The sheikh Lotfollah mosque, the smallest Iranian mosque, dominates the eastern side of Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Between 1602 and 1619, Shah Abbas I of Safavid dynasty ordered the construction of a mosque, and named it after a local clergyman of Lebanese origin, Sheikh Lotfollah. He was one of the biggest clergymen of Safavid dynasty that came to Iran after receiving an invitation from Shah Abbas with a promise of support and development in Shiite faith. Sheikh was later honored by Shah Abbas (his son in law) to supervise the royal mosque. During Safavid dynasty, Sheikh Lotfollah mosque was used as private section for Shah and his haram.
Between 1602 and 1619, Shah Abbas I of Safavid dynasty ordered the construction of a mosque, and named it after a local clergyman of Lebanese origin, Sheikh Lotfollah. He was one of the biggest clergymen of Safavid dynasty that came to Iran after receiving an invitation from Shah Abbas with a promise of support and development in Shiite faith.
From an architectural perspective, the mosque is quite simple; however, it is covered with majestic tile working. There is no four Iwan plan, no vaulted galleries, no open space and no minaret. The whole mosque covers an area of 1324 m2; the dome is 32 m high, 12 m long and is supported by 1.7 m walls. It has sixteen vaulted windows; the intertwinement of light and shadow gives the chamber a sense of solemnity, all who visit this mosque talk about its tranquility.
The huge dome stands on dome chamber and is reached by a corridor that starts from the portal entrance. In addition, the architect used two windows in the corridor to provide light to see the way and decorations. The wall and the dado are covered with mosaic tiles and enameled bricks that consist of arabesques and floral designs. The mihrab of the Sheikh Lotfollah is a high niche Mihrab, and its portal is covered with muqarnas and tilework.
One of the unique features of this mosque, like the Royal Mosque, is its 45-degree rotation on north-south axis that in local dialect is called Pashneh. It was made because the door faces east which is not aligned with the direction of Keble, to resolve it a corridor was built from the entrance of the mosque to the left, and then with a turn it went right.
The architect of the construct was Mohammad Reza Isfahani and the inscriptions were made with white tile on a blue background, and based on the Alireza Abbasi’s calligraphy. Alireza Abbasi was perhaps the most famous calligrapher of Shah Abbas’s reign. In the completion of the decorations, Bagher Banna, another famous calligrapher of the time had a great influence as well.