Masjed-e Agha Bozorg: Gorgeous blend of Islamic, Persian architecture

November 15, 2017

TEHRAN – Masjed-e Agha Bozorg (Agha Bozorg Mosque) is simply one of many top destinations in central Iran that lure not only the faithful but travelers and architecture buffs.

Standing tall in the oasis city of Kashan, the 19th-century mosque boasts a pleasing symmetry in its traditional design that is embellished by intricate plasterwork, woodwork, mirrorwork and geometric tilework patterns.

A tribute to the Islamic architecture, the mosque delicately takes elements of Persian architecture as well.

Many travelers opt to bypass Kashan on their journeys between Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd, but this delightful city on the edge of the Dasht-e Kavir has long been one of most alluring destinations in the country.

The massive structure includes several congregational halls, adjoining arcades, tiled minarets, massive badgirs (wind towers) and an austere dome. The mud-brick walls, arches and ceilings are covered with Quranic inscriptions and mosaics as well.

Narratives say that the mosque is named after Mulla Muhammad Mahdi Naraqi (1715-1795) who was nicknamed “Agha Bozorg” for being a Shia philosopher and theologian.

Many travelers opt to bypass Kashan on their journeys between Tehran, Isfahan and Yazd, but this delightful city on the edge of the Dasht-e Kavir (a large desert lying in the middle of the Iranian plateau) has long been one of most alluring destinations in the country.

Rich clusters of architectural wonders, an atmospheric covered bazaar, boutique hotels, lofty mansions, scenic landscapes, a UNESCO-registered garden and hospitable people are amid charms of the city.

A view of Masjed-e Agha Bozorg, a 19th-century mosque in Kashan, central Iran

Under tourists’ eyes

Here is a select of comments that visitors to the mosque have posted to TripAdvisor, one of the most popular travel websites in the world:

“Surprised!”

This mosque provided more artisan work then I expected. I remember thinking wow this is pretty special. The ceilings, the tiles and the artwork are just beautiful. (Sue P. form Perth, Australia; reviewed November 2017)

“All bricks mosque”

If you are in Kashan you will probably visit it… Great perspective from the entrance, great picture before sunset cause of lightning.

Not a lot of tourist as everywhere in summer, but less cause there is no school either. (Agathe L. from New York City, U.S.; reviewed August 2017)

“Very atmospheric in the evening”

The mosque is humble compared to some other big mosques in some big cities but it's very centrally located and is very atmospheric in the early evening. We visited here on our way to have dinner and we ended up staying longer than we thought. Also it's still used by a lot of locals. Many of them come and just sit and contemplate. (Stephen C. from Toronto, Canada; reviewed June 2017)

“Excellent during the day, incredible at night”

The Aga Bozorg Mosque is nice to visit during the day: there’s a sunken courtyard surrounded by student rooms and this combination of mosque and madrassa is architectonically interesting and well resolved. It also leads to a good mix of tourists and religious families that make the scene peaceful and quiet yet diverse and dynamic. (Nuria G. from Barcelona, Spain; reviewed June 2017)

AFM/MQ/MG

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