Photographer's Note

Yesterday I showed the area outside the mosque, now the magnificent interior. I took only a few pictures. Our guide didn't know that the mosque was open for non-Muslim visitors only three hours a day, from 8 till 11 a.m. We came a bit late and we had not enough time to walk around as long as I would like. I was rather annoyed. There is a big main chandelier under the dome and many smaller side chandeliers. The dome is supported by very massive columns. The visitors are allowed to move only along the walls, not in the middle.

A major feature of the design of the interior is the prayer carpet which covers the floor of the prayer hall. It contains, 1,700,000,000 knots, weighs 21 tonnes and took four years to produce, and brings together the classical Persian Tabriz, Kashan and Isfahan design traditions. 28 colors in varying shades were used, the majority obtained from traditional vegetable dyes. It used to be the largest single-piece carpet in the world, but is now the second, after the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi, the UAE. This hand-woven carpet was produced by Iran Carpet Company (ICC) at the order of the Diwan of the Royal Court of Sultanate. The carpet measures over 70 by 60 metres.

The chandelier above the praying hall is 14 metres tall and was manufactured by the Italian company Faustig. Since the mosque is 90 metres (300 feet) high, the chandler looks proportional, but it used to be the world's largest chandelier, before again being replaced in this respect by the Sheikh Zayed Mosque in Abu Dhabi. It weighs 8.5 tons, includes 600,000 crystals, 1,122 halogen bulbs complete with dimming system, and includes a staircase for maintenance within the chandelier. Thirty-four smaller chandeliers of the same design are hung in other parts of the building. (Wikipedia)
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Additional Photos by Malgorzata Kopczynska (emka) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 12752 W: 133 N: 32971] (151161)
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