Explore Na’in old mosque as remarkable feat of architecture

June 28, 2021 - 18:35

TEHRAN - The oasis town’s Friday Mosque is the highlight of a visit to Na’in. Constructed between the 10th and 11th centuries, it was one of the first mosques built in Iran and is unusual in that it does not conform to the usual four-iwan plan of its time.

The exterior facade and minaret are austerely beautiful and many parts of the interior (including the mihrab) are decorated with finely detailed stucco work.

The courtyard is decorated with 14 columns, each of which displays a different brickwork pattern. Further interesting features include the exquisitely carved wooden minbar, which an inscription identifies as being 700 years old, and an underground prayer hall, designed to keep the faithful cool in summer and warm in winter.

Explore Na’in old mosque as remarkable feat of architecture

There is also an underground prayer hall, designed to keep the faithful cool in summer and warm in winter. Alabaster casements have been set in the ceiling of this dug-out basement, which allows natural light to come through. A qanat below the mosque supplies water to the ablutions area.

The terms “Friday Mosque”, “Jameh Mosque” or “Masjed-e Jameh” are used in Iran for a grand communal mosque where mandatory Friday prayers are performed: the phrase is used in other Muslim countries but only in Iran does it designate this purpose.

Explore Na’in old mosque as remarkable feat of architecture

The history of Na’in dates back to nearly 2000 years, which makes it one of the oldest continuously settled towns in the Iranian plateau.

Na’in lies 170 km north of Yazd and 140 km east of Isfahan. Like much of the Iranian plateau, it has a desert climate, with a maximum temperature of 41 °C in summer, and a minimum of -9 °C in winter.

Explore Na’in old mosque as remarkable feat of architecture

During ancient times, the city was at the junction of a desert road that connected Tabas and Mashhad, it used to be an important crossroad on converging trade routes since Sassanid times. Na’in was known for its ceramics and textiles; today it's primarily known for fine hand-knotted carpets and for hand-loomed camel-wool cloaks, which are produced in the neighboring villages.

AFM

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