Disco Ball Mosque – Shiraz, Iran


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I'm going to show you something like you've never seen before.

Our guide, just before entering the Shāh Chérāgh Mosque.

The Shāh-é-Chérāgh Mosque. It's a mausoleum, a funerary, one of the many places of worship and pilgrimage in Iran.   But this one looks like a giant disco ball turned inside out. 

Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh in Shiraz, Iran.
Inside the elaborately mirrored Aramgah-e Shah-e Cheragh in Shiraz, Iran.

It's fitting that this site is one grand play on light.  After all, it was originally discovered by an ayatollah after investigating a light he'd seen from a distance — a light that turned out to be emanating from a graveyard which upon excavation contained an armor-wrapped body wearing a ring that read “The Pride belongs to God, Ahmad son of Musa.”

Thus, the site has been known as Tomb of Ahmad and Muhammad, sons of Mūsā al-Kādhim.  The tomb chamber, dome and colonnades date back to the 1130s, after which the complex had been continually expanded upon and repaired after various earthquakes. So you could say there are layers of history to the site, which today remains one of the most important places of pilgrimage within Shiraz, one of Iran's most famous tourist draw towns.

But we just happen to like it because it looks truly amazing.

Disclosure: Our trip to Iran is in cooperation with G Adventures as Wanderers in Residence. We paid our own transport to and from Iran, some expenses on the ground and for an additional one week private tour. As always, the opinions expressed here are entirely our own.

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About Daniel Noll
Travel and life evangelist. Writer, speaker, storyteller and consultant. Connecting people to experiences that will change their lives. Originally from the U.S. Daniel has lived abroad since 2001 and most recently has been on the road since 2006. When he's not writing for the blog you can keep up with his adventures on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. And you can learn more about him on the About Page and on LinkedIn.

25 thoughts on “Disco Ball Mosque – Shiraz, Iran”

  1. Wow that place is mesmerizing. I don’t think I would be able to get my wife to leave that mosque, she’s too attracted to sparkly things! Really beautiful panorama guys.

    Reply
  2. Love reading about your Iran adventures right now especially because I am reading the book, The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron. Have you read it? If not, you should. It’s amazing — all about his adventures in persia in 1937.

    Reply
  3. Hi everyone, glad you are enjoying the panoramas, especially this one. Mirrored glass interiors do seems to suit the medium quite well.

    @Adam: I wouldn’t be so sure about that. Guess you’ll just have to stay tuned!

    @Erica: One of these days, we are planning a panorama tutorial.

    @Mariellen: We haven’t read it, but we’ll add it to the list. Excellent reading material about Persia seems to be in great abundance. Having been to Iran myself, I can understand why. Thanks for the tip!

    Reply
  4. Wow!! That is truly amazing. So that’s what you were doing glued to your computers while you were here!!
    Now I know where I want my ashes to go (;-)
    Love.

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  5. I totally agree with your writings of Iran and its people. I am proud of my courage and decision to visit it two years ago. It has been the most wonderful trip. I was greeted by smiling faces,waving hands,and eagerness to take pictures with me. So many of the youngsters were eager to befriend me. The older generation who could speak fluent English were chatting with me with joy. I have never been so happy and seeing so many wonderful sites! It was actually one of the most clean and safe places in the world.
    I love the beauty of Iran…it’s sceneries and it’s people!!!!

    Reply
  6. @Angela: Am glad you visited Iran, you had such a great time and your experience matched our recent visit. Beautiful interesting country with engaging people. It’s so true that Iranian people young and old will approach visitors for reasons that have to do with their interest in the future, and in the past. Thank you for your comment.

    @James: I cannot imagine the work that went into installing each and every one of those mirrors you seen in our panoramic image. Sites like these (burial sites, tombs, memorials, etc.) are definitely a result of evolution (building and rebuilding layer upon layer). In that sense, you could say they are forever a work in progress.

    Reply
  7. What happens if you use a camera with flash in that environment? does the flash light keep on bouncing around off mirrors forever?! lol

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  8. fun fact: there is one shrine like this in almost every city in iran!! 🙂 but the biggest one is Imam Riza shrine in mashahd, and also one in share rey

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    • Thanks for the tip, Memmet. We’ve heard interesting things about Mashhad and will look out for this mosque on our next visit!

      Reply

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