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Chahar Bagh Theological School, the Pinnacle of Elegance in Mosaic Work and Architecture

One of the most famous monuments of the Safavid era, which was constructed as the largest theological school of that age with 12,000 square meters of area, and 121 chambers as an endowment of Shah Sultan Hussein's mother, is situated on the eastern side of Chahar Bagh Boulevard. It was actually a part of a complex with a Caravansarei (the present Abbasi Hotel) and Bazaar e Honar. Therefore, in some references, it is called; "Madar-e Shah'. On both sides of its portal there are some poems with the following meaning:

The sky caring the pearl of sun akin to the sea in a shell.
The earth keeps Emam Ali (a.s.) like a Jewel so well.
The sun is shy of Emam's portrait (Najaf is shown to the moon,
so surely the sun shelters behind it soon.

The Yard of Chahar Bagh Theological School

It should be mentioned that Najaf is a city in Iraq where Emam Ali (a.s.) was buried. On the top of the portal, there is an inscribed date of 1710 A.D. In addition, some other dates were recorded inside until 1714 A.D. Generally, speaking it is a transcendental state of the art from the Safavid era as a detailed work, which reminds one of a kind of simplicity, calmness, and solidity as if one of the greatest secrets of Iranian art is hidden in each corner.

Free two-days tour in Isfahan

Chahar Bagh Theological School or Mother Mosque

'Gobineau' the French traveler in 1855 A.D. who visited there described it as:
“There is no imperfection (fault) at all, even as tiny as a piece of brick. It has such a position of great perfection, where the visitor does not find himself anywhere else so young, and I have always asked my son not to run there, for a probable vibration may cause a tile to fall and failure in its beauty."
One of the open canals of the city named; Farshadi passes through the courtyard with some plane trees so that the combination of green (trees), and blue (tiles and sky) induces the zenith of attraction in mind. It can be counted as the last glorious building of the Safavids, which is representative of the latest developments in the hand-made tiling industry of that epoch.

The wall decoration of Chahar Bagh Theological School

The chambers almost follow a unique architectural design, with room and a closet at the back, in a two storey plan, but there are some ornamental discrepancies. At the western corner, there is a chamber that belongs to Shah Sultan Hussein, who spent a part of his life. There as a theologian to participate in religious controversies. It was also narrated in some references that it was his prison were murdered by Afghans after the conquest of Esfahan. There is also a block of stone that served as a sundial, with a different shape from the other normal triangular sundials.

Chahar Bagh Theological School or Mother Mosque

The main door of the school is made of wood covered by a thin layer of silver filigree and some other unique patterns. There is another entrance on the northern part that opens into the Bazaar of Honar (Art) Arcade and dates back to 1709 A.D. According to the travelogue of Coste, during the reign of “Zel-ol-Sultan in Esfahan, some of the decorative elements were stolen, but fortunately discovered later during the reign of the Pahlavi Dynasty after long-term inspection, and reaffixed there. The school still functions as one of the active theological centers. The double-layer dome is considered to be the most beautiful dome from the viewpoint of composition, among the other existing double domes of the city: 38 meters high from the datum point of the courtyard to its outer peak, and 32 meters high to its inner peak. Thus, in some resources, it is accounted as the zenith of a typical domed structure in Esfahan.