A visit to the oldest inhabited city – Yazd, and now we go and visit the to the oldest mosque in Iran – the Jameh (Friday) Mosque of nearby Nain
The city is not only famous for its fine silk carpets but for its Jameh Mosque. The outside is very simple and not as colorful as many I have seen so far. It’s design is known as the Khorasani style and was originally constructed in the 8th century AD. It’s basement is thought to have once been a fire temple so it was first used by members of the Zoroastrian faith. The mosque is without a three-sided Iwan and does not have the typical tiled dome or grand entrance to other mosques in the area.
This afternoon we had the place to ourselves. The alabaster stones found in the ceiling helps illuminate the area during the day when worshippers gather to pray during the hot summer and cold winter days. The details of the columns and the carvings on the wooden Minbar are a wonder to see in person.
Like many mosques, the Jameh Mosque transformed to what it is today over the centuries with each conqueror making their additions to the structure. The elaborate brick work seen on the columns and much of the interior inside were characteristic of the Seljuk period which was around the 11th century. The unusual octagon shaped minaret and wooden minbar was also added to 700 years ago.
Na’in is a natural compliment to seeing the Jameh Mosque found in Esfahan. I recommend seeing it first if you can. It’s makes a good rest stop on the trip between Esfahan and Yazd.
The controversial graffiti I referred to at the beginning: