Tuesday, April 14, 2009


Inside Dome of the Imam Mosque of Shah Abbas I (1588-1629) (Masjid-e Jam 'e Abbasi) in Isfahon, Persia. He commissioned its construction in 1612 and it was completed in 1638 nine years after he died. But he did live to see completion of the enamel-tile mosaic dome which probably took most of the construction time. I couldn't find out the size of the tiles (there is no real scale to the photos) but am still looking.
This was the first capital of Iran, before Tehran, and it's mosques are considered the most beautiful and elaborate in the world. Some were damaged during the senseless war with Iraq in the 80's but fortunately most still exist intact. I have read that 94% of those in Teheran are poets, or at least consider themselves such; I don't know about what the 1.3 million in Isfahon consider themselves but I suspect a similar feature. What a wonderful aspect to be known for.

Iran is opening up to tourism apparently, and from Persepolis to Isfahon would be a trip to experience. see here

A Tibetan Buddhist sand painting. Unlike the structure above, this construction took about 6 days and 16 monks to complete and is destroyed shortly afterward to indicate the impermanence and temporary nature of life. I am impressed by the symmetry and mandala-like nature of each effort; and the yin-yang nature of the permanence of the Mosque and the impermance of the sand-painting.
I am also impressed with the idea that I can sit here in my cushy chair and observe each extreme of the possibilities!