The Blue Mosque is a very famous mosque in the city of Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province. It dates back to Kara Koyunlu reign, an Oghuz Turk tribe that ruled over West and North-West of Iran about 1375 to 1468. The mosque was built at the time of Sultan Jahanshah, the third Kara Koyunlu’s king, and under the order of king ‘wife, Jan Beygom Khatun. Although, some believes that the mosque was built by the order of King’s daughter, Salehe. There is an inscription remained from the time of its construction that mentions the time of its completion to be in the 15th century.
The Blue Mosque that in Farsi is referred to as Masjed-e Kabud, takes its name from the many blue and turquoise tiles that have been applied in its creation. The beautiful blue tiles are adorned with magnificent calligraphy in different styles and in white color. In fact, the blue mosque was part of a large complex that used to be known as Mozafariyeh complex. It included several constructs such as School, Library, Mosque, Monastery, Caravanserai, Bath House, Courtyard, Cemetery, Gardens, and Square. The famous Silk Road passed near this place as well which is the reason behind the growth of the place. From the great complex just this mosque is remained.
The Architectural Style of the mosque is known as Razi, which is a form of Iranian architecture dating back to Mongol period. A style that focuses on details, the decoration of domes and vaults became more lavish in this style. This mosque includes a staircase, portal entrance, Iwan, side prayer halls, two dome chambers and a courtyard that is shaped like a square having a small pool in the middle of it. The most notable part of this construct was its two dome and dome chambers that the larger one was a mosque and the second one was a tomb.
The main dome has a big prayer hall or Shabistan while the southern one possesses a smaller dome chamber. The southern part of the mosque has a basement with two tombs belonging to the royal family, Jahan Shah and his daughter that were found at the time of mosque’s restoration. This style of architecture today is known as mosque-tomb or mosque-monument.
Beside the mentioned two domes, there are seven shorter domes that cover the prayer halls in the east and west sides of the main courtyard and entrance. The only way to access into dome chamber is the Iwan of north side. It seems the Blue mosque used to have two minarets on either side of the entrance that nothing is remained of. In 1780, an earth quack shook Tabriz and the mosque was heavily damaged, nearly nothing was left of the many domes of the construct. From 1939, the restoration of the mosque began to protect the remaining sections that are just arches and pillars.
The entrance of mosque is adorned with mosaic tilling and an inscription that was decorated with Reqa, one of the six scripts of Islamic calligraphy that belongs to 15th centuries. The description of this complex was mentioned in several historical sources, among which Rozat al Jenen, meaning Flowers of paradise, is perhaps the most famous one. In the book, the beauty of the complex is described. Numerous travel books of famous 17th century traveler like Tavernier mention the name of the place as well. In 1931, this mosque was registered as a National Heritage by Iranian Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization. Today the highlight of the mosque is it beautiful, tall portal entrance and the magnificent tiling of both portal and ceilings that is a combination of gold and azure blue.