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The Yazd Jame Mosque was originally built in the 12th century. This masterpiece of Iranian and Islamic architecture was built on the ruins of an ancient Sassanid (224–651 BC) fire temple.
The current single-iwan mosque is the product of three stages of expansion and additions over a period of 100 years and has the Azeri style of Persian architecture. The Jame Mosque has garnered fame for the delicate nature of its stucco decorations, tilework, rectangular Shabistan (inner sanctum), courtyard and minarets, and attracts scores of tourists every year.
A magnificent double-shell dome decorated with turquoise and white geometric tiles crowns the mosque. The high entrance of the mosque is decorated with Quranic verses, slates outlining government orders and laws, endowment deeds, and reports of repair work on the structure. The inscriptions on the entrance, which is 24 meters high, are in Kufic and Thuluth calligraphy hands on Persian blue mo’arraq tiles.
The Jame Mosque has two 52-meter minarets, considered the tallest in Iran. These minarets were added to the mosque in the Safavid era (1501-1736) and are covered in exquisite tiles. The minarets, which once fell in 1935 and were reconstructed, each have an eight-meter- wide base and decrease in girth as they go higher. Only one of these minarets has a staircase and can be climbed.
The Mihrab (prayer niche) of the mosque is sheathed with floral designs rendered in remarkable faience mosaic. The name of the architect and the date of the mosque’s construction have been inscribed on two star-shaped tiles installed above the Mihrab. The Mihrab is also said to have a small globe-shaped patch of tilework in which all the colors used in the tiles adorning the mosque have been used.
Decorative brickwork laid in epigrams cover most wall surfaces within the sanctuary, above a turquoise tile dado with mosaic medallions that continue into the Jame Mosque’s iwan (a vaulted hall, walled on three sides and open on one side). With their flower and arabesque motifs, girih and mo’arraq tiles, this iwan and the dome chamber are two of the most outstanding sections of this exquisite mosque.
No iron has been used in the structure of the Jame Mosque and it has been entirely constructed of mud-bricks and stucco. The tilework used in this mosque is predominantly blue.
The Yazd Jame Mosque is an example of the finest Persian mosaics and architectural excellence and has been registered as a National Heritage Site.
Yazd Jame St