The beauty and complexity of Iran’s medieval Islamic buildings make the country a veritable jewel box of architectural gems. But perhaps the most impressive feature of these spaces are their unfathomably detailed domed ceilings, which Iranian architect Mehrdad Rasoulifard is documenting on his brilliant Instagram account.
Rasoulifard, an architect and amateur architectural photographer, travels around the country in pursuit of the most intricate and beautiful Iranian ceilings. “The best and most elaborate geometrical arrangements can be found in mosques, schools, palaces, and aristocratic houses,” Rasoulifard said over email.
Inside Hazrat Masomeh’s mosque in Qom, for example, Shi’a Muslims pay their respects to the saint Fatima Masumeh underneath a domed turquoise and gold ceiling that almost looks like it’s bejewelled. Beneath an archway in the Jameh mosque in Isfahān, one of the oldest mosques in Iran that has been painstakingly maintained for over 900 years, the geometric structure looks almost like origami with its intricate folds and three dimensional texture. There’s also the kaleidoscopic ceiling of the Shah Cheragh mosque, an important site of pilgrimage in Shiraz that’s known for its glittering, disco-ball-esque interiors made from shards of glass and mirror.
Together, Rasoulifard’s photos offer a stunning visual journey through Iran’s mosques and other ancient buildings for those outside of the country. Find a selection of Rasoulifard’s images in our gallery above, and follow him on Instagram for more of Iran’s gorgeous and labyrinthine mosaic ceilings.
All Photos: Mehrdad Rasoulifard