Isfahan is a city in central Iran, Located south of Tehran, it is considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world not only by the local people. Today textile and steel mills are major industries in Isfahan. Its architecture boulevards and relaxed pace make it one of the highlights of Iran. The capital of Isfahan province, and once the country’s capital, the Persians call it “Nesf-e-Jahan”, meaning “Half the World”.
Tourism and attractions:
Naqsh-e Jahan Square
It is a square situated at the center of Isfahan city, Iran. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It is 160 meters (520 ft) wide by 560 meters (1,840 ft) long (an area of 89,600 square meters (964,000 sq ft).
The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era. The Imam Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side is the Ali Qapu Palace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and at the northern side Qysarieh gate opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Today, Namaaz-e Jom’eh (the Muslim Friday prayer) is held in the Imam Mosque.
ALI QAPU PALACE
Ali Qapu palace is forty-eight meters high and there are seven floors, each accessible by a difficult curved stairs. In the sixth floor music room, deep rounded niches are found in the walls, having not only aesthetic value, but also auditory. It is rich in naturalistic wall paintings by Reza Abbassi, the court painter of Shah Abbas I, and his students.
Hasht Behesht (The Palace of Eight Paradises)
This magnificent kind of beauty in architecture is a Timurid palace building type consisting of two stories of four corner rooms around a central domed space. In this example, the corner rooms are octagonal, forming massive pillars that define four large openings leading to large porches with wooden ceilings on the east, north and west facades. The south facade is punctured by a vaulted iwan. The vault of the central space is detailed with polychrome muqarnas and is capped with a lantern cupola. The openness of the pavilion to the exterior, with large open archways and the top-lit domed space, is enhanced with a fountain positioned under the dome. All of the travelers and tourists who have visited Isfahan and have managed to enter to the Hasht Behesht palace have called it one of the most beautiful monuments of the world.
Chehel Sotoun (The Palace of forty columns)
It is called Palace of forty columns. The number 40 here refers to “many”. In fact, if you count the columns, they are twenty ones, but with the reflection of them in the pool which is in front of the construction, it will be 40 of them, so there is a strong possibility for naming this palace, Chehel Sotoun. The function of it was for holding religious-national ceremonies and royal festivals and for receiving royal ambassadors and guests.
The school of Imam:
Madrese-ye-Imam compound was built during Soltan Hossein, a Safavid king, to serve as a theological and secretarial school to train those who were interested in such sciences. The dome and the greater part of the walls are covered in bright yellow bricks which give a feeling of lightness. The entrance gate decorated with gold facade and silver, and the tile-works inside the building are masterpieces of fine art and industry. The central court, with its pool and garden, are surrounded by arcades on two levels, each giving access to a student’s room.
(Khaju Bridge) – 1650. It is the finest bridge in the province of Isfahan. It was built by the Persian Safavid king, Shah Abbas II around 1650 C.E. This structure originally was ornated with artistic tile works and paintings serving as a teahouse.
SI-O-SEH POL (THE BRIDGE OF 33 ARCHES)
It is highly ranked as being one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design. Bridge has a large plane at the beginning of the bridge where Zayandeh Rud flows faster. There it has more arches making with that a suitable place for a tea house that can be accessed from the southern bank. There are two levels of arches. Lower level has 33 arches while upper has two arches above lower lever arch and one arch above pier. Road that goes on the upper level is bounded by two high walls that protect travelers from winds and pedestrians that can walk there, from falling. Si-o-se Pol Bridge is considered largest Iranian construction on water.
(The Church of the Saintly Sisters) – 17th century. The interior is covered with fine paintings and gilded carvings and includes a wainscot of rich tile work. The precisely blue and gold painted central dome shows the Biblical story of creation of the world and man`s expulsion from Eden.