Yazd: Masjid-i-Jami, 1324-1364 - portal

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Pope, Arthur Upham
Photographer: Arthur Llewellyn Basham

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Like so many important mosques, the Masjid-i-Jami at Yazd was the focus of a complex of buildings of various styles and periods. The site of a Sasanian fire temple, it also saw a period of great wealth and power under the Saffavids. Its major features, however, were begun in 1324 and continuously developed for forty years, even after the dissolution of Il Khanid power. A portal ivan opens into a court at right angles to the main axis. A high ivan vault, leading into the domed sanctuary, focused on one of the finest mosaic faience mihrabs (1365). On either side were oratories, both distinguished by transverse vaults at right angles to the longitudinal axis - a brilliant innovation of Sasanian times that covers with adequate strength a wide span. The high walls being thus relieved of structural function it was possible (in the south oratory) to cut windows into either end of the vault. The ivan and sanctuary are especially marked by the urge to verticality and the portal minarets are the highest in Iran. The ivan tunnel vault is exceptionally high for its width.

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Mediaeval architecture, architecture, book scan

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This image is provided for research purposes only and must not be reproduced without the prior permission of the Archives Program, Australian National University.

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