In Iran, there are many masterpieces remained from the Ilkhanid and Timurid era architecture, scattered throughout different parts of the country. As one of the major origins of Ilkhanid and Timurid architecture in Iran, Tabriz Blue Mosque is the most prominent manifestation of this era’ style. The architecture of this mosque (started in 15th century) is a real masterpiece that makes it quite different from the other ones. Tabriz Blue Mosque or Kabud (means dark blue) Mosque with an almost 600-year history on behind (15th century) formed by a variety of blue tiling works decorated with calligraphy lines. Apart from this rare blue mosque of the world (due to its 80 percent ornaments being in ultramarine color), there are only three other mosques in the world whose main construction color is ultramarine. These whole of art pieces, one by one, caused this place to be called the Turquoise of Islam and considered as one of the most important tourist spots of Iran.
Origin & Sources
Tabriz Blue Mosque or Jahan Shah Mosque is one of Iran’s historical mosques.
The historical books called this magnificent building “Mozaffariyeh Mansion”. “Al-Emarat al-Mubaraka al- Mozaffariyah” is the sentence written on the transom of the mosque that means Mozaffariyah blessed building. The sentence is a good reason to call the Blue Mosque as Mozaffariyeh Mansion.The existence of every and each of the mosaics plus other architectural features of the building have attracted the attention of visitors and archaeologists throughout history.Abol Mozaffar Jahan Shah ibn Qara Yusuf, a leader of Qara Qoyunlu, was the founder of the Blue Mosque. Though, the construction of the mosque was under the supervision of his wife, Jan Beigum Khatun, or, according to some historians, his daughter, Saleheh.
The architects built the monument completely during the reign of the Qara Qoyunlu in 1400 AD (about 600 years ago). On the other hand, the variety, elegance and ultramarine color (Persian blue) of its mosaics have made it famous as “Turquoise of Islam”. The architectural style of Tabriz Blue Mosque is that of Azeri.
The earthquake of 1779 destroyed the Blue Mosque of Tabriz. The architects rebuilt it. Furthermore, in 1966, Mr.Reza Memaran, a skilled Iranian architect, reconstructed the mosque.Most sources and travel writings estimate that the construction of the mosque last about 30 years.
Timurid Architecture Features
Azeri style is the third traditional architecture school in Iran after the advent of Islam. Beginning with the conquest of Maragheh city by Hulagu Khan, this style ended with the beginning of Safavid dynasty.
Historically and architecturally, Azeri style is divided into two distinct parts:
1. The first period begins at the time of Ilkhanid dynasty in Maragheh, as the capital.
2. Timurid Empire era with Samarkand as its capital was the second period; to which The Blue Mosque of Tabriz belongs.
In general, Timurid architecture features can be summarized the as follows:
• Use of the Azeri Kelil arch in the vault;
• Use of five-and-seven, Chamaneh, Shabdari arches;
• Construction of the dome with the form of a discrete double shell and continuous double shell;
• Mosaics, Girih tiles, Gypsum and Muqarnas.
Due to its many annexes, the magnificence of the Tabriz Blue Mosque is admirable; those features like:
Mozaffriyeh mansion, Khanqah, courtyard, and inner sanctuaries, library, reading room, and spring house. The location of this building in the city center of Tabriz, along the Silk Road, has also added more importance to it.
In a part of the ceiling of the Blue Mosque, there is a combination of gold and Azure, which is unique in its own kind. The stones used in this mansion are rare and unique. It is clear from the remnants of the mosque that the architects bonded the bricks with gypsum. The courtyard is square with a howz (symmetrical axis pool) at the middle. The nearby Shabestans were used as a school for Islamic sciences students and sometimes as the shelter for poor people.
At the front of the courtyard, facing the Qibla, there is the main building of the mosque: enclosed, covered and square-shaped. The distance between each of the foundations of the barrel-vault is 12 meters. The barrel-vault is located on the four foundations of a square-shaped area. On top of this building, there is a dome made of bricks, but it has collapsed.The division of the dome’s weight on its numerous foundations has made it one of the finest examples of architecture in its time.
In Tabriz Blue Mosque complex, the architects used color images instead of long texts. That was an innovation in facilitating the perception of the audience at that time.Many engineers worked to build this mosque. The architecture of this magnificent building with its dome-shaped Shabestan and lateral chambers shows that the architects were expert in geometry, art, and mathematics.Professor Hossein Nakhjavani, a scholar of the ancient history of Azerbaijan, believes that in the two parts of the entrance, there are the most delicate and most expensive mosaics in the world; the flowers’white lines’width of which, varies from 2 to 3 millimeters.
A Must Visit
We recommend you to watch closely the altar mosaics of Tabriz Blue Mosque with the beautiful mosaics Muqarnas, Islamic designs and tile work with Turquoise, Persian blue, White and Golden colors.Tabriz Blue Mosque has unique features that call you to a close visit. The best time to visit this Mosque is in the daylight when the sunlight glitters inside the mosque and the colors are pleasant and unique.Make sure you don’t miss the visit of the tombs of Jahan Shah and his wife, Jan Beigum Khatun.
Travelling to Iran can be an amazing and beautiful experience and definitely visiting Tabriz Blue Mosque is one of these experiences. As the must-see city that has spectacular attractions, Tabriz should be considered in your travel plan. As a traveler of Iran, you are definitely going to fall in love with the historical site of Blue Mosque and it can be an everlasting memory in the rest of your travel life.So, upon making your decision to come to Iran for exploring its very historical sites, especially with Tabriz Blue Mosque high in your agenda, please inform us.Iranhrc is honored to work as a tour operator for years and provide tourists of Iran with all types of tours of the historical country of Iran. Just letting us to be at your service, means that you would be provided with one of the best tailored packages out of our deep experiences of this field.