Masjid-i Jami'
Neyriz, Iran
The Friday mosque of Neyriz was built at least in three phases that span Buyid, Seljuk, Il-Khanid rule in the Fars province. An inscription on the great qibla iwan indicates that the mihrab was built in 973, which is probably the date when the qibla iwan and the minaret were also constructed and enclosed within precinct walls. Identified as "iwan-mosque," the pre-Islamic typology of the Masjid-i Jami' in Neyriz, Bamiyan and Nishapur has led some scholars to believe that their mihrabs and minarets may have been appended to Zoroastrian fire temples. At Neyriz, the northwest iwan facing the original sanctuary was erected at a later date, followed by the addition of two rows of lateral arcades along the courtyard and iwan walls. The portal, which bears the date 1472, commemorates the last known period of construction.

The mosque is rectangular in plan, measuring about forty-eight by thirty-four meters on the exterior. It is aligned with qibla along the northwest-southeast axis and is centered on an arcaded courtyard that is fifteen meters long and eighteen and a half meters wide. Entered from a simple portal at the northern end of the northwest façade, the courtyard is dominated by the tall sanctuary iwan that occupies its southwest wing. Eleven meters wide and seventeen meters deep, the sanctuary iwan is vaulted at a height double that of the flat-roofed courtyard arcades that continue along its side walls. The archways connecting the iwan to the arcades were pierced when the latter were constructed. The sanctuary iwan also dominates the exterior appearance of the mosque with its projecting buttresses.

Across the courtyard from the sanctuary is the vaulted northeast iwan, which is seven meters square. It is flanked by passageways on either side that connect it with the main portal and with a secondary portal, which was added to the eastern corner of the mosque in 1472. It is adjoined by the modern addition of two halls that span the length of the southeast mosque wall; the southern of these halls contains ablution fountains and latrines. There's also an octagonal fountain at the center of the courtyard. A single minaret, with a round tapering shaft terminating at a parapet, rises alongside the main portal. The spiraling steps of the minaret are accessed from the northwest arcade.

The mosque is made of baked bricks, covered with clay on the exterior and plastered white on the interior. The courtyard façade of the great iwan is ornamented simply with polychrome tiles composed into geometric patterns. Inside, the decorative effort is focused on the mihrab niche on the qibla wall, which is framed with multiple bands of ornate arabesques and inscriptions carved in relief out of stucco. The original minbar, probably wooden, was since replaced.


Godard, André. The Art of Iran, 277, 283-284. New York: Frederick A. Praeger Publishers, 1965.

O'Kane, Bernard. "Iran and Central Asia." In The Mosque: History, Architectural, Development and Regional Diversity, 121. Frishman, Martin and Hasan-Uddin Khan, editors. London: Thames and Hudson, 1994.

Pope, Arthur Upham, ed., Phyllis Ackerman, assist. ed. A Survey of Persian Art from Prehistoric Times to the Present. Vol. 3, Architecture, Its Ornament, City Plans, Gardens, 3rd ed., 939-940. Tehran: Soroush Press, 1977.
Neyriz, Iran
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Associated Collections
later additions 1472/876 AH
Begun ca. 973/362 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Friday Mosque
Masjid-i Jami'-i Nayriz
Alternate transliteration
Building Usages