Wednesday, November 18, 2015

“Naghsh-e-Jahan Square”- Iran-Isfahan

By: Faezeh Ensafi

Previous week in the Research methods class, Craig asked me if I have experienced that a place or in the better word, an architecture made me cry. The first place that came to my mind was “Naghsh-e-Jahan” square, one of the most inspiring place that I have ever been in my life, in my home, Iran-Isfahan.
Among the cities of Iran, Isfahan holds an extremely distinguished place, originating in its emergence during the Sassanid period before the birth of Islam. During the reign of Shah Abbas, the new square of the city, a wide straight thoroughfare, the new quarters and the complicated networks of bazaars are the four strongest points for evolution of Isfahan 
The city's most splendid time began in 1598 when Shah Abbas the Great (1587-1629) decided to make it his capital and rebuilt it into one of the largest cities of the world. Previously, the old central square of the city lay besides the old Friday Mosque dating back to at least 1200 years and was believed to have been built on the site of Zoroastrian fire temple. Gradually, royal urban planners under Shah Abbas created the new heart of the city to the south of the old city center named Naghsh-e-Jahan square, an open space between the older Seljukid city center and the river. The considerable size of the square is about 1700 feet in length and 520 feet in width.
The orientation of Naqshe Jahan square is 45 degrees different from "Qebleh"'s ( the orientation which muslims must pray ) orientation . So the architect does an odd job : the two " minarets " which are visible from the Naqshe Jahan are just to introduce the entrance to the mosque , and to complete the symmetry with the opposite side of the square. When you enter to the Mosque, without even feeling it, the orientation changes to the Qebleh, so when you enter the main yard you can't recognize that the interior walls of the yard are not parallel with the walls of the Naqshe Jahan square. You see two other "Minaret" in the yard, and you can't believe your eyes when you see you are not the same way as you entered .
The scale of the mosque and the yard is very meaningful, to make you fall on your knees against your god . There is another interesting and strange fact about this place, and that is it’s acoustics. There is a point in the middle of the mosque which every whisper could be heard in every part of the interior space. It was used for the times that the Mullah of the mosque had a speech to make and everyone in the mosque could hear it .

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