The Vakil mosque, or masjid-i Vakil, is one of the most impressive places of worship in southwest Iran, at least architecturally. First built by the city’s great renovator, Karim Khan, and further decorated during the Qajar Dynasty, the mosque is situated next to the busy Vakil bazaar (bazar-i Vakil) and contains some of the finest tile and ceramic work in southwest Iran. The inner courtyard of the building is beautiful with multi-tiled alcoves and porches. The prayer hall is huge – 75 x 36 meters – and is supported by 48 columns. Inside the hall the mihrab, or the point in the wall indicating the direction of Mecca, is carved from a large stone brought from Azerbaijan. Whether you’re religious or not, the mosque is worth checking out if you end up visiting Shiraz.
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