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Photographer: Amin Malekzadeh
Vakil Mosque (Persian: مسجد وکیل, [Masjed-e Vakil]) or Soltani Mosque is a historical mosque related to the Zandieh era )Around 1773) in Shiraz. This mosque was built under the order of Karim Khan Zand. This mosque is located in the west of Vakil Bazaar and at the end of the Rasteh Bazaar Shamshirgarha (a series of shops selling swords). The plan of this mosque has two porches (Iwans) and has two Shabestans (prayer hall), south and east.
The southern shabestan with 48 integrated stone pillars in spirals is one of the features of Iranian architecture and one of the spectacular parts of this mosque. The area of this shabestan is about 5,000 square meters. The marble Minbar (pulpit) with a flight of fourteen integrated steps is among the beauties of the shabestan. The winter shabestan of Vakil Mosque is made of a brick roof. This shabestan has 12 pillars of the same shape and size. The height of each of these twelve columns is 5 meters. Above the door and the walls of this shabestan, there are inscriptions decorated with Āyah (verses) of the Holy Qur’an.
On the north side of the mosque, a long and monumental arch is constructed, known as the Taq-e Morvarid (Pearl Arch). Around this arch, a Surah (the equivalent of a chapter in the Quran) is written in a crescent shape, large font size, and the Thuluth script.
This mosque is located in one of the social complexes of Shiraz city, which has created a beautiful harmony in the connection between religion and lifestyle. The north and south iwans and courtyards are decorated with typical eye-catching Shirazi Haft Rangi and moarraq tiles.
Vakil Mosque in Shiraz has an area of 11,000 square meters and 8660 meters of built-up area. The different parts of this historical building are the entrance, corridor, courtyard, large shabestan, winter shabestan, mihrab, marble minbar, backyard, two Iwans (porches), Taq-e Morvarid, and so on. Although all parts of the Vakil Mosque have a gorgeous decoration, the three magnificent arches are breathtaking. These arches include the entrance door arch, the Taq-e Morvarid, and the entrance arch to the large shabestan. The unique decorations of this mosque are stunning tiles, carvings of 48 columns of the shabestan, a large pool, and integrated marble mihrab and monumental inscriptions in three different scripts.
The most considerable difference between Vakil Mosque in Shiraz and most Iranian mosques is the lack of a dome. This mosque has two Goldastehs (Minaret) about 20 meters long and tiled on a Taq-e Morvarid.
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