An interesting reminder of the Sassanian architecture, Nain Friday Mosque is one of the first mosques built in Iran. This is much before the original Islamic architecture found its root in the Muslim world. While traveling in Iran, you will be met by many intricately decorated mosques, but the structure of this building and the material used in this building is very different from the rest. Later additions were made by the Iranian architects who used the same kind of brick work and plaster work to adorn the interior of the mosque.
Nain Friday Mosque was built prior to the Seljuk era and it includes very simple architecture. Though there have been several restoration work done through the years, yet the original easy design is quite noticeable to the eye. There is a huge courtyard in the mosque which you can reach by walking through the arcades. The different layers of work during the original Sassanian period and the later Seljuk era are evident in the varying styles of work. There are angled piers which are totally made in the initial times but the courtyard facade itself looks like reconstruction work.
Glimpses of the mosque designs which later came into existence in Iran can also be seen in Nain Friday Mosque in the construction of the qibla axis. The interestingly designed central nave along with the angled piers looks distinctly different on the arcade roofline.
Although you might have seen several minarets while traveling in Iran, the one in this structure is reminiscent of the style of work in the 11th century. The base is a square with the mid-section being octagonal. Carved stucco work on the cornice finishes off the tip of the minaret.
A Fusion of Architecture
Unlike the later minarets which you will see while traveling in Iran, the minaret in Nain Friday Mosque has a balcony in the cornice which looks like a dovecote with its apertures. The plain architectural style of the minaret clearly suggests that it was built prior to the Seljuk era. The stucco work in the mosque is its most remarkable aspect. It shows a transition from the Sassanian and Abbasid eras to the Seljuk times.