Jameh Mosque of Kashan, an Artistic Expression of Iranian Architecture
Kashan is a city of dignified history and celebrated scientific and literary figures. However, there is room to grow in its presence in the tourism industry. This beautiful city has numerous historical monuments, many of which have been registered in the Iran national heritage list. Jameh Mosque of Kashan is one of the city’s unique historical monuments.
This mosque, also known as Juma Mosque or Friday Mosque, is located in the area of the Meydan Kohneh neighborhood near Baba Afzal Street. This building was listed on the national heritage list of Iran in 1936.
History of Jameh Mosque of Kashan
Jameh Mosque of Kashan is a historic building built over the remains of an ancient fire temple. It is believed that the building of the Jameh Mosque was constructed by the order of Safiye Khatun, the daughter of Malik al-Ashtar. The fire temple over which the mosque was built dates back to the pre-Islam Iran. Some experts speculate that this building belongs to the early centuries of post-Islam Iran.
The initial architectural style of this mosque belongs to the Seljuk period. It has been renovated several times. The most significant reconstruction of the building dates back to the 18th century AD and after the devastating 1778 Kashan earthquake. The Jameh Mosque of Kashan was heavily damaged by the earthquake. The major reconstruction of the mosque was carried out during the tenure of rulers such as Abdul Razzaq Khan and Karim Khan Zand.
Features of Jameh Mosque of Kashan Shabestan
Jameh Mosque of Kashan has a modest design with three shabestans (payer halls). The shabestans in this mosque each have unique features. We will briefly describe each of them:
Winter Shabestan: This prayer hall is so-called sunny, meaning it is built facing the sun. This makes it possible to utilize it in the cold seasons of the year.
Summer Shabestan: This prayer hall is facing away from the sun and is used in summer. The summer shabestan is located under the winter shabestan with very beautiful tile work. There are furnaces built into the floor that were used to bake clay and porcelain vessels in the past.
Columned Shabestan: This prayer hall is smaller than other ones and is famous for having beautiful columns.
Architectural Style and Features of Jameh Mosque of Kashan
Jameh Mosque of Kashan features distinctive architectural elements that are listed below:
High Iwan (Hall): This iwan is located on the west wing of the mosque. The iwan stands at 13.8 meters at its tallest point. This iwan has two floors, the first floor is 6.7 meters and stands 7.4 meters above the courtyard. The high iwan is decorated with exquisite brickwork.
Mihrab: In the past, this mosque had a mihrab (an altar built in the wall) that did not face the Qibla direction (direction of prayer). Therefore, it was decided to demolish the mihrab and build another mihrab next to it.
According to a popular belief, the demolished mihrab was facing Islam’s first qibla, Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. For this reason, this mihrab was demolished and a new mihrab was built in the direction of the Ka’aba. There is an inscription in this mihrab noting the change of Qibla direction, which is proof of this claim.
Minaret: The minaret of Jameh Mosque of Kashan has two shells in its facade and structure. The oldest inscription in the mosque is on this minaret. The date 466 AH (1073 AD) is engraved on this inscription and it is believed to date back to the Buyid period. This minaret is one of the oldest historical structures in Kashan.
The minaret in Jameh Mosque of Kashan is located in the southeast of the mosque. This minaret is made of bricks, each in the dimensions of about 32 x 32 x 7 cubic centimeters. The brick minaret of the mosque is the third oldest minaret in Iran with a date engraved on the inscription. The first and second minarets are, respectively, the minarets of the Historic Jameh Mosque of Saveh and the Great Mosque of Zavareh.
Hozkhaneh: Hozkhaneh or springhouse, which is also called summer residence, is a typical architectural feature in hot and dry areas. This structure is usually octagonal and is placed inside the building. The Hozkhaneh of this mosque is located in its center.
This mosque also includes a brick dome, a vast courtyard, and a Maqsurah (a protected prayer area for rulers, designed to prevent assassination attempts). There is also a modest and undecorated area in the mosque. It is believed that this was an area for the temporary residence of the Prophet of Islam.
Architectural Style of Jameh Mosque of Kashan
In terms of architecture, mosques are divided into the following six categories:
- Mosques with a combination of four vaults and iwans
- Mosques with columned shabestans
- Single Iwan mosques
- Double Iwan mosques
- Four-Iwan mosques
- Four-vault mosques
Jameh Mosque of Kashan is a four-vault mosque. These are usually mosques that were built over old fire temples. In fact, these are fire temples that were converted to mosques. The Izadkahst Mosque and Ardestan Mosque are famous examples of this architectural style.
Visit This Historical Monument
Jameh Mosque of Kashan is one of the historical and religious monuments of Kashan. It’s impossible to grasp the features of this mosque by reading an article, and you should visit this mosque to appreciate the beauty and elegance of this mosque. If you travel to Kashan on international Iran tour packages or personally, do not miss visiting this beautiful mosque.
The building of Jameh Mosque in Kashan can take you to the distant past (Seljuk period). Destination Iran recommends studying Kashan tourist attractions before traveling to this city in order to get acquainted with its other sights.
Where is The Jameh Mosque of Kashan?
Jameh Mosque of Kashan, which is also known as Kashan Friday Mosque, is located on Baba Afzal Street, in the Meydan Kohneh neighborhood. You can see the exact location of this mosque below:
Frequently Asked Questions About Kashan Jameh Mosque
To find answers to your other questions, contact us through the comments section of this post. We will answer your questions as soon as possible.
What is the historical period of the Jameh Mosque of Kashan?
Jameh mosque of Kashan is built on a fire temple of the pre-Islamic period in Iran. It has been said that Safiye Khatun, the daughter of Malik al-Ashtar, ordered the construction of this mosque.
What are the architectural features of the Jameh Mosque of Kashan?
The architectural style of the Jameh Mosque of Kashan belongs to the Seljuk period. There are three shabestans (prayer halls) in the mosque, each built for different usages, with unique characteristics. In addition to the high iwan, this mosque has a double-layered brick minaret, which according to the inscription on it, belongs to the Buyid period.
What do you know about the restoration history of the Jameh Mosque of Kashan?
The most significant restoration carried out on the Jameh Mosque dates back to the 18th century after the 1778 Kashan earthquake. The mosque was severely damaged in that earthquake. The main reconstruction of the mosque was done during the period of Abdul Razzaq Khan and Karim Khan Zand.