After the Sassanid Persian Empire collapsed because of the Arab conquest, Islam became the official religion of Persia. This meant that Persian artists had to adapt their skills to the new ideas and meanings that came with Islam. As a result, Islamic art and architecture flourished. Artists and craftsmen created spectacular religious forms and structures as a way of worshiping God. That is why some of the most wonderful attractions in Shiraz, and indeed Iran, are found in mosques.
Picturesque Pink Mosque
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in the old quarters of Shiraz boasts intricate designs and exemplary architecture. Though it features a modest entrance which might trick passersby, anyone who steps inside will enjoy a wonderful sight. Once you are inside the mosque, you will marvel at the stunning rose-colored tile-work which has earned it the nickname of the Pink Mosque.
The mosque was constructed in the Qajar dynasty at the order of Nasir al-Mulk who was the ruler of Shiraz. Construction work began in 1876 and took 12 years under the supervision of the best architects and carpenters of the time. The rectangular courtyard has two iwans facing north and south and also, two-night prayer halls (Shabestan) facing east and west.
The real gem lies within the mosque hall. An array of colorful stained glass windows create a rainbow of colors inside the hall. Add rows of columns with fine details carved into them and you will understand why this place has become a photography hotspot. If you’re wondering when to visit Shiraz’s most colorful mosque to take the best pictures, then the best time would be early mornings. It is when the light passing through the colorful windows creates spectacular scenes inside.