It has only been recently that non-Muslims have been allowed to visit the sacred buildings of Persia. Much new material has therefore become available as these monuments have been subjected to scholarly study and as the results of this study, along with plans and photographs, have become available. ""It was the permanent office of architecture, both physically and symbolically, to bridge the awesome gap between the material world and the heavens by means of structures that reached toward the sky."" Persian architecture is especially impressive for its simplicity and purity of form and for the dazzling beauty of its decoration. Pope presents the whole range of Persian architecture with over 400 illustrations and a lucid and informative text.