Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque

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In the southwestern region of Iran lies an oasis of color and history known by many as the City of Gardens. Formally known as Shiraz, this Middle Eastern city is a rainbow of culture in the midst of a barren landscape. Technicolored flowers stain the fields and trees of every shade of green curtain the sandy streets. Marketplaces brim with gleaming silverware and elaborate tapestries woven with blood-red and golden threads, the entire city pulsing with the rich traditions of an ancient culture. At the center of this mosaic landscape rises the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, it’s deceptively plain exterior hiding a prismatic secret.

Constructed during the Qajar dynasty, the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is one of the rarest piece of mosque architecture in the eastern world. Because Islamic culture frowns heavily upon the worship of false idols and intends times of pray to be devoted entirely to Allah, the majority of their houses of worships are designed very plainly. From the outside, the Pink Mosque (as it is often called) appears to have been built in accordance with these standards; it features the mosaic tile work and minarets typical to mosque architecture, which is stunning in its own right. But one step over the threshold reveals that this place is anything but ordinary. Stained glass windows line the eastern walls of the building, catching the early morning sunlight and casting a kaleidoscope of colors around the entire interior of the building. Intricately decorated Persian carpets cover the floor, melding with the dancing rainbow of hues and bewitching onlookers. The arches and niches that shape the mosque are covered with colored tiles ranging from pink to yellow to the blue, every surface absorbing the richness of the stained glasses reflections. Religious or not, the intensity of the atmosphere inside the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is guaranteed to steal the air from your lungs and the thoughts from your mind.

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