10 Most Amazingly Beautiful Mosques Worldwide | Beautiful Mosques in the World
Mosque is an integral part of Islamic world. Since the construction of Masjid-E-Nabwi by Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), you can see evolution of the Mosque Architecture. Modern designs of Mosques have evolved over the centuries by the efforts of architects, builders, engineers, craftsmen and artists. The great artists Mimar Sinan, Ustad Ahmed Lahori and Sheikh-e-Bahai have left the everlasting impact on mosque architecture.
Three greatest empires of the world during pre-modern era were Ottoman Empire, Mughal Empire and Safavid Empire. All of these were the most modern, powerful and wealthy empires of their times. These empires were the land based empires and are also known as Gun Powder Empires (1450-1750) due to the massive use of cannons and handguns. These empires left the great cultural and architectural legacies.
What these empires built is still copied and idolized. The modern Mosques around the world are just the modern versions of what Ottomans, Safavids and Mughals built. There are 1000’s of beautiful Mosques around the world, but we will only discuss the 10 of the most beautiful Mosques in the world that were built by the three great empires. These Mosques are also the top tourist attractions as millions of people visit them every year. 10 Most Amazingly Beautiful Mosques Worldwide.
Sultan Bayezid 2 Mosque Istanbul Turkey (1501-1506)
Sultan Bayezid 2 Mosque is now the original oldest mosque in Istanbul. This is because Sultan Ayup and Sultan Fatih Mosques were destroyed by the earthquakes and was not rebuilt according to original designs. Sultan Bayezid 2 Mosque was commissioned by the 8th Ottoman Sultan and second Muslim ruler of Istanbul, Sultan Bayezid 2. The royal architect was Hayreddin. The mosque set the example of main prayer chamber, beautiful courtyard, domes and pencil shaped minarets that were later widely copied in Ottoman Mosques. Shahzade Mosque Istanbul has architectural inspiration from Sultan Bayezid 2 Mosque. 10 Most Amazingly Beautiful Mosques Worldwide.
Selimiye Mosque Edirne Turkey (1569-1575)
Selimiye Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim 2 in the old Ottoman capital Edirne. According to Mimar Sinan, Selimiye Mosque was his masterpiece work. Selimiye Mosque had the largest dome in the world at that time. The four tall minarets of Selimiye Mosque are equally striking that frame the main prayer chamber. This mosque is widely copied in the world. Shah Faisal Mosque Pakistan, Nizamiya Mosque Turkey and Mimar Sinan Mosque Turkey have architectural inspiration from Selimiye Mosque. 10 Most Amazingly Beautiful Mosques Worldwide.
Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmed Mosque Istanbul Turkey (1609-1616)
Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Mosque was commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed 1 and architect was Sedefkar Mehmed Aga. The mosque is called as Blue Mosque due to the use of blue tiles. After the disastrous treaties with Habsburg Empire and Safavid Empire in early 17th century, Sultan Ahmet 1 commissioned the mosque as thanks giving for empire’s survival. Blue Mosque is generally considered as the most beautiful Mosque of the world due to its symmetry, beautiful domes and 6 minarets. Blue Mosque, Masjid-E-Haram and Masjid-E-Nabvi are the three mosques that are mostly knitted on the prayer rugs. Blue Mosque can accommodate 10,000 worshipers. Sabanci Mosque Adana and Camlica Republic Mosque have the architectural inspiration from Blue Mosque. 10 Most Amazingly Beautiful Mosques Worldwide.
Yeni Mosque or New Mosque Istanbul Turkey (1597-1665)
Yeni Mosque or New Mosque is the imperial Mosque in Istanbul. It was commissioned by the mother of Sultan Muhammad 3 in 1597. As this Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Mother, this is why it is also known as Valide Sultan Mosque. Unfortunately construction work was not completed due to government changes and economic conditions of the empire. Later in 1660 mother of Sultan Muhammad 4 started the construction work and mosque was opened in 1665. At that time it was called as New Valide Sultan Mosque and later just as New Mosque or Yeni Camii. The architects were Davut Agha & Mustafa Agha. The Mosque has beautiful design that resembles the style of Shehzade Mosque built in 1539 by Mimar Sinan. Mosque can be distinguished by its beautiful symmetry and 2 minarets. Fatih Mosque Istanbul (rebuilt in 1771) has architectural inspiration from New Mosque.
Wazir Khan Mosque Lahore Pakistan (1634-1635)
Wazir Khan Mosque was commissioned by Emperor Shah Jahan 1 and was constructed by Wazir Khan the governor of Punjab. Wazir Khan Mosque is considered as one of the most richly decorated buildings of the world. Mosque’s interiors and exteriors are decorated in floral patterns and beautiful calligraphy. The Mosque can accommodate 5000 worshipers and was the largest mosque of Lahore before the construction of Badshahi Masjid. UNESCO and Walled City Lahore Authority have restored the mosque to its formal glory. Bahria Grand Mosque Lahore has architectural inspiration from Wazir Khan Mosque.
Shah Jahan Mosque Thatta Pakistan (1644-1647)
Shah Jahan Mosque Thatta is generally considered as the most beautiful Mosque of Province Sindh, Pakistan. Mosque has no minarets but main prayer chamber and central courtyard. The mosque is built of local materials like red bricks and beautiful blue & green tiles. Like Wazir Khan Masjid Lahore, Shah Jahan Masjid Thatta has beautiful interiors. Geometric patterns have been used in the interiors. Different areas and domes have different interior styles but color scheme is the same. Numerous Mosques in Sindh have architectural inspiration from Shah Jahan Mosque Thatta.
Jama Masjid Delhi India (1644-1656)
During mid-17th century, Shah Jahan started the construction of a new capital city, Shah Jahan Abad. In this new capital, Shah Jahan also commissioned the grand mosque known as Jama Masjid Delhi. The architect was Ustad Ahmad Lahori. Jama Masjid is famous for its grandeur and monumental scale. The mosque has a square plan with main prayer chamber and vast courtyard. Main prayer chamber is on one side of the square, whereas three entrances are on other 3 sides. The main prayer chamber has two minarets and four canopies can be seen on all four corners of the mosque. Jama Masjid can accommodate 25,000 worshipers. Taj-UL-Masjid Bhopal has architectural inspiration from Jama Masjid Delhi.
Badshahi Mosque Lahore Pakistan (1671-1673)
Badshahi Mosque was commissioned by the 6th Mughal Emperor Alamgir 1 AKA Aurangzeb and architect was his foster brother Fadai khan Koka. Mosque’s plan is similar to that of Jama Masjid Delhi. The main prayer chamber can accommodate 5000 worshipers and 95,000 in the vast courtyard. Badshahi Masjid was the largest Mosque of the world from 1673 to 1986, when it was surpassed by Faisal Mosque Islamabad, Pakistan. The main prayer chamber has three domes. Central dome is the largest dome of Mughal Empire and even small domes are larger than the famous dome of Taj Mahal. The most striking feature of the Mosque is the 4 tall minarets on 4 corners of the Mosque. Sheikh Zayed Mosque Dubai has architectural inspiration from Badshahi Mosque.
Shah Mosque or Imam Mosque Isfahan Iran (1611-1629)
Shah Abbas the great moved his capital from Qazvin to Isfahan in 1598. Shah Abbas I commissioned the grand mosque in the new capital of Safavid Empire. The architect was Sheikh-E-Bahai. After the Iranian Revolution in 1979, Mosque’s name was changed to Imam Mosque. Unlike the monumental scale of Mughal and Ottoman Mosques, Shah Abbas I had more aspiration for aesthetics and interiors. The Mosque architecture is highly inspired from Timurid Architecture of Central Asia. The most prominent feature of the mosque is its decorated main dome. The blue and green tiles are extensively used in Shah Mosque. Numerous Mosques in Iran have architectural inspiration from Shah Mosque Isfahan.
Pink Mosque or Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque Shiraz Iran (1876-1888)
Pink Mosque or Nasir-ol-Molk Mosque in Shiraz was commissioned by Nasir-ol-Molk, generally known as the minister of Shah Naseer-UD-Din Qajar. The architect Mohammad Hasan-E-Mimar constructed the mosque in late 19th century from 1876 to 1888. The most striking feature of the mosque is the extensive use of colored glasses in windows and doors. When light passes through glasses, it gives the pink color feeling. This is why that the mosque is known as Pink Mosque. Pink Mosque has no monumental scale but very beautiful interiors. Pink Mosque like many Persian Palaces is one of the most beautiful buildings of 19th century. Numerous Mosques in Iran have architectural inspiration from Pink Mosque in Shiraz Iran.