The Shāh Chérāgh: The Holy Mosaic Art
The history of mosaic art in Iran can be traced back all the way to the country’s prehistoric roots. Mosaic art held a special place in the heart of Iranian culture, more so than other forms of decorative art, such as carvings and brickwork. More specifically, the application of mosaic tiles constituted the dominant form of architectural decoration; hence the expertise that tile-makers attained with the passage of time resulted in intricate mosaic designs, respectable crafting skills and the optimization of the meticulous manufacturing process.
Illustration of uniformed Persian warriors.
This ceramic tile was created at Ishtar Gate during the Persian-Greek Wars.
The evolution of the mosaic art form within the Iranian community was inherently rapid and the invention of mosaic patterns gradually augmented the creativity and imagination of the fore coming artisans. In the continuation, Iranian artisans exhibited a profoundly similar spiritual movement with the Renaissance – turning to the humanistic and natural realm to express their artistic inspirations. This was materialized by using various sizes of naturally colored stones in combination with various brick types. The Islamic period of Iran played a major role in the optimization of the art form; mosaic tiles became the trending form of decoration of colossal religious buildings. The Shāh Chérāgh is a mosque and a funeral monument in the city of Shiraz and constitutes a great example of Iranian mosaic artistry and its magnificent creations therein.
Mirror mosaics of Iranian art culture.
The story of Shāh Chérāgh Mosque (translated into “King of Light”) traces back to 900 BC, when citizens caught a string of light illuminating the location of the soon to be excavated tombs of two influential figures of Islam: Ahmad and Muhammad.
The revelation of the mosque had arisen from Queen Tashi Khatun, she envisioned a place that created a luminous, almost phosphorescent visual effect. This was done by externalizing light emerging from the fundamental part of the Mosque, the tombs, by sinking the murals of the mosque with millions of finely crafted mosaic tiles. As a result for thousands of years and even until now the Shāh Chérāgh Mosque is one of the most beautiful sites worldwide, expressing its magnificence in every sparkle of golden and green light.
Mosaics made of mirrors constitute a traditional manufacturing medium throughout the Persian Empire. Shāh Chérāgh is an avant –garde masterpiece, entirely covered with elaborate designs that overflow with color. Glass & mirrors portray a mind-blowing gleaming effect that is incomparable to any other holy interior space.
According to the ministry of tourism, it is the third most significant pilgrimage site established in Iran and according to us, the most magical one! The interior design of this particular mosque exceeds the limits of imagination and avant –garde seen anywhere in any place of worship on Earth.
Let’s explore this mesmerizing place of worship that intensifies not only your spirit, but also your visual senses…
o Stained-glass windows – a fancy mosaic is reflected by a plethora of mirrors…
o Luxurious ceiling assembling numerous windows to allow light to spread into the space whilst magnifying and enhancing a unique scintillation effect.
o Magical optical illusions …
o The dominant green shade in the image above, would under other circumstance be considered monotonous, however vibrancy is retained by sparks of pink inclusions created by reflections of light revealing a sense of blossoming on the walls.
Despite being damaged by human intervention and natural disasters over the centuries, the mosque has been maintained in good shape and renovated in various of its areas, nonetheless it still shines brighter than ever. The increasingly sprawling site is still an extremely important pilgrimage location for Muslims; however visitors of many faiths make their way to discover the marvel and sheer beauty of this glassy wonder.
Got inspired by reading about this glamorous holy mosaic?
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