NASIR AL-MULK MOSQUE (PINK MOSQUE)
It’s supernatural, Extraterrestrial! Nasir al-Mulk Mosque It’s probably the most visited place in Shiraz always crowded but those things should not hold you back. How many times could you face something supernatural? Extra-terrestrial? The Pink Mosque was built around 300 years ago as a private mosque by some wealthy donor, Nasir al-Mulk from the Qavam House, who was into arts as well.
The entrance has a large arch with a roof decorated with seven-color tiles. Its plinth is made of wheat stone and its entrance arch is beautifully made of seven colors. The entrance doors of this mosque are two large wooden doors, on top of which a poem by Shorideh Shirazi can be seen on the marble on the occasion of the construction of the mosque and the year of its completion.
The sky has no limit here! Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is the only Mosque with pink tilework and a mixed sense of Persian-European art style. However, the frontal porch has an amazing Persian arch.
Named after the most precious and rare thing you find in the depth of a sea, this “Pearl Arch” was built to reflect the sky above. Muqarnas in Persian architecture has a long history and mainly it was only to beautify the manner. But Nasir al-Mulk Mosque or the Pink Mosque has a Muqarnas Arch that shows you the limitless sky with its infinitive stars.
The mosque has two porches, north, and south, which are not similar, and the north porch is more beautiful than the south one. The north porch has three half-arches on three sides and leads to the courtyard from the fourth side. The middle arch is a long arch, known as the Pearl Arch which we talked about how it reflects the sky and stars.
Quranic verses and hadiths are written on the walls of this arch, and on the left side, the date is 1299 AH. Also, this porch has four pavilions and its middle roof is decorated with masonry and bowl making of five bowls. Inside the bricks of the body of this arch, sticks have been placed to prevent earthquakes.
In the northern corridor, there is an inscription on which the following poem is beautifully engraved in Nasta’liq script and the end, the name of Mohammad Hassan Memar and Professor Mohammad Reza Kashipez, who were the architects and builders of the building, and the date of its beginning in 1293 AH and its end in 1305 AH are mentioned.
Another eye-catching aspect is what lies behind the symmetric of such places! Before moderation made everything so complicated before psychology gave a name to any behavior before anarchism was born, respecting the symmetric system was a top priority for the designer.
The first reference for symmetry was the human body. wasn’t it? Wouldn’t you be inspired by your elegance and balance?
Then came religion, “Father, hallowed be your name, may your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven”. Allah, Ahura Mazda, Lord and others, all possess the mighty power of order, everything has its place. When you follow the Symmetric system, you are placing every little detail in the rightest position possible, and thereby, you have created the heaven.
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque was built by the order of Mirza Hassan Ali, nicknamed Nasir al-Mulk, who was one of the great men of the Qavam family.
The construction period of the building was about 12 years, from 1293 to 1305 AH. The infrastructure of the mosque is equal to 2212 square meters and its area is equal to 2980 square meters. Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is located in the historical context of Shiraz.
Like a small garden full of heavenly flowers, the play of colors and lights in this mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of mosques that inherits the architectural traditions of the Zans dynasty and Qajar.
The astonishingness of this site cannot touch you with words! There lies beauty without measure. It’s like a rainbow inviting you in, it is from a whole another world, a different dimension, it opens your eyes and you’d better be ready to be led into the lights!
The presence of color and light in this space indicates the peak of dominance and power of Iranian architects to create a heavenly space.
When a person enters the building, they see a clear difference between inside and outside. The colored sash windows and tiles of the western Shabestan or the nave of this mosque have created mystical and soothing frames that a person can be amazed by its beauty without a word.
Mystical elements have created a sense of sanctity in the mosques. An important question that arises in this regard is: What effect do the presence of color and light and the combination of these two elements have on the quality of the presence of worshipers of the faith in Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz?
The space and its importance among Muslims should be discussed later. The result of this analysis, while a tourist sees the nave of Nasir al-Mulk Mosque for the first time, provides the possibility of recognizing color and light as two factors in sanctifying the mosque space.
The answer to this question can ultimately affect the effect of color and light as the main elements in mosque architecture to create a sense of heaven and mystical space as well as the quality that creates the presence of worshipers and makes a person find themselves in another world, illuminate and guide the design of modern mosques but with a traditional approach and the same feeling and mood of ancient mosques.
In the eastern nave which is inspired by the Vakil Mosque from the Zand dynasty, there is a door that opens to a water well. This corridor is called Gao or Gav (cow) well that has a pond and a corridor for the cow to move and pull the bucket from the well. The eastern nave is now a museum of endowments.
The architect has written a poem from Saadi as his final touch in the masterpiece he has designed:
The purpose is to leave some trace of beauty behind because I do not see immortality within life. So if it may, anyone with an inner sight that comes after us sends us who have humbly tried to create this, a blessing.