Blue Mosque of Tabriz
The Blue Mosque has long been distinguished for the grandeur of its intricate blue tile work and calligraphy for which it is nicknamed. The ornament took artists about a quarter century to cover every surface.
Completed in c. 1465 it is remarkable for its simplicity, brickwork, and great size as well. The mosque survived a devastating earthquake in 1727. However, many parts of it caved in due to a quake struck later in the same century. Many parts of the structure were rebuilt in 1973.
In the southern part of the mosque lies a time-honored mausoleum, itself a source of splendor. It is entirely covered with massive marble slabs on which verses from the Holy Quran have been engraved with a background of fine arabesques.
Mahmud Ghazan, who was the seventh ruler of the Mongol Empire’s Ilkhanate, made Tabriz his capital in the late 13th century.
In 1392, the city was taken by a Turkic conqueror named Timur (Tamerlane) and some decades later the Kara Koyunlu Turkmen chooses it as their capital. The Blue Mosque was built under their rule.
Tabriz retained its administrative status under the Safavid dynasty until 1548, when Shah Tahmasb I who enjoyed the longest reign of any member of the dynasty, moved his capital westward to Qazvin.
During the next two centuries, Tabriz changed hands several times between Iran and the Ottoman Empire.
The diverse Kufic, and Thuluth scripts, the arabesque patterns, and the chromatic compositions of these facades were created by Nematollah-ben-Mohammad-ol-Bavab, the famous calligrapher. The walls inside and outside had been covered with mosaic tiles.