Photographer's Note

Jameh means "Friday" in Arabic. This is one of the oldest mosques still standing in Iran, and it is built in the 'four-iwan' architectural style, placing four gates face to face. It was built in the 8th century, but soon after it burnt down. It was rebuilt again in the 11th century and it went through remodeling many times. As a result it has rooms built in different architectural styles, so now the mosque represents a condensed history of the Iranian Architecture.
Esfahan has a great name where it comes to precious and advanced Islamic ceramic art. The two mosques on the Emam Khomeini square are clear examples of that art. However, a little bit outside the city centre, the Masjed e Jame, or Friday's Mosque, is a showcase of a different nature, of a different beauty. Its main attraction lies in its serenity and simplicity.

The origins of this mosque lie in the 11th century, and parts of it seem to date back even to the 10th century. Personally, I thought this mosque is one of the highlights of Esfahan. It is precisely its simplicity which is so attractive. Walking through a labyrinth of bare, stone columns, with the occasional rays of sunlight filtering through holes in the ceiling, a feeling of eternity, of pureness, descended on me.

Then, when arriving at the central square of the mosque, the tiles on the building were like gems in a crown. Because most of the building is a stone structure, the parts that are covered by tiles draw more attention and really stick out. Walking back through the older parts of the mosque I tried to imagine how many prayers had been said in these enormous halls, and tried to imagine what the stones would tell us, if they only were able to recount the many things that must have happened here.The southern porch opens up on a very wide and elegant arch, the proportions of its architrave, which is wider that it is high, are perfect but unfortunately two minarets which were subsequently added detract from its harmony. This layout, which is relatively rare, reflects a Mongol influence. The porch was built under the Timurid dynasty in the 15th century.

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Additional Photos by Hamid Sedghinejad (h_sedghi) Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 27 W: 36 N: 126] (880)
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