It is not certain when the Great Mosque of Kashan was built, but the literary record suggests that the building has existed in some form since the earliest period of Muslim occupation in the seventh/first century AH.1 The earliest date that appears on the mosque is 1073-1074/466 AH, on an inscription on the minaret, which is thought to be the oldest extant part of the building. Many changes occurred after this point, including extensive restorations to the building after an earthquake in 1778/1192 AH.
Visitors enter the mosque through an arched portal on its southeast side. The portal's vaulted ceiling is made of decorative brickwork. This portal leads onto a flight of stairs that ascends to a central courtyard surrounded by arcades, well above the level of the street. On the southwest side of the courtyard, a large, ornately decorated iwan gives access to a domed chamber before the mihrab. Occupying the northwestern side of the courtyard is the facade of mosque's hypostyle prayer halls. The northeastern side of the courtyard, opposite the qibla, has three arches leading onto three shallow iwans, the central one being broader and taller than the two flanking it. Several iwans, narrower than they are deep, open onto the southeastern side of the courtyard (one of these being the stairway from the entrance portal).
The prayer halls on the northwestern side of the courtyard are on two levels. Two spacious covered halls (shabestan) occupy the main level of the mosque. Below the eastern hall, a sardab houses another hypostyle hall with vaults of brickwork.
The mosque's historic brick minaret rises from a plinth on the eastern side of the building, near the northern end of the courtyard. Its tapering cylindrical shaft is decorated with brickwork ornamentation in a zig-zag pattern.
Beheshti, Oksana. Travel Guide to Esfahan, Kashan and More, 180. Tehran: Rowzaneh, 2003.
Haeri, Mohammad-Reza. "Kashan v. Architecture (2) Historical Monuments." Encyclopaedia Iranica, 2012, XVI/1, pp. 12-21.
Ḥājjī-Qāsimī, Kāmbīz, ed. Ganjnāmah-i farhang-i ās̲ār-i miʻmārī-i Islāmī-i Īrān. Vol. 8, 64-69 [English text: 124-129]. Tehran: Dānishgāh-i Shahīd Bihishtī, 2004.
Nārāqī, Ḥasan. Āsār-i tārikhī-i shahristānhā-yi Kāshān va Naṭanz, 113-120. [Tehran: Anjumān-i āsār-i millī, 1348/1969].
- August 2018 (AKDC staff): Data edited (geographic data added, alternate names updated); description compiled.
- January 2019 (AKDC staff): Data edited (dates of repairs to mosque made more precise based on new reference); references updated.