Masjed-e Nasir-al-Molk

sights / Religious

Lonely Planet review

Down the road from the Madraseh-ye Khan is one of the most elegant and photographed mosques in southern Iran. Built at the end of the 19th century, its coloured tiling (an unusually deep shade of blue) is exquisite. There are some particularly fine muqarnas in the smallish outer portal and in the northern iwan, but the stained glass, carved pillars and polychrome faience of the winter prayer hall are the most eye-catching features. Photographers should come as early as possible in the morning for shots of the hall lit up through the glass (you might have to tip the caretaker to open the curtains). A museum in the opposite prayer hall opens into the Gav Cha (Cow Well), in which cows walked downhill to raise the water. The structure has survived numerous earthquakes, due in part to its construction using flexible wood as struts within the walls – look for the wooden bricks in the iwan columns.

Don’t rely on the mosque’s official opening hours. Basically, it’s open whenever the elderly caretakers are on-site. Mornings are best.