Blue Mosque

Mosque in Tabriz

When constructed for ruler Jahan Shah in 1465, the Blue Mosque with its intricate turquoise mosaics was one of the most famous buildings of its era. Unfortunately, it was badly damaged in an earthquake in 1773, leaving only the main iwan (entrance hall) and Jahan Shah's tomb intact. Restoration has been slow, and though the main structure is complete again, the once-brilliant external mosaics are only visible on the original iwan.

Once the mosque was built, artists took a further 25 years to cover every surface with the blue majolica tiles and intricate calligraphy for which it was nicknamed. The interior is also blue, and missing patterns have been laboriously painted onto many lower sections around the few remaining patches of original tiles. A smaller domed chamber away from the entrance once served as a private mosque for the Qareh Koyunlu shahs.