Virtual Tourist

It’s Totally Worth Clicking To See The Inside Of This Mosque

Once you see it you’ll get why it’s called ‘King of the Light.’

Security issues, strict visa requirements and strained relationships with the West are just a few of the reasons why it can be so difficult for travelers to visit Iran.

That’s a shame, because the Middle Eastern country is home to some of the most spectacular monuments in the entire Islamic world. One of the most beautiful is Shāh Chérāgh, a mosque and mausoleum in the ancient Persian city of Shiraz.

Shāh Chérāgh is the third most important pilgrimage site in all of Iran, but its interior is so beautiful that seeing it is a transcendent experience for Muslims and non-Muslims alike.

Check out the interior, which basically looks like a diamond bomb exploded:

fukenoyu
IslamSciFi

The mosque’s history is just as dramatic as its interior design. It begins in the year 900, long before the country we know as Iran was even created. That year, an ayatollah who was traveling near Shiraz saw a light coming from the ground. The spot where the light was coming from turned out to be the grave of an important Muslim figure, so a shrine was built around the grave. Or so the legend has it.

Four hundred years later, a Muslim queen named Tash Khātūn built a mosque and a divinity school around the shrine. The queen ordered construction workers to cover the interior of the complex with mirrors and mosaics that would reflect as much light as possible:

Amusing Planet

Today, the complex is blanketed in millions of tiny shards of mirror, lapis lazuli, colored glass and blue tile mosaics:

IslamSciFi

The mausoleum-cum-holy-place has been dubbed “the Disco Ball Mosque” for its dazzling interior. You can see why!

Wikipedia

Since the Shāh Chérāgh is a working mosque, travelers to the site will see Muslim pilgrims worshipping during their visit. “You’ll witness the faithful Shiite mourning and paying respects for the martyrdom of their historical clerics” who are said to be buried there, wrote one visitor on the travel forum TripAdvisor.

Panoramio

Now that you’ve seen the inside, you’ll understand why Shāh Chérāgh literally translates to “King of the Light.”

Maybe it’s worth all the paperwork to get that visa to Iran after all…