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Vakil mosque, stunning Zand-era example of Islamic architecture

Granted, Nasir ul-Molk mosque is stunning, especially if you go early in the morning when the sun seeps through the stained-glass windows creating gorgeous reflections on the carpet. However, Shiraz boasts yet another historical worship place that remains unfairly underrated, Vakil mosque.

The entrance to Vakil mosque at night
The entrance to Vakil mosque at night

Vakil mosque is located close to Vakil Bazaar in their namesake historical neighbourhood developed by the Zand-dynasty shah Karim Khan, still beloved in the area for all his hard work in making the city a trading hub.

Vakil mosque might not be as famous as Nasir ul-Molk, but for sure it’s as worth visiting as its more popular counterpart.

Inside Vakil mosque at night
Inside the mosque at night

Vakil Mosque History and Architecture

Wanted by shah Karim Khan, one of the most cherished and respected crowns of the recent Persian history, Vakil mosque complex is about 11,000 square meters and was built in 1773. In 2015 the complex went under a full renovation work and for some time the mosque floor wasn’t covered with the traditional carpet necessary for the prayer, but yet the sand-hued stones it’s made of made the view no less than stunning.

Wider than Nasir ul-Mulk, Vakil mosque counts some 48 imposing pillars and a menbar (pulpit) with fourteen marble stairs that completed the scene of luxury and royal majesty.

The forest of pillars of Vakil mosque
A forest of pillars populated the interior of Vakil mosque

Vakil mosque offers its visitors a magical atmosphere at night while during the day it’s possible to fully admire the architecture, sophisticated decorations and the forest of pillars that populates its interior.

Entrance to the complex is 50,000 Iranian Rials (some 1,50 € or around 1,60 USD), this is the only mosque where I was asked to wear the chador, full-length piece of fabric that covers up to your feet, and is provided at the entrance.

Before you can go yourself, enjoy some of the shots I took inside the mosque.

A forest of pillars in Vakil mosque
A forest of pillars
The beautiful ceiling of Vakil mosque
The beautiful ceiling
Detail of the interior decoration of Vakil mosque
Detail of the interior decoration
More from inside Vakil mosque
source: chasingtheunexpected.com