Faulty tiles to be removed from majestic Imam Mosque

July 18, 2022 - 18:45

TEHRAN – Earlier this year and following years of restoration, scaffolding was partly taken down from the dome of the majestic Imam Mosque. However, it revealed arrays of faulty tiles, which are now pledged to be replaced with flawless ones.

“The defective and problematic tiles that cause unevenness on the surface of the dome of the Imam Mosque will be removed, and new tiles will be installed instead,” IRNA quoted Isfahan’s tourism chief as saying on Sunday.

“After the removal of a part of the scaffolding from the dome of the Imam Mosque, defects and problems in terms of unevenness were observed in some parts of it, especially in the 15th and 16th sections, and we promise the people and those interested in cultural heritage that these issues will be resolved with care, specialized and compassionate work,” Alireza Izadi said.

According to IRNA, in the past few days, pictures posted on social networks have brought reactions about the restoration of the 17th-century dome.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the tourism chief said mudbrick buildings are generally more sensitive than stone structures, adding “Brick domes such as ones on Imam Mosque or Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque are not an exception to this rule and its conditions should be fully investigated from a scientific and professional point of view.”

“When a historical building, for example, a dome, is (wholly) surrounded by scaffolding, we cannot visually identify if it is uneven…. it cannot be recognized correctly.”

Earlier in May, Izadi said: “Restoration work on Imam Mosque’s dome is finished...  and we have scheduled to remove the scaffolding poles during the cultural heritage week after a decade.”

A masterpiece of Islamic architecture, Imam Mosque stands tall at the southern end of UNESCO-registered Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. (Imam Square) in Isfahan, central Iran. The majestic place of worship is impressive because of its sheer size and incredible decoration.

Originally named Masjed Shah (“the Shah Mosque”), its construction began in 1611 during the rule of the Safavid King Shah Abbas the Great who reigned from 1588 to 1629. The mosque’s topmost dome was completed in the last year of his sovereignty.

Its interior and exterior walls are fully decorated with a polychrome, mostly dark blue, glazed tile revetment above a continuous marble dado.  A very scenic huge entrance portal leads visitors to Imam Mosque whose courtyard walls feature sunken porches framed by seven-colored tiles of deep blue and yellow. Each iwan leads into a vaulted sanctuary covered with particularly fine floral motifs on a blue background. Some visitors say each part of the Imam Mosque is a masterpiece that leaves a lasting impression.

Many believe each of the mosque’s parts is a work of genius that leaves a lasting impression. This palace of devotion owes its splendor mostly due to being covered with seven-color mosaic tiles and symmetrical calligraphic inscriptions.

Half the world?

Soaked in a rich history, Isfahan was once a crossroad of international trade and diplomacy in Iran and now it is one of Iran’s top tourist destinations for good reasons. It is filled with many architectural wonders such as unmatched Islamic buildings, bazaars, museums, Persian gardens, and tree-lined boulevards. It's a city for walking, getting lost in its mazing bazaars, dozing in beautiful gardens, and meeting people.

Isfahan is renowned not only for the abundance of great historical bridges but also for its ‘life-giving river’, the Zayandeh-Rood, which has long bestowed the city an original beauty and fertility.

The city has long been nicknamed as Nesf-e-Jahan which is translated into “half the world”; meaning seeing it is relevant to see half the world. In its heyday, it was also one of the largest cities in the region with a population of nearly one million. The cool blue tiles of Isfahan's Islamic buildings, and the city's majestic bridges, contrast perfectly with the encircling hot, dry Iranian countryside.

Imam Square is hemmed on four sides by magnificent buildings: to the east, the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque; to the west, the palace of Ali Qapu; to the north, the portico of Qeysarieh; and to the south, the eminent Imam Mosque.

“The square was at the heart of the Safavid capital’s culture, economy, religion, social power, government, and politics. Its vast sandy esplanade was used for celebrations, promenades, and public executions, for playing polo and for assembling troops,” according to the UNESCO website.

Right at the northern limit of the Imam Square, one will find “Qeysarieh Gate”, which leads to the unique and unforgettable “Grand Bazaar of Isfahan”. This vaulted marketplace is one of the largest and most labyrinthine bazaars in the country. Shops offering handicrafts, souvenirs, jewelry, silverware, traditional ceramics, and authentic Persian carpets.

Modern Isfahan is now home to some heavy industry, including steel factories and a nuclear facility on its outskirts, however, its inner core wants to be preserved as a priceless gem. The city is also home to a gigantic, professional, and state-of-the-art healthcare city, which is a major destination in the realm of medical tourism.


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