The Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan commissioned the building of an imperial mosque in the capital city of Lahore in what is now Pakistan. Built in 1634 CE during a period recognized as an architectural renaissance, the Wazir Khan Mosque embodies the canon of the Mughal architectural style. The intricate scripts, vivid frescos, and brilliant tile work that embellish the mosque employ techniques and motifs from India, Persia, and Central Europe. The combination of foreign elements and the exuberance of artistic adornment celebrates both the power of Allah’ and Islam and the reach of the Mughal Empire.
Today the mosque is part of the thriving community, a living legacy of this artistic renaissance, no longer reserved solely for the elite. After 400 years, however, age, natural forces, and the encroaching city have taken their toll. Minarets lean, cracks climb the walls, and detailed frescos flake away. Contributing to efforts to conserve the mosque, CyArk and the Lahore University of Management Sciences partnered to scan the entire site in 3D during the summer of 2015. The data collected provide complete structural details that will inform long term planning for the mosque’s preservation.