Agha Bozorg Mosque

Kashan, Iran | C.1799

Photo Credit: Cian Maher

Agha Bozorg Mosque is known for its precise and symmetrical architecture. Built in the late 18th century by master “mi’mar” (the Persian word for architect) Ustad Haj Sa’ban-ali, the 5-story mosque is often studied for its elegant yet functional design.

Agha Bozorg was built for prayers, preaching, and teaching sessions held by Molla Mahdi Naraghi II. He was famously known by his title of Agha Bozorg, meaning “big” or “great lord,” a name that was given to him by the Shah himself.

The mosque has been described as one of the finest Islamic complexes in Kashan and is admired for its design. It consists of two large “iwans,” or rectangular halls, usually vaulted, walled on three sides, with one end entirely open. One of the iwans is in front of the mihrab, the semicircular niche that indicates the qibla, or direction towards Mecca and the direction Muslims face when praying.

Agha Bozorg also houses a theological school in the center of the mosque. It was in this school that the famous Persian architect Ustad Ali Maryam began his studies. The mosque has hosted many great people from kings to architects to those known for their strength. Today, many local and international visitors continue to visit the mosque to take in its architectural grandeur.

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