The blue mosque
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the blue mosque

The Blue Mosque is the only noteworthy Qara Qoyunlu structure still standing in Tabriz. The city was the capital of several dynasties from the 13th to the 16th century. The mosque was built at the order of the Qara Qoyunlu ruler Jahanshah in 1465.

It is part of the Moẓaffariya complex which includes a khanqah (a Sufi convent), a madrasa (a religious school), a hammam (a bathhouse) and a qanat (an underground canal). But today only the mosque is still standing.

The construction of the complex continued even after the Aq Qoyunlu conquers of Tabriz. The Blue Mosque seems to be more inspired by the tradition of Ottoman architecture than Iranian architectural style. The T-shape floor plan, the façade with two tall minarets and the use of domes for the whole roof area all are elements of Ottoman architecture. Gilded, mosaic, blue and white, and lusterware tiles are the dominant ornamental features of the mosque. However, only a few decorative tiles remain in the mausoleum and luster-ware tiles only remain on the base of pillars in the pishtaq of the mosque. Moreover, the portal flaunts remnants of the blue majolica tiles which give the mosque its nickname. But the building including the entrance suffered serious damage in an earthquake in the late 18th century.

The building is located within the city’s historic neighborhood. It is in walking distance of Azerbaijan Museum, Arg-e Tabriz, the Measure Museum, and Sa’at Tower. Adjacent to the mosque is Khaqani Park which honors dignified 12th-century Azeri-Persian poet Shirvani Khaqani. The small garden offers a tranquil atmosphere for locals to spend a relaxing evening and attend poetry sessions and other cultural events.

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