15 rare photographs of Iran's stunning palaces, mosques, and baths

Vakil mosqueMohammad Reza Domiri GanjiThe Vakil mosque in Shiraz, Iran.

Iran is home to breathtaking mosques filled with intricate mosaics and a kaleidoscope of colours.

But because professional photography equipment isn’t permissible in most of these institutions, their stunning beauty often remains unseen.

Self-taught photographer Mohammad Reza Domiri Ganji is one of the lensman who’s captured a rare glimpse of Iran’s mosques and religious structures. He frequently goes through weeks of extensive paperwork and red tape to conduct his work.

Keep scrolling to get lost in the sea of colours snapped by this talented photographer.

Step inside the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, located in Shiraz, Iran. Here, an array of stained glass windows transport visitors to a colourful paradise.

But to catch this stunning site, you'll need to head to the mosque early in the morning. It was built specifically to reflect the morning rays.

Its rose hued tiles have earned it the nickname 'Pink Mosque.'

Reflections from the stained glass windows dance over beautiful rugs.

The nearby Vakil Mosque was built in the early 18th Century and includes a massive outdoor prayer hall decorated with spiraling columns, arches, and floral tiles.

Ganji's photography effects show the Vakil Mosque's extremely detailed tile ceiling and just how far its outdoor halls extend.

The Ali Qapu is a grand palace in Isfahan known for its elevated terrace and music room. The ceiling in the latter features cut-outs of vases and household utensils; this detail adds to the room's acoustics.

Source: Lonely Planet

The Shah Mosque -- also known as Imam Mosque -- is located in Isfahan, Iran and exudes grandeur from every corner. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was ordered to be built by late 16th and early 17th Century Iranian king Abbas I.

Formerly a public bathing area, the Vakil Bath is adorned with dome-style ceilings and intricate mosaic tiles.

Isfahan's Chehel Sotoun Palace includes back-lit, coloured glass windows that glow in the evening and ceramic panels that illustrate the country's history.

Source: Lonely Planet

Inside the palace, you'll find regal blue and gold mosaic tiles, calligraphy inscriptions, and beautiful wooden balconies with stalactites running down the sides.

Isfahan's Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque was built as a private mosque for the royal court in the early 17th Century. The ivory tiles change colour throughout the day, reflecting beautiful pink hues at sunset.

Source: Lonely Planet

The Hasht Behesht Palace is one of the only remaining mansions that existed in Isfahan during the rule of Safavids (1502-1736). The structure has been considered the most luxuriously decorated palace in the city.

Source: Lonely Planet

Located in the Yazd Province, the awe-inspiring Jameh Mosque is home to one of Iran's tallest entrances. Two minarets bearing inscriptions from the 15th Century soar over 150 feet.

Source: Lonely Planet

Finally, this glittering, star-shaped ceiling is one of the centerpieces of the Seyyed Mosque in Isfahan.

You can find a full collection of Ganji's images on his website.

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