|Natanz: the shrine of Abd as-Samad|
Known as the shrine of Abd as-Samad, the present complex date from 1304 ac, but its original structure was built in 1299 ac, after the death of the saint. It's small, geometrical, sharp. The cupola isn't round but esagonal, with a specific remind to numerology and spiritual symbolism, and it's blue like Isfahan maiolics against the dusty desert yellow of the desolate landscape.
|The symbol of the Imam Ali: Zulfiqar , the legendary sword.|
There is only one minaret, decorated in tiles, slender and slim. It's a symbol of the male, like a lingam, while the cupola represents the female, like a yoni. Usually the mosque are squared while the cupola is round because the square represents the 'earth' (material world) while the sphere represents the 'heaven' (spiritual world). Inside a mosque it isn't strange to find a cross, as it's the symbol of the union of the vertical line (from material to spiritual) and the horizontal line (from many to one). By the way in Nepal people do the sign of the cross when they pass by a stupa or a chorten or an holy place in general, included the tombs of their ancestors, a stream, a tree...
The shrine ceiling isn't flat but moved in lights and shadows by infinite niches, empty and filled at the same time, with the result that the material seems to dissolve in the concept, in the line, in the shape. So few remains of the ancient decoration! still here it's possible to recognise the same style of the more complex mosques of Isfahan or Shiraz. On a wall I see painted in red the symbol of the Imam Ali: Zulfiqar , the legendary sword. On the bare floor, facing a blind qibla robbed of all its splendour, there is a worn carpet, and I get the chance to pray in this incredible place. Just two rakats, just to connect, as I did in the Annapurna base camp.
|An ancient school (madrasa)|
|In the maiolics shop|
The sunset is painting the cupola orange and black. It's time to drive to Tar, the disapearing village where we are going to spend two more days...
TO BE CONTINUED