friday mosque, isfahan, iran, october 2007
interior of the northern dome chamber of the friday mosque (seen from the outside in the previous photo).
this solemn space is a persian classic: it features a round dome on a square plan, an ancient architectural problem first solved in iran by zoroastrian builders. the fame of this particular dome rests - apart from its old age - on the elegance and unity of the transition from square to circular dome.
the seljuk builders (a period roughly equivalent to our romanesque) used brickwork for both construction and decoration adding greatly to the sense of unity. my guess is the masonry was not as dark originally, the light dies out very quickly.