Isfahan city


Isfahan city



         Half  Of The World


Isfahan (Persian: اصفهان, also known as Esfahan) is a city in central Iran, south of Tehran and is the capital of Isfahan Province. The Persians call it Nesf-e Jahan, meaning "Half of The World". Due to its beautiful hand-painted tiling and magnificent public square, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An ancient town and capital of Persia from 1598 to 1722, it was long noted for its fine carpets and silver filigree. Today, textile and steel mills take their place. Its architecture, tree-lined boulevards and relaxed pace make it one of the highlights of Iran. The city is 430 km south of Tehran at the foothills of the Zagros mountain range. The city enjoys a temperate climate and regular seasons. Isfahan is located on the main north-south and east-west routes crossing Iran. Much of the splendor of the city, including most of its finest monuments, date back to the Safavid era, when the city was the imperial capital of Iran.The city has an Armenian quarter called New Jolfa established by Shah Abbas I in the 1600s. The district is named after the town of Julfa, still existing along the Aras river, from where Armenians were forcefully relocated during the development of Isfahan. They were allocated land south of the Zayandeh river, and built a prosperous community thanks to international trade networks. Today the quarter still has many Armenian churches and institutions.




The climate here is "desert." In Isfahan, there is virtually no rainfall during the year.Despite its altitude, Isfahan remains hot during the summer with maxims typically around 35 °C (95 °F). However, with low humidity and moderate temperatures at night, the climate can be very pleasant. During the winter, days are mild while nights can be very cold.

Famous Places

Vank Cathedral:                                                                                                                                                              
At the beginning of the 17th century in 1606 during Safavid period, work on the cathedral began. However, in 1655, this Armenian church was rebuilt as the Christian community was rapidly growing in Isfahan.A tilework plaque inscribed in Armenian can be seen by the entrance to the cathedral. Inside is nicely decorated showing a mixture of Islamic and Christian style. Inside the courtyard, there is the belfry and can see the dome of the cathedral which the interior is painted in Persian style with very elegant blue and gold. The walls are painted of European inspirations showing scenes of martyrdom, notably of Saint Gregory.The museum of Armenian culture is the building next to the cathedral. The museum displays 700 handwritten books, the first book printed in Iran, a variety of objects related to Armenian community in Isfahan such as Safavid costumes, tapestries, European paintings brought back by Armenian merchants , embroidery, and other ethnological displays related to Armenian culture and religion. There are several carved stones showing scenes from the Bible outside the museum.Jolfa is the Armenian and Christian quarter of Isfahan which was established in 1603 during Shah Abbas I Safavid. Jolfa is located on the south bank of the Zayandeh River and is linked to the Muslim part of Isfahan by Si-o-se-pol bridge. The town of Jolfa on the Araxes River in Azarbaijan (now on Iran's northern border) at one time was the major Armenian settlement until Shah Abbas I imported Armenian families to new Jolfa in Isfahan. Today, Jolfa is a quiet area of Isfahan with predominant Christian community.

Birds Garden of Isfahan:
It was founded in 1998 by Isfahan Municipality . It is located in a garden which is about 55000 square meters, located in Najvan Park area, at bank of Zayandeh Rood River . It is one of the most beautiful places, which is visited by local citizens and domestic tourists. It is an ideal place for children to see varieties birds, local birds and various birds brought from different countries, Natural environment has been provided for birds.Isfahan Birds Garden is the most individual one in Iran. A very large closed space which provides a very suitable place for different species of birds provides the opportunity for introducing the birds types of Iran and some other countries to the families. Your visit will be very enjoyable as you find the birds in very good condition. The green area is well developed for the birds and the staff are taking care of the birds carefully.

Malek Vineyard:
The Malek vineyard is a historical house in Isfahan, Iran. The house has been taken as tax from the people in the era of Nader Shah and was for a long time a part of assets of a rich man in the city. During the reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar it was confiscated by the king. The Naser al-Din Shah's successors declared it as a public asset and a part of national treasury. In the Mohammad Ali Shah's era, a Hussainiya was built in the garden and its administration was handed over to an isfahanian businessman called Malek ot-Tojar. Parts of the vineyard and its building has been destroyed during the expansion and development of the city. The remaining parts include a central yard and a dining room. Presently Malek vineyard is used as Hussainia and a permit is needed for visiting.

The Monar Jonban (Shaking Minarets):
The Shrine of Abdullah Soqla is a vaulted structure built in 1316 over the tomb of the Sufi hermit. The brick Il-Khanid building is decorated with dark blue tiles that cover the inner side of its arch.The structure features the most famous minarets in the city. The small brick towers rise some 6 m above the eivan and belong to the later, prob ably Safavid, period. The minarets are elegantly ornamented with lovely but unpretentious brickwork. Narrow spiral staircases lead to the summits of the minarets, which are pierced by open arches.What is most remarkable about the minarets is that a strong push given to the top of one of them makes it oscillate. Curiously. this movement I am also transmitted to another minaret and even to the porch itself. In theory, all minarets can sway, but this pair sways in me an especially obvious manner because of the ratio between the height and width of the arch (it is 10 m high and 10 m wide), and the shortness and lightness of the minarets. Wooden crossbars on the top of the minarets further facilitate the movement. Perhaps the whole thing was intended to be a mild conjuring trick to amuse simple minds. However, for a long time, until the riddle of the minarets had been solved, the pious entertained a supernatural explanation. with some claiming that the movement was caused by the Sufi, who was allegedly alive in his tomb. The phenomenon of shaking minarets is not confined to this site. Another example can be found only 50 km away at Oshtorjan.The constant shaking throughout the years has caused considerable structural damage. and now the minarets cannot be climbed. Therefore, the popularity of the site among tourists has diminished considerably.

Contemporary Arts Museum Isfahan:
The Contemporary Arts Museum Isfahan (aka the Museum of Contemporary Art) is a contemporary art museum in Isfahan, Iran, located next to the Museum of Natural History.The museum building dates from the Safavid era. Many changes were made to the building during the Qajar era. The building has been decorated by stuccoed forms, which are the principal architectural feature of the Qajar period. There are many patterns of flowers and vase, which are a distinctive feature of decoration in the Qajar period. This feature is one that distinguishes the Qajar age from the Safavid age, in which flowers were never in vases.

Fire temple of Isfahan:
The Atashgah of Isfahan is a Sassanid-era archaeological complex located on a hill of the same name about eight kilometers west of city center.The hill, which rises about 210 meters above the surrounding plain. Remains of a tower-like circular building are still left on the very top of the hill. This structure, which was once at least twenty meters high, is known by the local populace as the Burj-e Qurban, "Tower of Sacrifice". According to the local legends, the ruins that you see today are to be those of a Zoroastrian fire temple. But there is another opinion that the building at Isfahan was actually a military watch-tower with a flare that could be lit to warn of an approaching enemy.

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque:
Sheikh Lotfollah or Ladies' Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Safavid Iranian architecture, standing in eastern part Naghsh-i Jahan Square, Isfahan, Iran.It was built in 1615 by the orders of Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty.The architect (Mimar) of the edifice was Muhammad Reza ibn Ustad Hosein Banna Isfahani. He finished construction of the mosque in 1618.Was built near 20 years period which was dedicated to Shah Abbas father-in-law, Sheikh Lotfollah, a holy preacher.Decorated with best mosaics of 17th century era, the tiles of the dome changes color from cream to pink depending on the lighting. When enter the mosque, you see a peacock under the dome. During certain times of the day, the sunlight enhances the peacock's tail.By the tail, you can tell when noon is. When you go to the center of the mosque, the peacock disappears. Although it is a small mosque comparing to other mosques, it's worth visiting.

Nazhvan Forest Park:

The Nazhvan Forest Park is one of the few gardens in Isfahan, which has been rather safe from expansion and development of the city and freshens the air of Isfahan. The word nazhvan consists of two words nazh, which means "poplar" in Persian and van, which is a Persian suffix for place. Therefore nazhvan means "a place for poplars". Nazhvan has an area of 1200 ha and is located in the western part of the city. It's the only remaining part of the green space in the suburban area of Isfahan. It plays the role of Isfahan's lungs and has a special importance from the bio-environmental point of view for the city. Zayanderud river flows through the middle of the garden and this is one of the distinguished features of Nazhvan that makes it different from other parks in Isfahan. As parts of the Project for prosperity of Nazhvan, the local government of Isfahan created facilities in Nazhvan as nearby recreational area like sport grounds, a swimming pool, a campsite, playgrounds for children, also facilities for horse droshky, horse sport, boating and cycling.

Ālī Qāpū:
Ali Qapu (Persian: عالی‌ قاپو‎‎, ‘Ālī Qāpū) is a grand palace in Isfahan, Iran. It is located on the western side of the Naqsh e Jahan Square, opposite to Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and had been originally designed as a vast portal. It is forty-eight meters high and there are six floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. In the sixth floor, Music Hall, deep circular niches are found in the walls, having not only aesthetic value, but also acoustic.The name Ali Qapu, from Persian ‘Ālī (meaning "imperial" or "great"), and Azerbaijani Qāpū (meaning "gate"), was given to this place as it was right at the entrance to the Safavid palaces which stretched from the Naqsh e Jahan Square to the Chahar Baq Boulevard. The building, another wonderful Safavid edifice, was built by decree of Shah Abbas I in the early seventeenth century. It was here that the great monarch used to entertain noble visitors, and foreign ambassadors. Shah Abbas, here for the first time, celebrated the Nowruz (Iranian New Year) of 1006 AH / 1597 C.E. AliQapu is rich in naturalistic wall paintings by Reza Abbasi, the court painter of Shah Abbas I, and his pupils. There are floral, animal, and bird motifs in his works. The highly ornamented doors and windows of the palace have almost all been pillaged at times of social anarchy. Only one window on the third floor has escaped the ravages of time. Ali Qapu was repaired and restored substantially during the reign of Shah Sultan Hussein, the last Safavid ruler, but fell into a dreadful state of dilapidation again during the short reign of invading Afghans. Under the reign of Nasir ol Din Shah e Qajar (1848–96), the Safavid cornices and floral tiles above the portal were replaced by tiles bearing inscriptions.

Chehel Sotoun:

Built as a pleasure pavilion and reception hall, using the Achaemenid-inspired talar (columnar porch) style, this beautifully proportioned palace is entered via an elegant terrace that perfectly bridges the transition between the Persian love of gardens and interior splendour. The 20 slender, ribbed wooden pillars of the palace rise to a superb wooden ceiling with crossbeams and exquisite inlay work. Chehel Sotun means ‘40 pillars’ – the number reflected in the long pool in front of the palace.The palace’s garden, Bagh-e Chehel Sotun, is an excellent example of the classic Persian garden form and was recently added to Unesco’s World Heritage list. An ancient fallen pine resting on a plinth gives a sense of the great age of the garden. The polished noses of the lions on the standing water spouts at the head of the decorative pool hint at this being a favourite spot for a photograph of the garden's perfect symmetry. Art students have set up a calico shop at the garden's entrance selling Iran's popular printed fabric.


Mount Soffeh:
Soffeh mountain (Kuh-e Soffeh) is a name for some relatively small mounts rang just in the south of Isfahan city and adjacent to this city.The highest peak of Sofeh mountain has an altitude of approximately 2250 meters above sea level.The altitude of Sofeh peak from surrounding lands is about 550 meters and can be climbed within about one or two hours.According to etymology, "Sofeh" means "Eivan" in Persian that means "stone bench" or "sofa" or "raised platform" or simply a terrace. you can see a nice landscape of Isfahan city from altitudes of Sofeh Mountain too. A wonderful panoramic view of metropolitan city of Isfahan can be seen from the Sofeh Mountain especially at night.    Forest mountainous Sofeh Park that has been launched on the foothill of Sofeh Mountain is one of the best forest parks in Iran. Sofeh Park has given a special attraction and extraordinary beauty and charm to this tourist location. Many local people and tourists visit and spend a lot of hours in this park. Also climbers pass through this nice park for climbing to Sofeh peak.

Hammam-e Ali Gholi Agha:
Located in the historic district of Bid Abad, this beautifully restored museum of hammams sports a set of costumed mannequins that help to demonstrate the purpose of each part of the bathhouse. There are some wonderful details to admire, including a hunting scene interpreted in tiles, a duck-headed water spout above the main bathtub and beautiful rich marble flooring. The complex is some way from the town centre and hard to find so it's best to take a taxi.


Isfahan Music Museum:
This beautiful new museum in the Armenian Quarter in Jolfa houses a fine collection of traditional Persian instruments. A labour of love for the private collector who assembled these national and folk instruments, the museum regularly hosts live performances by renowned folk musicians. For those with an interest in music, or simply with a love of finely crafted objects, it is well worth the relatively steep admission fee.

Hasht Behesht:
Once the most luxuriously decorated palace in Esfahan, the interior of the small Hasht Behesht Palace has been extensively damaged over the years, but it retains some spectacular details, including a superb stalactite ceiling with delicate painting. The same keyhole plasterwork seen in the Kakh-e Ali Qapu is featured on a small scale here too. The soaring wooden columns on the palace's open-sided terrace are almost as tall as those still growing in the parkland that frames it. A popular meeting place for retired Esfahani men, the park has a seductive tranquillity that offers the promise of peace in a city of pace.

Bedkhem Church:

The Bedkhem Church (Other names: Bedghehem church or Beyt Lahm church or Bethlehem church) is an Armenian Apostolic church in the Julfa quarter in Isfahan, Iran. One of the most important historical churches of the city, it belongs to the Abbas I era. The church is located in the Julfa square near Saint Mary Church. The Bedkhem church was built by an Armenian merchant named Khaje Petros. There are decorations and paintings on its walls depicting the life of Jesus. The 72 exquisite paintings, painted by Armenian artists, are presented in two rows. In the lower row the paintings are painted sequentially, but in the upper row each painting is in a separate frame.The architecture and the gilded decorations of the church's dome are notable. Inside the church there are inscriptions in Armenian which date back to 1627 and 1711. The inscriptions are installed in remembrance of those who performed charitable work for the church.

Saeb Mausoleum :
The Saeb mausoleum(Persian: آرامگاه صائب‎‎) is located in Isfahan, Iran. The mausoleum is the burial place of Saeb Tabrizi, the famous iranian poet of 17th century. His ancestry goes back to Shams Tabrizi, Rumi's spiritual instructor. Saeb's father was one of the famous merchants in Tabriz. When Isfahan became the capital city, he moved to Isfahan with his family. He tried for a long time to get the title of honor Malek osh-Shoara (Poet laureate) from the King Abbas I, but he was not successful and he immigrated to India. His mausoleum belongs to the Pahlavi era, but his gravestone has the date 1087(islamic calendar), which is equal to 1676(Gregorian calendar).


Joubi Bridge:
Also known as Choobi bridge or Pol-e Joui in Farsi, this bridge was built in 1665. It is 147 meters long and 4 meters wide, with 21 arches. It was built during the reign of Shah Abbas II to irrigate and inter-relate the king's gardens on both sides of the river. The bridge and the two parlours within were for the exclusive use of the shah and his courtiers. Nowadays the parlours are being used as tea houses.

Reptiles Garden:
Living Reptiles Garden situated in Najvan Natural Park was established in 2012. It mainly aims to make people familiar with different kinds of reptiles and their various species.According to a report by ILNA, the centre also aims to introduce snakes as one of the most valuable creatures in the nature cycle with lots of benefits: They control agricultural and garden pests, and their poison is used to produce medicine, among other things.

Shah Mosque:
This elegant mosque, with its iconic blue-tiled mosaics and its perfect proportions, forms a visually stunning monument at the head of Esfahan's main square. Unblemished since its construction 400 years ago, it stands as a monument to the vision of Shah Abbas I and the accomplishments of the Safavid dynasty. The mosque's crowning dome was completed in 1629, the last year of the reign of Shah Abbas.Although the portal was built to face the square, the mosque is oriented towards Mecca, so a short, angled corridor was constructed to connect the square and the inner courtyard, thereby negating any aesthetic qualms about this misalignment. Inside the courtyard, there is a pool for ritual ablutions and four imposing iwans. The walls of the courtyard contain the most exquisite sunken porches, framed by haft rangi (painted tiles) of deep blue and yellow. Each iwan leads into a vaulted sanctuary. The east and west sanctuaries are covered with particularly fine floral motifs on a blue background.The main sanctuary provides wonderful views of the two turquoise minarets above the entrance portal. Each is encircled by projecting balconies and white geometric calligraphy in which the names of Mohammed and Ali are repeated almost ad infinitum. To the east and west of the main sanctuary are the courtyards of two madrasehs. Both provide good views of the main dome with its glorious profusion of turquoise-shaded tiles.