Mo’aven al-Molk, a ‘must-see’ for travelers to Kermanshah

August 17, 2018

TEHRAN – Many visitors to the Takieh Mo’aven al-Molk, a sacred Shia shrine in Kermanshah, have highly recommended it as a ‘must-see’ destination for other travelers to western Iran.

Completed in early 20th century, the property is indeed a Hosseinieh (or Hussainiya) in which Shia Muslims come together to observe religious ceremonies.

It remains very much active during lunar month of Muharram when thousands of the faithful, pilgrims and mourners assemble to commemorate the martyrdom anniversary of Imam Hussein (AS).

Entering downstairs, through a courtyard, one encounters a truly unique architecture; walls decorated with tiles and stuccowork depicting a wide range of images from pre-Islamic motifs to Quranic ones and scenes from the Karbala battle.

Shahnameh kings, European villages and edifices as well as local notables in 19th-century costumes are amongst its other themes.

Under travelers’ eyes

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

‘Outstanding example of Hussainiya’

This unmissable building is a “Hussainiya”, a typical institution of Shiite Islam. It’s a building that can be found not only in Iran and Iraq, but wherever there is a significant Shiite community…

The gorgeous colored tiles that cover most of the external and internal walls depict - with naive taste - the episodes (some frankly horrifying) of the battle of Karbala, and those immediately preceding and following, obviously by a large representation of human figures, which would be sought in vain in mosques.

Another unusual feature is that in the tiles there are many depictions of Western and “Christian” landscapes and buildings.

The spaces, both closed and open, of the Hussainiya, are awe-inspiring. Overall, the site is unmissable for those visiting Kermanshah. (Brun066 from Florence, Italy; reviewed May 2018)

‘A must!!’

After the earthquake [on November 12, 2017 at 21:48 local time], I don’t know how the situation of the city is. Anyway, I recommend to visit Takieh. It is a must, with its wonderful tile work. (Ricard A. from Barcelona, Spain; reviewed November 2017)

‘Stunning’

Loved the tilework in this place, the combination of colors and designs was quite stunning. Several of the windows also have beautiful stained glass windows, which add to the dramatic effect. It was quite busy when we visited, yet it still felt like a calm and special place. There is also a nice garden to wander through and enjoy. Well worth a visit to appreciate the beauty and serenity of this special place. (Randall K. from Canberra, Australia; reviewed November 2017)

‘Fairly unique’

Bedazzling array of tiles telling interesting stories and styled in the 19th century trend of the day of depicting European buildings and figures. The foreigner entrance fee of 150,000 is perhaps a bit steep, but at least it’s not the 200,000 whacked on you everywhere else and it more or less felt worthwhile. Taking it slowly, you’ll need about 45 minutes. (irantraveller2016 from Stockholm, Sweden; reviewed September 2016)

AFM/MQ/MG

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