles which the architect so carefully embedded into his work.


Design Icon Examine the Design.

Way In Examine the Chamber.


Masjed-e-Jomeh Icon Back to the entrance to the Mosque

Mosque Icon Other Mosques and Shrines

Home Icon Isfahan Home Page

08-February-95