Robert Byron once said that the city of Isfahan in Iran was beautiful enough to rival Athens and Rome, yet due to its geographical distance from the Western world, it is seldom explored. It is the location of the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque built between 1602 and 1619 during the reign of Shah Abbas I, an architectural masterpiece and a multi-functional space that is also home to royal caravanserai, baths, a royal mint and a hospital.
Situated in the UNESCO-listed Old City of Jerusalem, the Al Aqsa Mosque is a stunning structure that has been rebuilt several times throughout history due to repeatedly being hit by earthquakes. To this day, it remains the third holiest site in Islam for the belief that Muhammad was transported here from the Al Haram mosque in Mecca during the Night Journey, and then onto heaven. Every Friday, the building overflows with thousands of Muslim worshippers who make their prayers outside in the courtyards of the Noble Sanctuary.
Located in the northern city of Lahore in Pakistan, on one of the busiest roads in the area, the Wazir Khan Mosque has been standing since the 17th century and is one of the most important landmarks in the city. The mosque is graced, both inside and out, with fresco paintings and tiles, predominantly featuring colors of cobalt, cerulean blue, greens, oranges, yellows and purples. The view from the top overlooking the Kashmiri Bazaar is one of the most breathtaking vantage points in Lahore.