Welcome to this astounding country of gorgeous landscapes, long history, numerous customs and colorful and hospitable ethnic diversities . Through professional guides of Iran Last Minute Travel Agency and Tour Operator in Iran, you will experience not just an adventure tour in Iran, but you will turn into a character and step into a book to travel back in time to visit stupefying bazaars, historic and ancient Persian palaces whose grandeur are related by Herodotus, the ancient Greek historian, you will also visit kind and hospitable nomads (visit our nomad tour page) and the charm of desert days and nights.
In this tour in Iran, we will take you to very old tea houses with antique objects, artifacts and paintings on the walls and hanging from them with soft soul-possessing traditional Persian music drifting around. Furthermore, you will experience ancient cultural sites, ride horse, break bread and sleep under tents with kind Iranian nomads. So, be ready to experience the true magic in a magical land in this tour in Iran. Note that we will also help you get Iran visa code and arrange many other things that can facilitate tour trip to Iran.
Primary Information of Our Adventure Tour in Iran
Start: Tehran, Iran
Finish: Tehran, Iran
Theme: Adventure Tour in Iran
Group Size: Min 1, Max 12
The reasons why this adventure tour in Iran will be memorable ever after
- In this adventure tour in Iran, travelers will discover the true side of Iran with unimaginably hospitable and kindhearted people beyond the wrong illustration of the media.
- Travelers will visit ancient monuments in this tour in Iran, which are the remnants of a 2500-year old civilization and history of Iran. In modern Iran, you will also find the diversity of ethnic groups which are descendants of different eras such as Achaemenids, Arabs, Seljuks, Sassanids, Parthians, Greeks, Mongols, Safavids.
- You will particularly touch the ancient Persian Palaces in Persepolis of Fars Province (visit our Shiraz Day tour) province which used to be the once true power of the world carved with legendary emperors as Darius the great, Cyrus the great and Xerxes.
- Experiencing the magnificent nomad life of Iranian Qashqai nomads in the very heart of nature.
- Walking in the exotic and old allies of Yazd and let your eyes be locked with the simple beauty of the houses with delicately-designed badgirs (Wind catcher) atop them as well as visiting Zoroastrian Fire Temple and Dolat Abad Garden of Yazd.
- Visiting stepped villages sitting on the hillside and foothills.
- Moreover, experiencing a 16th experience of merchants who used to stay in caravansary by staying in Zein-oldin caravanserai between Yazd and Kerman (visit best Kerman attractions).
Itinerary of our adventure tour in Iran
Welcome to Iran, the land of still-living olden tales and rich history. Before we start this tour in Iran, first we will meet you at Imam Khomeini International Airport (IKA) and then we will transfer you to the specified hotel in Tehran. On the first day of our tour in Iran, there will be a gathering for welcoming so as to fill you will necessary information for the journey you have before you.
If you were not able to book a plane ticket to arrive right in time for your tour in Iran, try to book a ticket for the day before so you could take part in this gathering. In case there are any problems that might lead to any delay, to be sure, please do inform us or the hotel reception beforehand. In this very gathering, your insurance and related and significant travel information will be gathered, thus try to consider being present.
Day 1: Tehran, first city in this tour in Iran
Tehran is the first city of your tour in Iran and this capital of Iran is an enormous mega city with too much hustle and bustle going on in it. There are more than 13 million people in Tehran during the day, and a lot of people commute from smaller towns outside the city for work. Your eyes will fell upon every type of people like Arab-like women wearing chador which is full hijab as well as fashionable young boys and girls with tight mantueas.
The first tourist attraction in this tour in Iran to visit is Golestan Palace. We will visit this sight in Tehran which will take us to the 19th century of Iran which was ruled buy Qajars and we will see how dazzling the palaces are with so many eye-catching Persian, Japanese, Chinese, English and French artifacts given as present from various kings and queens; you will even find some gifts from the Queen Victoria of England and French Kings as well.
Then we will walk and wander through the gigantic grand bazaar of Tehran. For lunch, you can taste Iranian cuisine in Moslem restaurant which is the most popular restaurant of Tehran and Iran. Dizi (Abgoosht), Cholo Koobideh, Tahchin-e Morgh, Joje Kebab are some of the most famous Iranian foods. Since we do not have ample time to visit most of the points of interests in Tehran, we suggest you to reach some days earlier for visiting them.
Accommodation: Hotel for oneday 6 night
Activities included: Tehran day tour visiting Golestan Palace and the grand Bazaar
Meals are not included in this Tehran city tour.
Please note that when you received the flight information, send it to us. We have our own pick-up service in this tour in Iran which will be there for you and beware that there are taxi drivers who are always there to cheat you and take you to another hotel for some meager percentages form hotel owners. To avoid that, we will provide you with the number and the picture of the driver who is supposed to pick you up.
Day 2: Shiraz
On the second day of our tour in Iran, we will take a plane to Shiraz, the land of flowers, nightingales, poets and literature. People call Shiraz the flower and the pearl of Iran. This fairy tale-like city evokes oriental art, once-famous crimson wine, plush historic houses with peace-brimming Persian gardens, rough rugs with vibrant colors.
Shiraz and its people are so much proud of it past scholars and poets in 13th and 14th century such as Sadi and Hafiz whose fame in poetry has spread far and wide and translated in numerous languages. You can visit their gorgeous mausoleums which are two of the alluring tourist attractions in Shiraz. So, I am sure this will be the best day of your tour in Iran.
On the second of your adventure tour in Iran, you will visit another mausoleum, Shah Cheragh Mausoleum which is the most religious site in Shiraz. Another spot to visit is Jameh Atiq Mosque of Shiraz which is famous for being one of the oldest mosques in Shiraz. This tour comes to an end in a super cozy traditional tea house in Vakil Bazaar. In this bazaar, you will see various Iranian ethnic groups such as nomads who come to this bazaar to buy various things.
Accommodation: Hotel (1 night)
Activities included: Visiting Shah Cheragh mausoleum, Masjideh Atiq (Atigh Mosque), Vakil Bazaar and tea house
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 3: Shiraz to Persepolis and back
On the third day of our tour in Iran, the first site we will visit is Persepolis which the most famous tourist attractions in Iran. It takes an hour to reach Persepolis which used to be the glorious capital of Persian Empire and famous in ancient literature and history built by Darius I, and it had almost taken 150 years to come into completion. We will visit its ruins and delicate reliefs carved magnificently.
Next, we will visit Eram Garden which is one of the main Shiraz highlights and it is popular as ‘Garden of Paradise’ as well as the mausoleum of Sadi and Hafiz.
Day 4: Staying with hospitable Iranian nomads
On the 4th day of our tour in Iran, we can visit more of highlights in Shiraz, some of whose information and description as well as their historical significance is at the bottom of this tour. One of the gorgeous points of interest in Shiraz is Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque which is highly famous for its intricate Islamic architecture and colorful stained glasses through which sun explodes majestic kaleidoscopic colors.
After visiting this lovely site, we will drive to beautify our day with nomadic tribes which are scattered throughout gorgeous plains of Fars province. There are over 500 of such nomadic tribes in Persia the largest of which is Qashqi nomads whose winter resort lies around Persian Gulf and their summer resort stretches about central plateau of Iran. The life and economies of these nomads are borne on activities such as herding cattle, weaving carpet and creating gorgeous embroidery.
In this tour in Iran, we will nomads, taste their food, and if there is any chance, we will listen to their enchanting traditional music played by their special musical instrument and also a local dance. For the night, we will steal a magical and unforgettable sleep under a trillion stars from the universe by sleeping under ragged fleece-and-fur-made tent.
Please note that under some unfavorable circumstances, we might not be capable of visiting nomads in the nature like not being able to locate them as they are incessantly on the move from one spot to another, yet we will do our best to find them; instead of that, we will be staying with locals of Qashqai villagers.
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Special Information: As we will be in nature with nomads, and far from the city, the accommodations we will stay will be quite simple. Thus, we suggest you to bring your own sleeping bag as well as thermarest in case you feel like sleeping on extra padding. However, we will provide you will rollable foam mattresses. Some nights grow colder, hence, we suggest you to bring warm clothes with yourself. Surprise are always there with such nice and friendly people, if you will be lucky, you might be invited to a weeding or to a local family house for a super delicious meal.
Day 5: Unto Eqlid Town
After parting from the lovely nomads, it is time to hit the road unto the ancient town of Eqlid to start the 5th day of our out in Iran. This town was of great importance in the past as it was used as a route for caravans to reach Persepolis from the north part of Persia because other roads were mountainous and somewhat treacherous to traverse. We will sleep in a hotel in Eqlid, and then tomorrow we will drive to visit EqlidShrine, some ruins which date back to Sassanid Era, some 1800 years ago, also Zorostrian Tower of Silence.
You’d better know that Zoroastrianism was the official religion in Iran some 4000 years ago before Islam swept throughout Iran. There are still some who follow this religion and they believe in and worship communally one God with the name of Ahura Mazda which means ‘Wise Lord’. Zoroastrians worship their God in a Fire Temple, like Yazd Zoroastrian Fire Temple and Chak Chak of Yazd Province which sits in a cave the very heart of a mountain.
Accommodation: 1 night in a hotel
Activities included: visiting major ancient tourist attractions in Eqlid
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 6: Zayn al-Din Caravansary hotel, the best stay in this tour in Iran
We start the 6th day of our tour in Iran by driving for about an hour to reach the ancient Abarkuh town which sits beneath Zagros mountains in a desert valley. We will visit some of the main attractions in Abarkuh town such as Abarkuh Jameh mosque, the historical mansion of Emarat-e Khan-e Aghazadeh, built in Qajar-era, the stunning 4000-year old cypress tree (Sarv-e Abarkuh), Ice house which acted like a fridge in the past, Gonbad-e Ali (Gonbad means dome) whose construction has its roots in the 11th century.
After that we drive traversing astonishingly beautiful Zagros mountain to reach Zayn al-din caravansary which is rooted in the glorious reign of majestic Shah Abbas during 16th century. Shah Abbas is famous in Persian for having adept artists, architects and masons build over 900 beautiful hotels for Silk Road travelers and merchants to feed their horses, water and groom them and find a cozy room for themselves to sleep and storage to store their goods. Such chance of sleeping in such exotic accommodation will take you back in time to wear the shoes of Silk Road merchants.
Meals included: Breakfast and Dinner
Day 7: Yazd
A week has almost passed from our lovely tour in Iran, so, be an early bird and taste a real natural bread which is baked freshly. You can ascend to the roof of this caravansary and enjoy the desert view and let the warm sunshine touch you. Then we will drive to the historic city of Yazd which was registered as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2016.
You can find stories about this ancient city narrated by Marco Polo who visited Yazd while he was journeying unto China. The exotic and ancient vibe still clings to the old district where most of points of interest in Yazd are. We will take a long walk in narrow winding allies where mud-brick houses stretch along and across from each other.
There are wind catchers atop some of these house which are famous as Badgirs and were used as traditional type of cooling systems; these Badgiers, which have been working as natural air-conditioners, catch wind and cool breezes and send them down into the houses cooling the air. One of the noteworthy attractions in Yazd to see is Yazd Water Museum where we can find out about qanats as underground water channels used to carry mountain water to the city for millenniums. To see these qanats and be familair with old water channels, you can visit Yazd Water Museum.
Some of the tourist attractions to visit are Tower of Silence, Zoroastrian Fire Temple whose fire is said to be burning since 470 A.D, Dolat Abad Garden, Jameh Mosque of Yazd, Amir Chakhmaq Complex. You can find in-depth information about tourist attractions in Yazd at the bottom of this tour in Iran.
Accommodation: a traditional Hotel in Yazd
Alternative Activities: Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Chak Chak and points of interest in Meybod Town of Yazd such as Narin Castle, Kabotar Khane (Pigeons House), Meybod caravansary restaurant and pottery shops- IRR900000
Meals included: Breakfast
Day 8: Yazd: Kharanaq Village, Chak Chak, Narin Castle
On the 8th day of tour in Iran, we offer you the alternative excursion outside the city of Yazd. This excursion includes a visit to Chak Chak Fire Temple, which takes an hour to reach, Meybod Town and Kharanaq mud-brick village. People believe that Kaharanq town is more than a millennium years old and we will walk to a structure about a hillside which used to be a settlement where well-off traders used to dwell.
There are gorgeous mountains to visit as well as a valley and then we will take pictures of some aqueducts which were used to carry water from the mountains to the town in the distant past. Such aqueducts are still in use to water the fields which have created a green scenery that stands out against the brown desert.
Then we will drive to Chak Chak, which is the most significant Zoroastrian pilgrimage site in Iran, it is like mecca to Zoroastrians. To reach this beautiful fire temple, we should take some steps on the mountainside. The name Chak Chak comes from the sound of water that drops from the ceiling of a cave inside the mountain; inside this cave there are some old pictures and a recess in the wall where holy fire burns.
After lunch, we will drive to Narin Castle which is one of the oldest mud brick buildings in Iran. Then, we will drive around Meybod town and visit pottery shops where we will find the best and the most artistic clay jars and clay wares. Following that, you can seek to relax in a very traditional type of mansion, smoke Shisha in thePersian garden of the hotel and have a super delicious local food.
Day 9: Isfahan, half of the World
We hit the road from Yazd to Isfahan to start the 9th day of our tour in Iran, and after almost 5 hours we will find ourselves in the most beautiful city in Iran. This city is considered as holding the highest glory of Islamic art on every corner of it which astonishes every visitor. It was after the 16th century during the Safavid era that this city earned the title of ‘half of the world to itself’ due to the great glories that were bestowed to the city by Shah Abbas the first of the Safavids.
You can find a plethora of Islamic buildings with unique designs like blue mosaic. In the center of Isfahan, you will find Naqshe Jahan Square which is also called Imam square after Islamic revolution in 1970s and this square is the most beautiful spot in Iran around which the grand bazaar stretches. In this bazaar whose one part is around square and inside it as well, you can find marvelous Persian carpets and many gorgeous Iranian handicrafts.
There are attractive covered bridges such as Khaju and Sio-Se-Pol bridge, beautiful palaces, spectacular Persian gardens, glorious mosques, churches, museums and plenty of historical houses to visit and stay. The beauty of Isfahan nights is indescribable when people walk around these bridges and smoke Shisha and have dinner in old tea houses. Everything about this place seems like an enchanting fairy tale which comes true.
Tourist Attractions to visit: Isfahan city tour visiting Ali Qapu Palace, Imam Mosque (Shah Mosque), Sheikh Lotfollah Msoque, Sio-se Pol Bridge, Vank Cathedral, Naqshe Jahan Square and the grand bazaar of Isfahan
Alternative points of interest in Isfahan visits: Chehel Sootun Palace of Isfahan- IRR150000 and Menar Jonban- IRR150000
More on the Alternative Tourist Attractions in Iran
Hafezieh – Shiraz
To know some extra information as this will make this tour in Iran very beautiful for you. Hafez of Shiraz – the great Iranian lyric poet of the 8th Century AH – has a special place in the hearts of most Iranians. His memory is held in great respect. After his death the poet was laid to rest in a garden in the old Mosalla (outdoor Friday prayers venue) in Shiraz.
The tomb, garden and the neighborhood around it are called Hafezieh. 65 years after the death of Hafez, a domed mausoleum and a large pool were built for his tomb by order of Shams ed-Din Mohammad Vaginal- vizier of Mirza Abolqassem Baber the Timurid governor of Fars.
This mausoleum was repaired and restored several times. In 1187 All (1774 AD) Karim Khan – the founder of the Zand dynasty – built a new mausoleum in the Zand style consisting of a hall with four tall, monolithic stone columns above the grave. He dedicated a large marble tombstone and planted a vast and beautiful garden. The Zand period buildings fell into disrepair in the Qajar period.
The current Hafezieh memorial was designed by the French architect Andre Godard in the style of the Zand period and built in the 1930s. The simple structure consists of a copper dome, in the shape of a dervish’s hat, 10 meter above the grave supported by eight columns. The ceiling inside the dome is decorated with poly chrome mosaic faience and an inscription in Thuluth script on blue tiles with eight lines of a famous Ghazal (sonnet) by Hafez. The tomb is surrounded by the graves of many famous people.
Another important Shiraz sight to visit Karim Khan Complex which is a citadel built of mud-brick and is remnant of the 18th century when Karim Khan used to rule over all parts of Persia. There is an alluring room where you will find very old and historic photos remnant of 18th and 19th century as well as some tile works which relate the old oriental tales. There is a lot to do today, we have provided some other information on the tourist attractions in Shiraz you can find at the bottom of this article.
Persepolis, the Ceremonial Capital of Ancient Persian Empire
The majestic royal capital of the Achaemenid Empire was built on the eastern slopes of the Kul-e Rahmat (Mehr), called Kuh-e Shahi (Royal Mountain), on a rectangular platform 450 meters long, 300 meters wide and 15 meters above the plain of Marvdasht. Today the site is called Takhte Jamshid meaning Throne of Jamshid – a semi-mythical Persian king in Ferdowsi’s epic – The Shalmameh, However, in its own inscriptions the city is called Parsa and the Greeks called it Persepolis (City of the Persians).
This magnificent royal city was founded by Darius I the and, according to his epigraph on the south wall of the platform, construction started by his decree in 518 BC. Persepolis was a royal ceremonial capital only and never functioned as a political and administrative capital, for about 200 years the royal citadel was expanded and new palaces and monuments were added by later Achaemenid kings, especially Xerxes, Artaxerxes I and Artaxerxes II.
Even on the eve of the capture of Persepolis by Alexander of Macedon, some buildings and bas-reliefs were under construction and thus remained forever unfinished. The main structures and spaces are the grand entrance stairway with 110 steps at the northwest corner of the platform, the Gate of All Nations, the forecourt and great hall of Apadana, the Tachar Palace (Darius’ residence), the Hadish Palace (Xerxes’ residence), the Hall of Three Gates, the Harem (today rebuilt and used as a museum), the Treasury, the Hall of a Hundred Columns, the Unfinished Gate and the ramparts and fortifications. In the hill to the east of the platform are the rock-cut tombs of Artaxerxes II and Artaxerxes III.
The Tachar Palace – Persepolis, Fars Province
This residential palace of Darius the Great, which is one of the top Iran sights that we will visit in this tour in Iran, is situated to the southwest of the Apadana. Its main facade is south – probably originally facing a lush garden. It is one of the first palaces to be built on the great platform of Persepolis.
According to one of the inscriptions, this palace was called the Tachar Palace. The Tachar Palace itself stands on a platform that is 4.2 meters higher than the level of the Apadana and the court beside it. Its dimensions are 40 x 29 meters. The stone walls of the palace are so polished that it has often been called the Hall of Mirrors. Some scholars believe this palace was one of the few structures that remained standing after the rest of Persepolis was devastated by the Macedonians. The central hall of the palace has twelve columns and its dimensions are 15 x 15 meters.
The doorways of this hall have been decorated with bas-reliefs depicting Darius and his companions. Above the king’s head there is an inscription in three languages with three different scripts – Elamite, Ancient Persian and Babylonian – which reads: “Darius, King of Kings, King of the Nations. Son of Vishtaspa of Achaemenid Descent who built this Tachar.” There are other bas-reliefs in this palace depicting servants carrying animals and food vessels.
There are some inscriptions in Ancient Persian that document the completion of the palace in the reign of Xerxes and the addition of some annexes in the reign of Artaxerxes and the addition of some annexes in the reign of Artaxerxes III. Other inscriptions were carved in later periods – including one from the reign of Shapur I of the Sassanid dynasty and one from the reign of Dayalamite Azod od-Dowleh.
The Hall of a Hundred Columns – Persepolis, Fars Province
Kakh-e Sad Sotun (Hall of a hundred Columns), also known as the Throne Hall or Audience Hall of Xerxes, is situated north of the Treasury and east of the Apadana Hall. As evident from its name, it has a hundred columns and is the largest structure in Persepolis after the Apadana. On each side of the hall there are two gateways with beautiful bas-reliefs. The scene of a royal audience has been carved four times at the sides of the two north gateways, which are the tallest.
At the top of this scene King Artaxerxes I is depicted sitting on his throne, opposite two incense burners, facing the exterior of the hall. Before him a man in Median attire bows while holding the mace of a royal chamberlain in one hand and covering his mouth with the other. Behind the chamberlain stands a man in Persian attire.
Three men are standing behind the king: a court eunuch who holds a fly flapper above the king’s crown in one hand and a towel in the other; another Mede who bears the king’s quiver, bow case, battle ax and other arms; and a Persian guardsman standing with a lance. Above the king’s head the decorated edge of the royal canopy can be seen. The scene is framed in a border of twelve-petal flowers.
The Treasury – Persepolis, Fars Province
The Treasury Palace is situated in the southeastern part of Persepolis, east of the Harem and south of the Hall of a Hundred Columns. Recently discovered inscriptions have revealed that it was constructed in two stages in the reign of Darius the Great – from 511 to 507 BC and from 494 to 491 BC. His son Xerxes made some additions including the large north hall known as the Hall of 99 Columns. Like the rest of Persepolis, the Treasury was plundered and torched by Alexander’s Macedonians – some believe deliberately in order to prevent a Persian national revival.
Inside the Treasury two large bas-reliefs were found with a length of about 6 meters. Only one is still in situ. The one that had remained in a better state is now kept in the National Museum of Iran in Tehran.
The bas-reliefs depict the king seated on his throne holding a mace in his right hand and a flower in his left hand. Standing behind him are the crown prince, a page holding a towel, a Median arms bearer and two Persian guards in front of the king. There are two incense burners, a Median officer holding his hand in front of his mouth and two more Persian guards.
The Bas-relief of Shapur’s Victory over Valerian – Nagsh-e Rustam, Fars Province
The ancient site of Naqsh-e Rostam near Persepolis in Fars comprises a collection of rock-cut tombs and bas-reliefs. The most beautiful and majestic bas-relief is the famous victory scene of the Sassanid king Shapur I (reigned 241-272 AD) which was cut around 262 AD on the rock face ten meters cast of the tomb of Darius the Great. Valerian (253-260) was one of three Roman emperors who attacked Persia during the reign of Shapur I. He was defeated and captured by the Pershing. To commemorate his great victory, Shapur ordered the cutting of bas-reliefs at various locations including Naqsh-e Rostam and Bishapur.
The bas-relief at Naqsh-e Rostam depicts an equestrian Shapur facing the left side of the scene. His long hair is flowing from beneath his crenelated and orbed crown while his curly beard is confined in a beard ring. He is wearing a necklace of rings and an earring. His richly embellished attire consists of a tight, belted tunic with many folds held together in the front by two ring clasps and trousers that are folded all the way down to the ankles.
Royal ribbons are hanging from his shoes. Shapur’s horse has richly decorated saddle and harness and its tail is knotted with a long and much folded ribbon hanging from it. Kneeling in front of the king’s horse is the figure of Philip the Arab, the Roman emperor who paid homage to Shapur who is wearing a Roman crown and stretching out both arms as a sign of supplication. Shapur is accepting the homage by reaching out toward him with one hand. Standing next to him is another Roman emperor – the captive Valerian. His wrist is in Shapur’s grasp – signifying his captivity.
The Bas-relief of the Investiture of Ardeshir – Naqsh-e Rustam
This is one of the most beautiful and best preserved bas-reliefs of the Sassanid period. It was cut in 235 AD at the eastern end of the sacred site of Naqsh-e Rustam, some distance away from the other reliefs and tombs. Its isolation may have been due to the significance of a nearby spring sacred to Anahita (the Ancient Iranian divine patroness of pure waters) at whose temple Ardeshir and his ancestors had been high priests.
The bas-relief is 6.30 to 6.65 meters wide and 2.40 meters high and stands at a height of 2 meters above ground level. It depicts the allegorical scene of the investiture of Ardeshir Babakan – the founder of the Sassanid dynasty.
The equestrian figure of Ardeshir can be seen in profile on the left side receiving the circlet of kingship from Ahura Mazda (the one God in Zoroastrianism) also sitting on a horse in profile on the right. Behind the king stands a youth holding a fly flapper. The lifeless body of Ardavan (Atlabanus V,the last Arsacid king) is being trampled by Ardeshirs horse while Ahura Mazda’s horse is trampling Ahriman (in Zoroastrianism the evil destructive spirit).
Ardeshir and Ahura Mazda have both been named in the adjacent inscriptions. Ardeshir is wearing a crown consisting of a hat with a headband or diadem, a neck strap and flaps that cover the ears and back of the neck. The hat bears three eagle figures and is topped by the large royal orb of the Sassanids.
The Bas-relief of Shapur’s Parade – Naqsh-e Rajab, Fars Province
About 3 kilometers due north of Persepolis, on the Shiraz – Isfahan highway, on the north side of the Rahmat mountain, there is a semicircular rocky depression containing three Sassanid period bas-reliefs Today the site is called Naqsh-e Rajab or Nagsh-e Qahraman (Picture of Rajab or of the Hero). The bas-relief on the northern side of the semicircle is 6 meters wide, 4 meters high and 1.5 meters above ground level. It depicts Shapur – the second Sassanid king sitting astride a large horse and on parade with his retinue.
The king is wearing a much-folded ankle-length cloak. The scabbard holding his dagger is tied to his belt. His scabbard and his trousers are adorned with flying royal ribbons. His bushy, curly hair shows hanging from beneath the sides of his crown. Shapur’s horse has lifted its left foreleg and is apparently moving forward. It has an elaborate saddle and harness. The figures of nine people have been cut behind Shapur.
Eight of them are wearing tall felt hats and neck bands adorned with roundels. One figure, wearing a small round crown, is cut above the others’ heads. The three fill-sized figures in the foreground are strong, muscular men wearing pleated trousers and knee-length tunics. They are holding the hilts of the swords tied to the front of their roundel-domed belts and hanging down to their ankles. The busts of two other figures are visible in the front row, a little below the background figures.
The Myth or Cyrus – Pascadae, Fars Province
“O man, whoever thou art, wheresoever thou cometh, for I know you shall come, I the Cyrus, who founded the empire of the Persians wheresoever. Grudge me not, therefore, this little earth that covers my body.” Pasargadae, in the helm of Fars, was the first capital of the Persian Empire. After Cyrus the Great was killed in his campaign against the Scythian, his body was embalmed and carried in a golden coffin to his unpretentious but majestic tomb in the royal garden in the southern part of Pasargadae.
As a matter of fact, this mausoleum had been built in Cyrus’ lifetime to his own design. The tomb and the nearby ruins were formerly known as Shahr-e Madar-e Soleiman (City of the Mother of Solomon) among local people. For centuries the tomb had attracted the attention of travelers but its identity was discovered only in 1820 AD. The mausoleum is 11 meters high and built of huge yellowish-white lime stone bricks.
It has a rectangular stepped platform with six levels with dimensions of 13.35*12.30 meters at the base. The gabled tomb chamber stands on the sixth level and has an interior area of 7.5 square meters with walls that a 1.5 meters thick in some places. Its entrance door is on the north-west side. The stone slabs of the gabled roof have two large cavities, deliberately cut to reduce their weight.
During the whole Achaemenid period the tomb of the founder of the dynasty was considered sacred. Alexander of Macedon and his troops were the last people to see the tomb intact before they opened it and plundered its Pleasures. However, the building itself has withstood the ravages of wind and rain and mankind for 2500 years and still dominates the Plain of Pasargadae.
The Residential Palace – Pasargad, Fars Province
230 meters to the northwest of the Audience Hall palace at Pasargadae (Pasargad) stand the ruins of a palace that has the characteristics of a residential building and has thus been called ‘Residential Palace or Private Palace’. It is rectangular in plan with dimensions o142 x 76 meters. It has a great hall with 30 columns flanked by a long veranda with 40 columns on its cast side and one with 24 columns on its west side. The latter had two side chambers with roofs held up by two columns.
The verandas were connected to the great hall by two large doorways. The great hall was also accessed through two small doorways leading to two large porticoes on its north and south sides between the two long verandas. Parallel to the walls that separated the great hall from the spaces around it stood a row of rectangular stone piers with unbaked mud brick cores and foundations of white stone.
Each of these has a bas-relief depicting the king holding a mace and exiting the hall with a servant following him. His clothes have many folds and are ornamented with gold and jewels. His mace and his shoes too have gem encrusted gold pendants. Over the folds of his clothes a cuneiform inscription has been cut in three languages – Elamite, Babylonian and Ancient Persian – introducing the monarch as: “Cyrus, the Great King, an Achaemenid”. The flooring of the great hall was very fine and accurately paved with well-smoothed white marble slabs over a foundation of rough-hewn stones. Each of the main doorways had been built of smooth blocks of black stone and decorated with bas-reliefs set within frame like borders cut in the stone.
Narenjestan – Qavam – Shiraz
You can add this gorgeous site to your tour in Iran and this is one of the top tourist attractions in Shiraz and Iran. The Narenjestan-e Qavam (Orangery of Qavam) is one of the Qajar period buildings of Shiraz. The construction of this sight in Shiraz was started in 1290 AH (1874 AD) by Ali Mohammad Khan Qavam ol-Molk and completed in 1305 Al-I (1888 AD) by Mohammad Reza Khan Qavam – the grandson of Qavam of-Molk.
In fact, Narenjestan is part of the larger Qavam mansion complex of which it constitutes the Biruni (outer section) while the Zinat of-Moll: House is the Andaruni (inner section). The two houses are connected by an underground corridor. The Biruni buildings were purpose built to function as business headquarters for the Qavam family and also used for banquets and feasts.
Due to the abundance of Persian bitter orange (narenj) trees in its garden the Qavam House became known as the Narenjestan (Orangery). The grounds of this beautiful mansion have an area of 3500 square meters. It consists of a vast garden courtyard with buildings on three sides – north, south and east. The entrance is on the south side. The main building is on the north side of the garden and has two stories and a basement. Its design is an imitation of Zand period architecture.
The decorative features of this historic site in Shiraz include mirror work, stained glass, fresco painting, marquetry, stone sculpture, stalactite Faience and stucco work. On the entrance portal there is an inscription dated 1305 Al-I (1888 AD) with some verses from the Koran and some of the poems of Asudelt of Shiraz praising the founder of the mansion and containing the date of its completion. The stone dados on either side of the entrance corridor are decorated with two sculpted figures of Qajar period soldiers. From 1969 to 1979 the Narenjestan served as the headquarters of the Asia Institute under the direction of Professor Arthur Pope.
The Shrine of Emarnzadeh All ibn Hainza – Shiraz
This beautiful building situated south of the Qur’an Gate is one of the well-known shrines of Shiraz. The first mausoleum over the saint’s grave was built with a beautiful dome in the reign of the Daylamite ruler Azod od-Dowleh (338 – 372 AIL 949 – 983 AD). After that the building was rebuilt and restored several times. The existing shrine was built in 1239 AH (1823 AD) by the Qajarid prince Hassan All Mirza Farmanfarma and later restored by another Qajarid prince Talunasb Mirza Moayyed od-Dowleh. It has a large sanctuary and a huge courtyard – three times larger than the built-up spaces.
The entrance portal on the street has a wooden door with marquetry that opens into a domed vestibule connected to the west side of the vast courtyard through a corridor. The interior of the sanctuary is decorated with mirror work on its vaulted walls and ceilings and has a meter-high marble dado. The exterior walls are covered with combined brick and mosaic faience
The Vakil Bathhouse – Shiraz
This bathhouse is one of the decent points of interest in Shiraz and a part of Karim Khan complex we will visit in our Iran tour. During his reign (1760-1779) Karim Khan Zand erected many fine buildings in his capital city Shiraz. One of those still extant is the Hamam-e Vakil – located next to the Vakil Mosque in the Meydan-e Shah quarter. This old public bathhouse serves as a traditional tea house and restaurant today. It has an area of approximately 1350 square meters and has four interconnected sections. The entrance vestibule has a ceiling decorated with stalactite stucco work.
The large, octagonal apodyterium (dressing room) has exquisite stucco work decorations on its walls and ceiling. Little remains of the original decorations of Karim Khan’s time, which have vase and floral motifs. The majority were covered over in the Qajar period with a new layer of stucco decorations with themes taken from Iranian legends.
The columns are made of hard, sulphurous Gandomak stone and covered with a thin layer of stalactite stucco work. Ceiling lanterns let the sunlight in, In the middle of the apodyterium there is an octagonal pool made of eight whole slabs of stone with a fountain made of the same stone. The apodyterium was used as a Ztukhaneh (traditional gymnasium) in the Pahlavi period.
The Palace of Ardeshir Babakan – Firuz, Abad, Fars Province
The part-ruined palace of Ardeshir Babakan (founder of the Sassanid dynasty) is located ten kilometers west of modem Firuz Abad. It still dominates the landscape north of the ruins of Gur – ancient seat of the Ardeshir Khorreh (March of Ardeshir). Besides, this monument is the oldest and best-designed of the Sassanid period monuments. This attraction was built with rough-hewn stones – some held together with iron clamps – and a hand-crushed plaster mortar. Its thick walls support Iran’s oldest extant dome. The edifice is rectangular in plan with a central courtyard and three entrances.
The great central Talar (hall) has access through the north Eyvan (iwan). On the other side of the Talar is another large Eyvan with visible traces of older, Parthian period, architecture. On the cast and west sides of the courtyard there are four chambers with plaster-covered walls, cradle vaulted ceilings and decorated stucco niches. The palace remained in use until the 8th Century All (13th Century AD). There are some Islamic era structures – probably of Buyid age – next to the stream in front of its main, south entrance. Today part of the palace has been restored and houses an archaeological research base.
Chowgan Gorge – Kazenm, Fars Province
Tang e Chowgan (Polo Gorge), also called Chaku, Chakun or Chakav, is located to the northeast of the ruins of the city of Bishapur between two high mountain ranges near Kazemn in Fars province. The width of this gorge is more than 1000 meters and the Shapur River runs through it. It is possible that the gorge was named Chowgan because the Sassanid kings and their generals once played Polo in it. The gorge is famous for the Sassanid period bas-reliefs cut on its cliff sides – two on the right and four on the left bank side. Also, in a cave above the gorge there is a huge statue of the Sassanid king Shapur I weighing 30 tonnes.
The famous bas-relief of the victory of Shapur I over Valerian has dimensions of 10 x 5.40 meters. It depicts the defeated Valerian kneeling before the equestrian Shapur while the latter’s horse is trampling another Roman warrior. In the Arsacid (Parthian) and Sassanid periods many wars broke out between the Persian and Roman empires. During his victorious second campaign against the Romans (258-260 AD), Shapur invested and captured the city of Antioch and then defeated and captured Valerian, with his whole army, who had tried to relieve the city.
The Nasir ol-Molk Mosque – Shiraz
This magnificent mosque is part of a complex of Qajar period buildings on Lotf Ali Khan Zand Avenue in Shiraz. It was built by Hassan Ali Khan Nassir ol-Molk between 1293 and 1305 Al-I (1876-1888 AD). Its total area is 2980 square meters with 2212 square meters of covered space. The mosque’s entrance on the north is a heavy, double-leaf wooden door set in a large portal arch.
At the top of the arch there is a Nasta’liq inscription, carved in marble, of a poem by Shurideh of Shiraz praising the founder of the mosque and containing the date of its completion. The mosque has two Eyvans (iwans), which are not symmetrically identical and are both famous for being covered on the inside and outside with polychrome faience.
The north Eyvan has a vault called the Taq-e Morvarid (Pearl Vault) flanked by two smaller half-vaults. The south Eyvan has a stalactite ceiling and inscriptions with verses from the Koran and Hadith. The Sahn (courtyard) is flanked by two Shabestans (oratories). The main, west oratory has seven large latticed wooden doors with stained glass and twelve monolithic, Gandomak stone, columns (in two rows of six) with spiral fluting.
The floor is covered with turquoise colored glazed tiles. The brick vaulted ceiling has floral and arabesque designs and inscriptions with verses from the Koran in Thuluth script.The cast (winter) Shabestan has a combined brick and tile work ceiling and seven plain (not fluted) columns.
One of the oratory’s doors opens into a long corridor called Gavrow (ox way) containing a water tank next to a Gavchah (ox well). Water was drawn from the well into the tank by oxen that were driven down the corridor. The names of two of the mosque’s builders – Mohammad Hassan the architect and Mohammad Reza the tile maker – are inscribed in a corridor north of the east oratory.
More on Tourist Attractions in Yazd Province
The Aqazade House – Abarkuh, Yazd Province
This Qajar period mansion, which is one of the main Yazd highlights, is located in the Darvanh Meydan quarter of the town of Abarkuh close to three other mansions: Seyyed Ali Aqa, Mussavi and Hosseini Dust houses. Aqazadeh House belonged to Haj Seyyed Ali Aqa, known as Aqazadeh, a descendant of Haj Mohammad Hossein. The of this site was Ostad Reza (Master Reza).
The Aqazadeh house was built in two stories in a plot of land with an area of approximately 1500 square meters. The plan is a traditional rectangular central courtyard built up on all four sides. The entrance portal is on the northwest side of the mansion and is connected to the corner of the courtyard through a narrow covered corridor. There is a long pool in the middle of the courtyard flanked on both sides by two flowerbeds.
The various architectural spaces are ranged on the three other sides of the courtyard in two stories. The most important features are on the two shorter sides. The two-story southwest side is particularly remarkable. It has an eyvan (iwan), a rectangular great hall topped by an octagonal Kolah Farangi (belvedere -literally a European hat) and a tall and beautiful Badgir (wind tower).
The belvedere is beautifully decorated with registers and stalactite faience and with a window or opening on each of its eight sides. The opposite (northeast) side is in one story with a rectangular hall flanked by two side rooms. The roof of this section has formed a vast terrace. Aqazadeh House has been restored in recent years. There is a plan to use this and the neighboring mansions as a tourist attraction and hotel complex.
The Jame’ e Kabir Mosque – Yazd
The beautiful Masjideh Jameh Kabir (Grand Congregational Mosque), located in the Darvazeh Shahi quarter of Yazd city, is without doubt one of the greatest masterpieces of Iranian architectures. In historical texts it is called Jame’ (Congregational) or Jom’eh (Friday) interchangeably with epithets like: Shahrestan (City), Qadim (Old) or Atiq (Ancient). Most of today’s mosque was built in the 8th Century.
All (15th Century AD) by Seyyed Rokn ed-Din Mohammad Qazi. The mosque has six enhances on its various sides. The main east entrance has a tall portal decorated with mosaic Faience in a fretwork and arabesque pattern, mosaic faience inscriptions and two minarets at its top.
This beautiful portal was added to the mosque in the reign of the Timurid king Shahrokh but the two minarets are Safavid period additions. The vast, rectangular courtyard has dimensions of 20 x 53 meters. It is surrounded by Ravaqs (cloisters) with open vaults creating a shade that enhances the courtyard’s beauty.
The most beautiful section of the mosque is the dome chamber. Its spectacular Eyvan (iwan) facade is exquisitely decorated with mosaic faience in arabesque, floral and fretwork patterns, brickwork, combined brickwork and faience, mosaic faience inscriptions and tile and brickwork inscriptions in a geometric Kufic script.
The main Mihrab (prayer niche) in the dome chamber is also decorated with mosaic faience, brickwork and inscriptions. The beautiful dome is oldie attached, double-shelled type. Its outside is decorated with an exquisite brickwork and faience soap bar pattern. Round its drum the Arabic phrase translated “The Kingdom belongs to God” is repeated in a Kittle script.
The mosque has two Gannkhaneh (winter oratories) on the east and west sides of the courtyard. The east oratory known as the ‘Shabestan-e Shazdeh’ (Prince’s Oratory) has a Militi) beautifully decorated with delicate seal and are patterns. The west winter oratory is a newer structure and its Mihrab is covered with lozenge shaped polychrome glazed tiles. The mosque also has two summer oratories and two ‘Payab’s (basements with access to water).
Ali Dome – Abarkuh, Yazd Province
The beautiful tomb tower called Gonbad-e Ali (Lofty Dome) or Gonbad-e Ali (Dome of Ali) is located 3 kilometers east of the town of Abarkuh on a hill beside the Yazd road, overlooking the old town. This is one of the best preserved monuments of the Seljuk period (11th to 12th Centuries AD). So, we can customize our tour in Iran and add it to it.
This attraction of Yazd province is built entirely of stone with a sand and plaster mortar and stands on a 2-meter high, square platform The building is an early example of a tower that is octagonal in plan supporting a round dome with the aid of squinches – probably setting a trend for later tomb towers.
The austere tower is devoid of’ decorative arches, pilasters or other ornament except for three rows of stalactite stonework that encircle the top of the tower’s stem and bulge out of the building like a cornice. These protect the Kufic inscription just below them from the rain and snow. Their soil, cold color blends well with the brickwork inscription. There is also another Katie inscription above the monument’s door. The interior of the monument is totally devoid of ornament except for some lading traces of a stucco Mihrab (prayer niche).
Four of the eight side walls have small openings in them. The tip of the dome too is open – providing the interior with some sunlight. Underneath the tower there is a crypt with a vaulted stone ceiling. According to the inscription at the top of the tower, the monument was built by one Firuzan as a mausoleum for his parents. However, no evidence of their graves has been found.
Dowlat Abad Gardens – Yazd, a sight to visit in this tour in Iran
This (some of these Persian gardens we will visit in this tour in Iran) is located in the western suburbs of the city of Yazd, constitute one of the many foundations of Mohammad Taqi Khan Balqi – also known as Khan-e Bozorg (Great Khan) – a governor of Yazd in the period of the Afsharid Prince Shahrokh Mirza and ancestor of one of Yazd’s most influential families.
In those days the grand and beautiful gardens were a verdant haven in an arid, desert climate. Water for irrigation was provided from the 63 kilometers long Qanat (underground water channel) of Dowlat Abad – the longest Qanat in Yazd and one of five built by Mohammad Taqi Khan. The two rectangular gardens are attached and perpendicular to one another.
The larger Bagh-e Andaruni (Inner Garden), today called Bagh e Dowlat Abad, was a private garden and family residence. The smaller Bagh e Biruni (Outer Garden) to the north, today called Bagh e Behesht A’in (Heavenly Garden), was used by the governor for public ceremonies and sporting spectacles. Both gardens have rose beds, pine and cypress tree avenues, vineyards, pomegranate groves and other fruit trees.
The main pavilion of the gardens is half-octagonal in plan and built in two stories. In its core there is a fountain room with a decorative ceiling cooled by the tallest Badgir (wind tower) in Yazd. This spectacular tower, which is actually more than 33 meters high, had partially collapsed but was recently restored with the help of old photographs. The fountain room is surrounded by three rooms -two of which have large, latticed sash windows.
Attractions in Isfahan in this tour in Iran
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque – An atttraction Incliuded in Our Tour in Iran
The Mosque of Sheikh Lotfollah in Isfahan is located on the eastern side of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square opposite the Ali Qapu building. This masterpiece of Safavid period architecture, especially of the art of glazed tile work, was built in the 11th Century AN (17th Century AD) by order of Shah Abbas 1 for Sheikh Lotfollah, a great Stine scholar from the Jabal ‘Arai’ region of Lebanon – as a place where he could both lead prayers and teach. In fact, the construction took 18 years The Sheikh was invited to stay in Isfahan by Shah Abbas who also married his daughter.
In talking about the excellence of the architecture of this mosque it would suffice to quote Arthur Pope, the famous archaeologist who says: “One can hardly believe that this building was made by human hands.” As a result, the entrance portal decorated with mosaic tile faience, was completed in 1011 AH (1602 AD) and the main building with its decorations in 1028 AH (1618 AD).
The inscription on the portal, dated 1012 AH (1603 AD), is in Thuluth script by the outstanding calligrapher Alireza Abbas’. The master architect of the mosque was Mohammad Reza Esfahan’ whose name has been inscribed on a small panel within the mihrab (prayer niche). The mosque’s structural plan is quite simple but the glazed tile work is very rich. The interior and exterior of the unrivaled dome are covered with mosaic tile faience.
The dome is large and single-shelled and, though not very high, it is a very well-proportioned and striking culmination for the small dome chamber. The superb decorations on the interior of the dome consist of dark blue lozenges set on a cream colored background increasing in size from the middle of the dome outwards. There are 16 windows set at regular intervals around the drum of the dome fitted with faience grilles from the inside and outside.
The ground plan of the dome chamber is a square with octagon shape using arches in its corners. Turquoise-colored, rope-shaped faience line the arches.Behind the entrance portal, there is a narrow corridor that leads to the dome chamber after three turns. The turns in the corridor are not merely for the purpose of correcting the angle of the mosque building in order to face the Qibla (direction of Mecca). They also serve to accentuate the contrast between the confined space of the corridor and the wide space of the dome chamber. Rest assured, we will have a visit to this touristic site in our tour in Iran.
Khaju Bridge – Isfahan
To have a better tour in Iran, better read more about this famous covered bridge. One of the world’s most beautiful bridges is Pol-e Khaju that spans the Zayandeh Rud river in Isfahan between the Kamal ed-Din Esma’il and Ayineh Khaneh riverside boulevards. It has also been known by other names such as: Pol-e Shahi (Royal Bridge), Hassan Beyk, Hassan Abad, Shiraz, Baba Rolm ed-Din and Zardoshtian (Zoroastrians’ Bridge).
Hassan Beyk Torkaman, who was a dignitary of the Tunurid period, built the bridge. In 1060 AH (1650 AD) the Safavid Shah Abbas II commissioned the architect Beyglarbeygi Sadr of Isfahan to restore the bridge. He added arches decorated with glazed tile work and a pavilion for the Shah at the mid-point called the Beyglarbeygi and decorated with beautiful frescoes. On the occasion of the new bridge’s inauguration Sa’eb Tabrizi, the poet laureate of the court of Shah Abbas 11, wrote this poem:
“Isfahan is all alight with illuminations
the Bridge has become as ornate as Solomon’s throne
There is a flood of wine flowing from every spring
The mid-point glows with wine like a Badakhshan ruby.”
The bridge is 131.5 meters long and 11.65 meters wide with two decks and 21 arches. The lower deck rests on stone piers with stone steps on them and sluices with little cascading outlets between them. When they close the sluice gates, they can raise the level of the water behind them by six meters- creating a reservoir. Therefore the bridge also serves as a weir. Nasrollah Khan repaired and restored the bridge in 1290 AH (1873 AD).
Jame’ e Atiq Mosque -Isfahan
Be ready for another article on an important monument that can be included in this tour in Iran. Masjed e Jame’ e Atiq is also popular as Ancient Congregational Mosque or Masjed-e Jom’eh. Jom’eh in Farsi means Adineh, and Jom’eh mosques means Friday Mosque. This monument is a unique showcase of Iranian art and architecture in various periods. Therefore, we can enjoy visiting it in our tour in Iran. One of the early Abbasid Caliphs first built this mosque around 143 and 152 AH – 760 and 768 AD on top of pre-Islamic Sassanid age foundations. A larger mosque, with columned Shabestans (oratories) replaced it. Particularly, in the next century, Buyids added some other sections to it.
The mosque had become the city’s most important center of scholarship and had a vast library. The greatest transformation came in the 5th and 6th Centuries AH (11th and 12th Centuries AD) (the Seljuk period) when the mosque gained a classic four-Eyvan (iwan) plan. Khajeh Nezam ol-Molk – vizier of the Seljukid Malek Shah ordered the construction of a dome known as the Soffeh ye Saheb (Lord’s Platform) in 473 AH (1080 AD) behind the south Eyvan
Open spaces surrounds the dome chamber. Taj ol-Molk – another vizier and the rival of Nezam ol-Molk, at the order of Malek Shah’s wife Torkan Khatun built another dome behind the north Eyvan (Soffehye Darvish, i.e. Poor Man’s Platform). People call Taj ol-Molk dome also as ‘Gonbad-e Khagi or Khaki (Dusty Dome)’.
In the year 710 AH (1310 AD), the Ilkhanid Sultan Mohammad Khodabandeh (Uljaitu) built a small mosque to the north of the west Eyvan containing the famous Mihrab of Uljaitu – a splendid stucco prayer niche exquisitely decorated with floral and geometric patterns. The only structure built entirely in the Safavid period is a Shabestan to the west of the south Eyvan called the Chehel Sotun (Hall of Forty Columns) of Shah Abbas I. We have not included this in our tour in Iran, but if you like, we will visit it.
The Imam Mosque (Shah Mosque) – Isfahan
Masjed e Jame’ e Abbasi (Abbasi Congregational Mosque) – famous as the Masjid-e Shah (Kings Mosque) – on the southern side of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is the culmination of mosque architecture and a showcase for Safavid period art and a must-visit in our tour in Iran. For this reason, we will visit this Isfahan attraction in our tour in Iran. Shah Abbas the Great ordered the construction of the edifice in 1020 AH (1612 Ad). It was not until after the Shah’s death that architects completed its decorations
The master architect was Ostad All Akbar of Isfahan. The area of the mosque is 12264 square meters. It has a classic four Eyvan (iwan) plan and each two small chambers flanks each iwan. Its features include cloisters, a dome and dome chamber, shabestans (oratories), an entrance portal and vestibule, two madresehs (seminaries). Each one has courtyard and alcove chambers, a pair of tall minarets on the entrance portal facing the Naqsh-e Jahan Square and another pair above the majestic southern eyvan.
The variety and richness of this mosque’s decorations, especially the stalactite faience and poly chrome and mosaic tile work and the magnificent inscriptions, are world famous. The most important space in the mosque is the dome chamber whose inside and poly chrome tile work has covered it. On the southwest side of the dome, there is a faience Mihrab (prayer niche). Next to it, there a splendid marble Minbar (pulpit) with exquisite carvings.
Faience covers inside and outside of the double-shelled dome. It has eight grilled windows on its drum – providing a dim, spiritual light for the interior. The following features covers and decorates the exterior of the dome from the chamber roof upwards: large and small arches beneath the drum; a decorative band of inscription going all around the drum.
There is another band with geometric patterns and some words in a geometric masonry script; arch-shaped windows with faience grilles and panels inscribed with the Great Salavat (praising of the Holy Prophet and His Progeny (pbut)); arabesque patterns; inscriptions in a geometric Kufic script; another decorative belt.
Moreover, another band of inscription with a white Thuluth script on a dark blue background and finally the onion shaped dome itself covered with blue glazed tiles decorated with dragon- mouth arabesque and floral patterns. Above all, the mosque has undergone damage and saw to itself restoration several times over the centuries – even recently.