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Motahari Mosque

Motahhari Mosque and College Historically known as the Masjid-e Sepah Salar (Mosque of the Commander-in-chief), and serving both as a mosque and a theological college, the Motah'hari Mosque with its eight minarets set close to each other is the largest and most important mosque in Tehran (3,700 square meters in area). Architecturally speaking, it includes elements from the Imam Mosque of Esfahan (former Masjed-e Shah), the style of the Haghia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul, and the facade execution style of Chahar Bagh Madrasah in Esfahan. Its minarets are not very high, nor very slim, but are capped by small pillared turrets. Yellow and blue are the dominant colors of the ceramics that cover them from top to bottom. Their beauty springs from the way they are grouped together. They are overlooked by a fairly flat-shaped cupola nearby. The mosque's varnished brickwork forms a simple interlaced design in delicate shades: light blue, ocher yellow, as well as an exceptional white. The entrance door is also covered with colored motifs in an overloaded style. The decoration of the minarets on both sides of the door is noteworthy. It is an intricate composition rather like a wallpaper design of the beginning of the century, with streamers and bouquets surrounding shields bearing minutely portrayed landscape and country scenes.

Morahhari Mosque and College Historically known as the Masjid-e Sepah Salar

Actually, there are few religious buildings of great importance in Tehran, but visitors not traveling outside the capital, should on no account miss visiting at least one mosque, so this recent one is at least worth mentioning.
Funds for its construction were provided by the enormously rich Mirza Hossein Khan, who had been in turn Naser ad-Din Shah's Grand Vizier, Minister for Foreign Affairs, and Commander-in-Chief (Sepah Salar). Built on the traditional four-Ivan plan around a large, arcaded court, the mosque was not completed until 1890. Its large prayer hall has 44 columns, and the top of one of its minarets was once one of the vantage points to see the new Tehran and the Alborz Mountains. The southwest Ivan leads into the spacious domed sanctuary chamber which has been re-tiled in and outside, during recent decades and now provides an excellent example of contemporary Iranian tilework, both haft range, and mosaic. The northeast Ivan opposite is surmounted by a tiled clock tower and flanked by a pair of small minarets. The scrupulous restoration carried out recently shows that modern craftsmen are as skillful as their ancestors were.
The Mosque's library houses over 5,000 manuscripts, some of which are unique. At present, students of theological sciences carry on with their courses here. Address: Southern end of the eastern side of Baharestan Square, downtown Tehran.