Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Iranian architecture that was built during the Safavid Empire, standing on the eastern side of Naghshe Jahan Square, Esfahan, Iran. Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1619. It was built by the chief architect Shaykh Bahai, during the reign of Shah Abbas I of Persia. On the advice of Arthur Upham Pope, Reza Shah Pahlavi had the mosque rebuilt and repaired in the 1920s.
- Sheikh Lotfollah
Throughout its history, this mosque has been referred to by different names. For Junabadi it was the mosque with the great dome and the domed mosque, while contemporary historian Iskandar Munshi referred to it as the mosque of great purity and beauty. On the other hand, European travelers, such as Jean Chardin referred to the mosque using the current name, and Quranic inscriptions within the mosque, done by Iranian calligrapher Baqir Banai, also include the name of Sheikh Lotfallah. In addition, the reckonings of Muhibb Ali Beg, the Imperial Treasurer, show that the Imam’s salary came directly from the imperial household’s resources. All this suggests that not only was the building indeed named after Sheikh Lotfallah, but also, that this famous imam was among the first prayer-leaders for the royal court in this very mosque.