Mosques of Shiraz, Iran

Inside the Stunning Mosques of Shiraz, Iran

Inside the Stunning Mosques of Shiraz, Iran

Atlas Obscura
Your Guide to the World's Hidden Wonders
Jan. 21 2015 2:54 PM

Inside the Stunning Mosques of Shiraz, Iran

The glittering interior of Shah Cheragh mosque.

Photo: David Holt/Creative Commons

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The south Iranian city of Shiraz is home to three neighboring mosques with jaw-dropping architecture.

Chief among the trio is Shah Cheragh, first built during the 12th century. Though its golden minarets and intricately tiled facades are impressive, the most stunning parts are the interiors lined with millions of tiny, glittering mirror shards and hung with chandeliers.

A chandelier at Shah Cheragh.

Photo: Yuen Yan/Creative Commons

A dome at Shah Cheragh.

Photo: David Holt/Creative Commons


Nasir al-Mulk mosque, just next door, is remarkable for the stained glass windows lining its indoor prayer hall. Visit early in the morning and you’ll see sunlight streaming through the colored glass, painting kaleidoscopic patterns onto the supporting columns. Completed in 1888, Nasir al-Mulk is also known as the Pink Mosque due to the pink tiles lining its interior.

The winter prayer hall at Nasir al-Mulk mosque.

Photo: dynamosquito/Creative Commons

A vault at Nasir al-Mulk.

Photo: dynamosquito/Creative Commons

The courtyard at Nasir al-Mulk.

Photo: dynamosquito/Creative Commons

Across the road, Vakil mosque, built between 1751 and 1773, features an expansive outdoor prayer hall ornamented with spiral columns, brick-patterned arches, and floral tiles.

The prayer hall at Vakil mosque.

Photo: Esin Üstün/Creative Commons

Detail from Vakil mosque.

Photo: Fulvio Spada/Creative Commons

Non-Muslims may visit each mosque, but cameras are often forbidden and women should don a chador before entering.

Visit Atlas Obscura for more on Shah Cheragh and other magnificent mosques.

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Ella Morton is a writer working on The Atlas Obscura, a book about global wonders, curiosities, and esoterica adapted from Atlas Obscura. Follow her on Twitter.