Yazd, a city rich in historical sites, boasts many architectural wonders with unique Iranian designs, each narrating a fascinating story from the city’s history. Among these renowned historical structures, situated in the city center, the Jameh Mosque of Yazd stands out.
The Jameh Mosque of Yazd is a blend of three mosques and each mosque established during different historical periods. The original structure built over a Sassanian-era fire temple. This rich historical and cultural heritage, combined with the mosque’s stunning architecture and magnificent decorations, makes it one of the most beautiful historical mosques in Iran. Discover more about the Jameh Mosque of Yazd with SURFIRAN.
With a history spanning over 900 years, the Jameh Mosque of Yazd is among the most magnificent and beautiful historical buildings and attractions in the Yazd province. It features tall minarets and is centrally located in the city. In the past, the mosque situated in the middle of the old city, surrounded by walls.
The mosque’s base area is 9,800 square meters, with 500 square meters covered in tiles and inscriptions. The length of the Jameh Mosque of Yazd is 104 meters, its width 99 meters, and it has seven entrances. These entrances connect to several alleys and exit paths.
The Jameh Mosque of Yazd is the oldest example of 9th-century Hijri architecture in the religious district of Yazd. Many Yazd residents say that the clay for the tiles and construction materials of the Jameh Mosque sourced from Karbala soil and rose water.
This historical site registered on July 22, 1934, with the number 206, in the National Heritage of Iran list.
Where is Jameh Mosque of Yazd Located?
The Jameh Mosque of Yazd situated on the western side of Imam Khomeini Street, nestled in one of the old neighborhoods of Yazd. The historical structures of the 8th century, including the Chaharsooq and Shahi Bazaar of Yazd, lie at the end of the Jameh Mosque Street, in the southeast part of the mosque. The ends of three old bazaars in Yazd city converge at Chaharsooq. One of these bazaars leads directly to the Jameh Mosque. The connection of two other bazaars to the Jewish Alley and the Dar al-Shifa neighborhood forms an astonishing and historic ensemble.
Address: Yazd, on the western side of Imam Khomeini Street, Fahadan neighborhood
History of Jameh Mosque of Yazd
“The Jameh Mosque of Yazd, seamlessly blending styles from different eras, was constructed and completed over a century. This architectural marvel evolved during various historical periods, notably including the Ilkhanate, Safavid, Timurid, Al Muzaffar, and Qajar dynasties, each contributing uniquely to its design.” Each part of this historical building built and restored over time by numerous patrons.
The foundation of the Jameh Mosque of Yazd dates back to the Sassanian era, built over a fire temple, while the current structure is a remnant of the Qajar period. During the reign of Fath Ali Shah Qajar, extensive demolition and restoration work undertaken, significantly altering the mosque’s appearance from its original form.
Jameh Mosque of Yazd – Atiq
According to historical texts, the current structure of the mosque stands three mosques previously built alongside each other. The first, known as the Atiq Jameh Mosque, constructed in the late 3rd Hijri century (during the rule of Amr Leith Saffari). This section repaired in the 5th Hijri century, adding a minaret that stood for centuries.
Jameh Mosque of Yazd – Qadim
In the 5th Hijri century, Ala al-Dowleh, a ruler of Yazd, built the second mosque, known as the Qadim Jameh Mosque. He added a dome chamber and several iwans (porches), expanding the original mosque. Subsequently, the daughters of Faramarz Ibn Kakoui built new sections, including a prayer hall and a tomb next to the second mosque.
Jameh Mosque of Yazd – New
The third mosque, named the No Jameh Mosque, built in the early 8th Hijri century. It featured a small courtyard, a dome chamber, and a large iwan. Rokn al-Din Mohammad Ibn Qavam al-Din Mohammad Ibn Nezam Hosseini Yazdi Qazi initiated its construction, but passed away before its completion. The dome and iwan left unfinished until 732 Hijri, when they completed by Sharaf al-Din Ali Yazdi.
During the reign of Timur in 777 Hijri, the mosque’s dome and iwan tiled. Khwaja Jalal al-Din Mahmoud Khwarazmi, Timur’s son, added an inscription in Naskh script around the dome and to the iwan. This inscription, including Surah Al-Fath, penned by Baha al-Din Hazar Asb, a renowned calligrapher of the time. The inscription unfinished until 819 Hijri under Shah Rukh Mirza, when it completed by Nezam Kermani. In the same year, Shah Rukh ordered the addition of an inscription featuring the names of the twelve Imams and his titles at the main entrance’s portal.
Architecture of Jameh Mosque of Yazd
The architectural design of the Jameh Mosque of Yazd is a composite of a domed sanctuary and a long rectangular prayer hall. The mosque’s original square plan is a mimic of the Kaaba’s plan. According to the late Pirnia’s theory, the mosque’s architectural style is Azari. This style, also known as the Mongol or Iranian-Mongol style, is evident in buildings in Herat and Bukhara.
Lighting in the Jameh Mosque of Yazd
The Jameh Mosque of Yazd utilizes indirect lighting, with light reflecting off the white plaster of the dome and walls. Numerous Shiite symbols are visible throughout the mosque, forming a significant part of its decorations. These include the five-pointed star (symbolizing the Five Pillars of Islam, the Ahl al-Kisa, and the first five Prophets of strength), along with 72-petal and 12-petal sunbursts seen in various parts of the building.
Sections of the Jameh Mosque of Yazd
Eastern Porch Forecourt Facing the eastern entrance is a forecourt featuring an octagonal pool. Two marble columns, hollowed at the top as if they once held candles, adorned with animal and floral carvings. Unfortunately, two inscribed verses in Naskh script on the columns are now illegible due to damage.
One of the most striking parts of the mosque is its lofty entrance, reaching a height of 24 meters, flanked by several arched niches and two minarets. The entrance features inscriptions of the titles of Timurid Shah Rokh and Mirza Jahanshah in Naskh script. The inscription of the mosque’s endowment deed, dating back to 765 Hijri, is visible on the eastern vestibule and is the oldest inscription in the structure.
Past the entrance, a square space known as the corridor or “Kriyas” lined with inscriptions detailing the orders of various rulers over different historical periods. The corridor’s domed ceiling decorated with geometric shapes and vibrant colors.
The inner courtyard, used for prayer, houses another Mihrab decorated with blue tiles bearing the names of Allah, Muhammad, Ali, Hasan, and Husayn. Two qanats (ancient water channels) previously present in this courtyard have now dried up.
The main iwan is rectangular. Upon entering, two large columns on each side can be seen, adorned with calligraphy in Naskh and Kufic scripts. The ceiling of the iwan also features God’s names in Kufic script.
The mosque’s dome consists of two shells with four corners surrounding it. The interior ceiling space embellished with geometric patterns.
Eastern Prayer Hall
Dating back to 754 Solar year, the eastern prayer hall commissioned by Shah Yahya Mozaffari. The mosque’s main Mihrab is located here.
One of the most remarkable parts of the mosque, the Mihrab, adorned with intricate mosaic tiles featuring floral patterns.
Above the Mihrab, stucco work and Muqarnas (ornamental vaulting) can be seen. The dates of completion and the architect’s name inscribed on either side of the Mihrab.
Western Prayer Hall
This rectangular hall measures 38 meters by 9 meters, decorated with lattice windows and tiles. Built during the reign of Amir Ghiyath, it’s also known as the Ghiyathiyya. Currently, it houses the Jameh Mosque of Yazd Museum.
Prince’s Prayer Hall
Located in the western part of the northern courtyard, this hall named after its builder, Prince Mohammad Vali Mirza. It features 48 columns adorned with turquoise tiles.
The mosque’s most majestic features are its minarets, each 52 meters tall and 8 meters in diameter. Their tiles inscribed with the names of God and the Imams. One minaret has a staircase, and the other has two. Built by Agha Jamal al-Din Mohammad, a Safavid-era minister, they collapsed in 1313 and subsequently restored.
Jameh Mosque of Yazd Treasury Museum
Opened in 1393 Solar year, the museum showcases historical artifacts related to ancient rituals and culture, particularly from the Islamic period. It also aims to present the mosque’s history and its restoration processes. The collection includes 350 pieces from the Ilkhanid to the contemporary period, with highlights such as:
- Photographs of the Jameh Mosque since 1312 Solar year.
- Remnants from restorations.
- Ilkhanid golden tiles from the 8th century.
- Timurid mosaic tiles from the 9th century.
- Qajar-era seven-color tiles.
- Pahlavi-era mosaic tiles.
- A marble stone pulpit from the Qajar period.
- A wooden clock donated by Haj Mohammad Ali Vaziri in 1324 Solar year.
- A collection of Zilou (traditional Iranian floor-coverings).
- A piece of the Kaaba’s curtain, gifted by the King of Saudi Arabia in 1345 Solar year.
- A walnut wood door with intricate carvings from the Afsharid period.
Visiting Jameh Mosque of Yazd: Essential Tips
- The Jameh Mosque of Yazd is open for visitors from 8:00 to 19:30.
- The museum’s summer visiting hours are from 9:00 to 14:00, and in winter, it’s open from 9:00 to 18:00.
Best Time to Visit
- For a detailed observation of the mosque’s intricacies, it’s recommended to visit during daylight hours.
- At night, the mosque illuminated, offering a different charm. Cooler evening temperatures also provide a more pleasant visiting experience.
Book Yazd Hotels
- Mosques are religious sites; hence, appropriate attire respecting the religious context is advisable.
Nearby Attractions Plan your visit to include nearby attractions in Yazd:
- Lari House: 800 meters
- Vaziri Museum: 250 meters
- Clock Square: 500 meters
- Alexander’s Prison: 600 meters
- Heidarzadeh Coin and Anthropology Museum: 600 meters
- Amir Chakhmaq Complex: 1.3 kilometers
Make the most of your visit to Yazd by exploring these captivating sites near the Jameh Mosque!