(Persia Digest) - Agha Bozorg mosque and theological school, located in the historic city of Kashan, southern Iran, is one of the historic and religious monuments of the Qajar era, which has been built using traditional Iranian architectural styles and is considered one of the most magnificent structures of Iran.
Agha Bozorg mosque and school was constructed for prayers, preaching and teaching sessions held by Molla Mahdi Naraghi known famously by his title of Āghā Bozorg [big or great lord] during the Qajar era in 1834.
At the main entrance of the mosque, there is a pair of exquisite wooden doors, decorated with Girih tiles and studs. Based on the written sources, six thousand and 666 doornails were used on the doors, which is the number of verses of the Holy Quran.
At the top of the mosque’s entrance, above the portal, there is a stone inscription that has a tax exemption order by Mohammad Shah Qajar, upon which butchers and tanners in Kashan have been exempted from paying taxes. The mosque has a beautiful portal decorated with gypseous suspended Moqarnas and paintings. The forecourt’s walls, from the inscription above the portal to the bottom of the podiums beside the doorway, are covered with Alvan adobe tiles.
All the structure, including the dome, which is one of the largest brick domes, is made of bricks, and many decorations such as Qashani, brickworks, exquisite gypsum and tile inscriptions, Moqarnas, Thuluth and Nastaʿlīq Calligraphy, and paintings are used in this structure.
Upon entering the mosque, you can see two upper and lower courtyards and a magnificent brick dome and tall tiled minarets. The structure is made in the style of a sunken courtyard. The ground floor is the location of the mosque and the lower part or the sunken courtyard is the location of the school and talabeh’s [students of religion] residence.
A prominent feature of the mosque is the special architecture of the Gonbad-Khaneh [vault], which is erected on eight massive columns, so that cool air flows in the spaces in the hot seasons in the desert region of Kashan.
The special style of the mosque’s architecture, the magnificence and grandeur of the spaces, the proportions used in its architecture, along with the beautiful brick and Qashani decorations has made this mosque one of the most important and valuable Islamic architectural structures in Iran.
Agha Bozorg mosque and school was registered on 3 December 1951, with the number 382 on the National Iranian Heritage List.
Photos: Bahman Sadeghi / Anna
Ehsan Rasouli / IRNA