Consider this a prime example of not judging a book by its cover.
Shah Cheragh is a mosque in Iran, and from the outside it is rather lovely, with its turquoise tiles and ornate minarets.
However you would never guess what these walls are hiding.
The name of the sacred building and ancient mausoleum, which is located in Shiraz, translates as “King of the Light”.
And why, you ask? Well…
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Unbelievably beautiful, right? The distinctive interior, which gives The Wizard of Oz‘s Emerald City a run for its money, is created using millions of tiny, coloured shards of mirror.
The intricate mosaic decoration bounces light around the mosque to give off an ethereal, otherworldly glow – the likes of which we’ve never seen before.
Now construction on the architectural wonder began in the 14th century, so regular visitors and residents of Iran may be berate us for being a little bit late to the game.
However Shah Cheragh, which is a honoured place of pilgrimage for Shia Muslims, is a bit of an undiscovered gem for those yet to travel to the region.
The mosque houses the tomb of the brothers Ahmad and Muhammad, sons of the seventh Imam, who were killed on the site during a persecution of the Shiite sect in the 20th century.
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The mausoleum, however, only took on its awe-inspiring appearance after Queen Tashi Khatun ordered the tomb to be covered with the glimmering mosaics centuries later.
The distinctive glass shards are inset along with coloured tiles, which create the blue, green and pink hues seen throughout the mosque.
We’re looking up return flights to Shiraz as we type…