The surfaces of Shah Cheragh, a mosque in the Iranian city of Shiraz, glisten and shimmer as you walk by. Mosaics made of mirror shards and tiles cover each wall. Glittering chandeliers hang from the ceilings and spots of light dance in the domes. As the above video by Great Big Story shows, being inside is like inhabiting a disco ball.
Shah Cheragh, also known as the Emerald Mosque and the Shrine to the King of the Light, was originally built in the 1100s as a funerary monument to Ahmad and Muhammad, brothers who took refuge in Shiraz during the 10th-century persecution of Shia Muslims. Many additions and renovations have taken place over the centuries. Shah Cheragh is now the third most holy Shia shrine in Iran, and draws a substantial crowd for Friday night prayers. It’s not unusual to see worshippers kissing the mirrored walls post-prayer.
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Visit Iran with Atlas Obscura Trips
Ancient Persia, Modern Iran: Civilizations Old and New
On the overland route from Tehran to Shiraz, experience some of the oldest sites of civilization, tap into local secrets, and explore the myriad influences that have shaped Iran into one of the most fascinating places on the planet. (And yes, most Americans can currently get visas!)