19 April 2017

Impressions and Images of Iran: Masjed-e Nasir-ol-Molk in Shiraz

Shiraz was my next stop in my trip. After taking a taxi from Kerman, and visiting archaeological sites in between, I stayed for four nights, exploring the city slowly. As I was traveling for three weeks, I also didn't want to pack every day so for the next four days, I sight-seed and relaxed, reading my book, exploring the city slowly. One of the first things I saw in Shiraz was the Masjed-e Nasir-ol-Molk, or the Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque. This is also known as the Pink Mosque, and is one of the most photographed mosques in the country.

The Winter Prayer Hall is the most eye-catching, since the morning sunlight glares directly into the stained glass walls, creating these magnificent scenes. Photographers definitely love it. I am not sure whether this was intended when it was built back in the end of the 19th century during the Qajar Period, but in any case, it makes for a very popular place to take a photo.

It's actually very hard to take a photo here, mostly because of the crowds. I have to say I was dismayed by what I saw when it comes to the behaviors of other tourists. I have already ranted about Chinese tourists before, and I must say I didn't see good behavior here either. Most of them would take the Qur'an and use it as props for their photos, even though it's already clearly marked that the Qur'an shouldn't be used for photographs. The Iranians are just too polite to say anything, so even if the Chinese tourists were openly flaunting this rule, they were not saying anything. The photos I have above are some of the photos I had which didn't have as many people.

Aside from the stained glass windows, the ceiling and its tilework was also impressive. Check out my photos above, showing this aspect of the mosque.

Finally, here are some pictures from the museum that is installed in the opposite prayer hall, as well as the iwan outside at the courtyard. Not a lot of people venture here since they are all preoccupied with the Winter Prayer Hall, but nevertheless there are interesting things to see.

If ever you are in Shiraz, check this mosque out. Mornings are the best, because sometimes it is closed in the afternoon, and you also don't get the correct angle of the sunlight.


  1. Oh, wow! Amazing light. You bet photographers love it... I can't remember seeing stained glass windows in Mosques, I associate this to churches usually.

    1. Zhu,

      Yes, I must say this is an exception. I think stained glass is more a European tradition, and most mosques have tiles instead of glass. This place was different in that regard.