Minaret, Wazir Khan's Mosque, Lahore.
Medium: Photographic print
Photograph of an octagonal minaret topped by a cupola of the Mosque of Wazir Khan at Lahore, Pakistan, taken by an unknown photographer in the 1870s, part of the Bellew Collection of Architectural Views. Lahore, the capital of Punjab province, is considered the cultural centre of Pakistan. Islam came here after the advent of Mahmud of Ghazni in 1021 AD, and it was subsequently ruled by a succession of dynasties of the Delhi Sultanate, followed by the Mughals, the Sikhs and the British. It reached its apogee under the Mughals, known as the Garden City and with enough architecture to rank it with other great Mughal centres like Delhi, Agra and Fatehpur Sikri. One of the most famous of Lahore's mosques, this mosque was founded in 1634 by Hakim Ilmud Din Ansari, known as Nawab Wazir Khan, governor of the Punjab under Emperor Shahjahan (ruled 1628–58). It is beautifully decorated with floral and calligraphic patterns in glazed-tile mosaic work, thought to have been an innovation brought here from Thatta in the 16th century. It is in the decorative panels of this construction that the cypress first appears as a motif in mosaic work.