The wonders of the Vakil mosque are sure to impress anyone on a trip to Shiraz. Among the many wonderful monuments in Iran, this mosque occupies a prime place in the history of the country. Located adjacent to the Vakil Bazaar, this mosque is a reminder of the beautiful artwork created during the rule of the Zand dynasty.
Stretching over a huge 8,660 square meters, the building was started in 1751 and finally completed in 1773. The mosque earns its name from the name of Vakil taken on by the founder of the Zand dynasty, Karim Khan. He initiated many other attractive monuments in Shiraz along with this mosque.
Layout of the Mosque
The entrance gate of the Vakil mosque is very artistically decorated and is flanked on two sides by the left and right corridors. From here, you are led to the main room which has an altar. A tall pulpit (menbar) embedded with green marbles will greet your eyes and the speaker has to climb all the way up to sit there and face the people in the mosque.
The ambiance inside the mosque is very soothing and you will feel inclined to dream about the huge congregation of people who must have gathered there in the past to offer their prayers. Your artistic appreciation will be further strengthened when you notice the Koranic verses right on the entrance gate written in Sols and Nosakh scripts.
There is a prayer hall or Shabestan which covers an area of 2700 square meter. You will be awed by the marvelous construction of this hall which is supported by 48 similar tall stone pillars. The pillars meet with the gorgeous ceiling which also has a marble altar.
The craftsmanship has been so strong and solid that the mosque has withstood the ravages of the earthquakes in the area. It bears witness to the caliber of the artisans in the Zand era. You have to visit this building on your trip to Shiraz, which has been a part of the national heritage since 76 years ago.
Preserving the Relic
There has been a lot of renovation work done in recent times to maintain the ancient Vakil mosque. Improvements have been made to the tile works, lighting systems, plaster works, courtyard flooring and all such other aspects of the mosque to keep it in good condition. You have to stop to admire it on your trip to Shiraz.