Travel magazine lists Iran’s ‘Pink Mosque’ among top destinations for 2020 

May 5, 2020 - 19:30

TEHRAN – Condé Nast Traveler, a New York-based lifestyle and travel magazine, has listed Iran’s Nasir al-Molk Mosque, commonly known as “The Pink Mosque” among its top travel destinations for the year 2020.

“Also known as ‘The Pink Mosque,’ Nasir al-Molk Mosque in Shiraz, southern Iran, is famous for its stunning array of colors— thanks to a unique combination of stained glass windows and mosaics,” reads a part of the article titled “beautiful sacred sites around the world” published on April 30.

“When Nasir al-Molk was built in 1888, it was specially designed to take advantage of morning light, and the sun filtering through the windows creates a rainbow effect, highlighting the jewel-toned tiles and rugs in the interior.” 

The article also introduces Ghats of Varanasi, one of India’s seven sacred cities, the Buddhist monastery and temple of Taktsang in Bhutan, Wat Rong Khun temple in Thailand, the iconic Buddhist temple of Borobudur in Indonesia and Abu Simbel Temples in Egypt as its recommendation titled “19 Sacred Sites Around the World.”

Stonehenge in the UK, the twelfth-century temple of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Uluru landmark in Australia, Spanish Synagogue in the Czech Republic, Church of St. George in Ethiopia, Sistine Chapel in Italy and Cathedral of St. John the Divine in the U.S. are on the list as well. 

According to Bridget Hallinan and Alex Erdekian, the authors of the article, these spiritual destinations and the world’s most beautiful sacred places are easy to appreciate.

Authors believe that visiting these sacred places, whether through pilgrimages or solo trips, can give people spiritual experiences usually in times when they need an awakening the most. 

The atmospheric Nasir al-Molk Mosque, situated in Shiraz, southern Iran, has long been a prime destination for international and domestic travelers.

Why “pink Mosque”?

One of the most photographed mosques in southern Iran, the 19th-century monument is in fact an amalgam of history, architecture, and arts. The name “Pink Mosque” is driven from abundant pink-colored tilework that dominates its courtyard and exteriors facade.

Nasir al-Molk has arrays of delicate mirror work and stuccowork, which are interwoven with arabesque designs and tilework.

 A crossroads of history and arts

Filled with carved pillars and lavishly-created polychrome faience, the prayer hall appears gorgeous when it is lit up through the vast stained-glass windows.

Delicate stuccowork interwoven with arabesque designs and tilework dominated by the remarkably deep shade of blue form a peaceful atmosphere for the visitors, in particular when mirrored in the vast yet shallow pool in the courtyard.  

Reflection of light through the stained-glass sheets, abundant carved pillars, and lavishly-created polychrome faience are amongst elements that enhance the beauty of the mosque’s prayer hall.

In case one is willing to get shots it is widely recommended to come as early as possible in the morning to picture the prayer hall when it is lit up through the colorful glass frames.

The mosque is named after the Qajar-era merchant Mirza Hasan Ali (Nasir al-Molk) who ordered its construction in close collaboration with designer Mohammad Hasan-e Memar and architect Mohammadreza Kashisaz Shirazi.

 Under foreigners’ eye  

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:

“A place to see in the morning”

It is a very nice mosque with wonderfully colored windows. Even in the afternoon it's beautiful. But you should come in the morning when the sunlight shines through the windows. (Julia S. from Switzerland, visited October 2016)


A pleasant trip around this location the rainbow of lights formed with reflections of sunlight through windows and an interesting museum room. (Ray C. from England, visited October 2016)

“A beautiful mosque”

The main thing about this mosque - as others have said - is the stained glass windows which cast beautiful colors on the rugs in the mosque. That is both a positive and a negative. Negative because people (largely young people) come in droves to pose for cameras and take selfies. You get shooed out of the place when prayers start so do watch the clock as you plan your visit. Definitely something to see in Shiraz. (Tracy K. from the U.S., visited October 2016)

“Stunning stained glass windows”

Go early to see beautiful patterns made by the stained glass windows on the carpet. The light changes with the position of the sun and creates different effects. (Crescentra from Singapore, visited October 2016)

Photo: File photo shows people visiting the vibrant prayer hall of Nasir al-Molk Mosque in downtown Shiraz, southern Iran.


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