Yazd Friday Mosque and Its Admirable Features

Yazd Grand Mosque
Yazd Friday Mosque and Minarets

Yazd is one of the large cities located near the center of Iran. Yazd is located in a desert area, but there are many unique Yazd tourist attractions. There are a good number of mosques in this city, including Yazd Friday Mosque.

Other titles used for this mosque are Atiq Jame Mosque, Old Friday Mosque, The Great Jame Mosque of Yazd, and New Jame Mosque.

History of Yazd Friday Mosque

The view of Yazd Friday Mosque
Decorations on the dome of the Yazd Friday Mosque or Jame Atiq Mosque in Yazd

Before Islam, there was a fire temple here. Then, during the rule of Amr ibn al-Layth, a mosque was built over the remains of this fire temple. This original mosque was renovated in the 12th century. The Kakuid Emir, Ali ibn Faramurz and his wife, Arslan Khatoon, erected a minaret next to this mosque.

Their son, Aladdin Garshasp or Alauddin Khalji, built another mosque next to the Yazd Friday Mosque. After that, the Mongol invasion of Iran stopped the mosque’s construction. The mosque’s construction was resumed in the relatively peaceful 14th century in Iran. Then, during the Qajar period, the three mentioned mosques were demolished, and a mosque with a large courtyard was built on the site

Based on the mentioned developments, this mosque has been under construction for nearly 1000 years. The construction and renovations of the mosque took place over the 4 periods of the Saffarid, Timurid, Ilkhanate, and Qajar.

Features of Yazd Friday Mosque

Minarets of Jame Mosque in Yazd
The main entrance and minarets of Yazd Friday Mosque

Yazd Friday Mosque is a single Iwan style. Like most single Iwan mosques, this building was built in place of a fire temple. Also, they used the Azeri style and iconography in the mosque’s design.

This mosque has an area of about 10,000 square meters, including a large courtyard. 6 entrances have been designed for the mosque, located on different sides of the building.

The mosque’s main entrance is on the east side with a tall 24-meter portal. The mosque portal has beautiful decorations, such as tilework with Girih tiles (sets of five tiles laid in geometric patterns) and Arabesque patterns. Behind this entrance, there is a vestibule with a beautiful arched ceiling.

The prominent features of this mosque include the magnificent dome, mihrab or prayer altar, Iwan, large Shabestan (prayer hall), and dome vault. In the following, we will try to describe each of these features.

Dome: The dome of Jame Mosque in Yazd has two shells (layers). This means that the two layers of the dome are separate. This dome has mesh openings in the inner shell. Plaster niches are in front of these openings, creating a beautiful view when the sun shines through.

Mihrab: Mihrab or prayer altar of this mosque is located under the dome. This altar is notable for its beautiful tilework and pottery decorations.

Mihrab or Altar of Yazd Jame’ Mosque
decorations of the Mihrab (altar) in Yazd Friday Mosque

Iwan (porch): The mosque’s Iwan is one of its most beautiful features. This porch is famous for having decorations such as mosaic tiles with Arabesque vegetation patterns and Girih Chini tiles. Also, the vaulted bricks and mosaic with Kufic patterns give it a beautiful impression. The names of Allah are written in the Kufic script beneath the Iwan.

Shabestan (Prayer Hall): Yazd Friday Mosque has two Shabestans on the sides and one main Shabestan that is magnificent. The large Shabestan of the mosque is famous for its columns.

Dome Vault: The mosque’s dome vault is located at the entrance and is considered one of its unique features. This vault’s base is a square while at different heights, it has 8, 16, and 32 sides. A double layer dome is placed on top of this vault. Different Dhikr (Islamic prayers) are written on the north and south walls of this building while the words Allah and Muhammad are written in Kufic script on the east and west walls.

Minarets: One of the most recognized features of Yazd Friday Mosque are its minarets, which were built with complicated architectural calculations and unique elegance. At 53 meters, these minarets are the tallest remaining minarets in the historical monuments of our country.

Decorations in Yazd Friday Mosque

the combination of geometric and Arabesque decorations
Combination of geometric shapes and arabesque designs

The decorations of the mosque, such as tilework, plasterwork, and Arabesque and geometric patterns. They are very unique and what distinguishes the decorations of this mosque is the combination of Arabesque designs with geometric designs of the tilework.

Other decorations such as brickwork, muqarnas and Girih tiles (sets of 5 wooden tiles) are used in Yazd Friday Mosque. In this part, we are going to describe these decorations.

Tilework: Yazd Friday Mosque features very unique mosaic tiling. Examples of these tiles can be found in the mosque’s Iwan and dome vault. One of the beauties of this mosque is its exquisite azure tilework.

Plasterwork: Beautiful and special plasterwork was installed in the Yazd Friday Mosque during the Ilkhanate period. An example of these plasterwork moldings can be found in the corridor that leads to the vestibules around the Iwan.

Brickwork: The brickwork decorations of this mosque integrate bricks and tiles. The use of tiles allowed the architects to embolden the brickwork using color. As a result, different colors of tiles are used to decorate the facade instead of conventional bricklaying methods.

Muqarnas: One of the most common decorations in Iranian buildings is Muqarnas vaulting. It is usually used to decorate the ceiling and inside mosque domes.

Arabesque Designs: Arabesque designs are used in the decoration of most mosques. These designs are patterns of leaves, flowers, etc. with twisting vines.

Girih Tiles: the use of wooden railing with geometric decorations in different parts of the building gives it stunning beauty. Therefore, these wooden railings are considered part of the decorations of the building.

Ceiling decorations in Yazd Jameh Mosque
Ceiling decorations with Kufic script in Yazd Friday Mosque

Visit This Mosque on Your Visit to Yazd

Almost every big city in Iran has a Friday mosque. But Yazd Friday Mosque has gained a lot of fame and prominence for its unique beauty. This mosque attracts many domestic and foreign travelers due to its unique features and various architectural styles from historical periods

If you travel to Yazd on an Iran tour package or by yourself, make sure to visit this magnificent mosque. Destination Iran hopes to introduce unique buildings in tourist destinations across Iran. We hope that you will enjoy seeing the Yazd Friday Mosque and other Yazd historical attractions.

Where is Yazd Friday Mosque?

Yazd Jame Mosque is located in the Fahaadaan neighborhood, on the west side of Imam Khomeini Street. Chahar Souq Bazaar is located at the end of Masjed Jame’ St on the southeast side. You can see the exact location of this mosque below:

Frequently Asked Questions About Yazd Friday Mosque

If you cannot find the answer to your question here, leave us a comment in the comment section below this post and ask your question. We will definitely answer it.

What is the history behind the construction of the Yazd Friday Mosque?

During the rule of Amr-i Laith Saffari, the first mosque of the Yazd Friday Mosque complex was built in place of a fire temple. Then Ali ibn Faramurz, Emir of Yazd and Abarkuh at the time, and his wife Arsalan Khatoon erected a minaret next to that mosque. Their son Garshasp II built another mosque next to the mosque and minarets. During the Qajar era, the mentioned mosques were demolished and a mosque with a large courtyard was built in their place. The construction and completion of the Yazd Friday Mosque took place over a period of 1,000 years in the four dynasties of the Saffarid, Ilkhanate, Timurid, and Qajar.

Why do experts believe that Yazd Grand Mosque has a unique architecture?

The dome vault of Yazd Jame Mosque has a square base, which becomes 8-, 16-, and 32-sided at different heights. The dome itself is double-layered. The Iwan of the mosque is famous for its decorations such as mosaic tiles with Arabesque designs of flora and fauna, and Girih tile, as well as vaulted bricks and mosaic tiles with Kufic script inscriptions. Yazd Friday Mosque has two 53 meters high minarets, which are the tallest existing minarets in Iran.

What is the architectural plan of Yazd Jame Mosque?

Yazd Friday Mosque is in the shape of a square. This mosque has 6 entrances; the main entrance is on the eastern side. The main entrance is 24 meters high. In front of the eastern portal is a Jolokhan (forecourt) with an octagonal fountain. There is a large main Shabestan in the middle of the mosque and two Shabestans on either side of it.

Why is Yazd Friday Mosque famous?

The main Shabestan is located on the west side of the courtyard. It has 48 rectangular columns with coated dados decorated by hexagonal turquoise-colored tiles. There are elegant rooms with windows and skylights on both the east and west sides of the prayer hall. The Shabestan has all-over dome vaults with octagonal stone skylights in the center.

What are the entrances of Jame Mosque in Yazd?

This mosque has 6 entrances: the main entrance is on the eastern side and connects to a vestibule with a dome vault ceiling. The western entrance also connects to a vestibule. The entrance on the north side is right in front of the Iwan. The northwest entrance, which has a simple facade, connects to a long corridor. The other two entrances of the mosque, one on the southwest side and the other on the northeast side are currently blocked.

How many Iwans are in Yazd Grand Mosque?

Yazd Friday Mosque is a single Iwan-style mosque. Its construction includes elements of Azari styles and designs.

Source: Destination Iran