Among the cities of Iran, one of the most
remarkable ones is Isfahan (Esfahan). Isfahan is known for its Persian
architecture. The rich culture and beautiful nature of the city are in such
perfect harmony that one of them seems to reflect the other. Isfahan is the
ultimate expression of Iranian and Islamic culture.
Isfahan is one of the main destinations in
your Iran trip, as you can see all itineraries of Iran's Travel cover visiting Isfahan
1. Imam Square
The Naqsh-e Jahan Square (also known as
Imam Square) is one of the major attractions of Isfahan that has several
architectural wonders. At the southern edge of the square, which is more than
half a kilometer long, is the Imam Mosque (or Shah Mosque). Completed in 1629,
the UNESCO World Heritage Site is undoubtedly the premier
example of Islamic architecture in Iran. Intricate blue mosaics, Holy Quran
calligraphy, magnificent glitter, exquisite but delicate minarets, purely
geometric floral motifs - stunning aesthetic unity This masterpiece is widely
recognized as one of the most beautiful mosques in the world.
On the eastern side of the Naqsh-e
Jahan Square, you can see the mesmerizing Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. Sheikh
Lotfollah is distinguished for his work of creamy gold tile and its
intricate decorations, not to mention the imposing central dome - enchanting
inside and out. Unusually minarets, the mosque was originally intended for
private use by members of the royal court and was designed by Sheikh Bahai
during Shah Abbas's reign.
Opposite the Sheikh Lotfullah Mosque, is
the six-story Ali Qapu Palace, a royal residence used by Shah
Abbas to host his formal meetings. It is Completed at the end of the sixteenth
century, it has a variety of wall paintings and murals and the columned terrace has exceptional views of the square and its mosques. The palace,
Depicted on the reverse of 20,000 riyals banknotes, is a national treasure,
though much of it has fallen under the subsequent ruling dynasties. The sixth-floor music room is a special highlight for the amazing shapes cut into the
walls and ceiling.
4. Chehel Sotuoun Palace
Chehel Sotoon (Sotoun), means "40 columns"
Another remnant palace from the Safavid era now is used as a museum.
Twenty slender wooden columns in front of the palace are doubled and surrounded
by good gardens when reflected in a tall fountain (hence the name). The
interior is full of magnificent murals depicting scenes of Safavid court life.
Look for Shah Abbas, an agent who hosts an amazing royal feast.
The main entrance to Isfahan’s
Grand Bazaar is along the northern edge of Naqsh-e Jahan Square called the
Qeysarieh Portal (check out the quaint teashop up the stairs to the left). The Bazaar is a higgledy-piggledy collection of alleys, caravanserais, and schools,
with light-holes punctuating the domed, high ceilings. Most of the bazaar was
developed in Shah Abbas’ 17th–century building frenzy, although some parts are
far older. From touristy knick-knacks to the finest Persian carpets, this
bazaar has it all.
o Seh Bridge
Si o Seh Literally means thirty-three. This
bridge, built in the turn of the 17th century, is nearly 300 meters long,
making it the longest bridge in the city. The beautifully symmetrical and
especially atmospheric Si-Seh Bridge at dawn is one of the most spectacular
landmarks in Isfahan and a prime example of the Safavid Bridge. An adjoining
teahouse is one of the only places left along the river and worth a visit.
The mosque dating back to the eighth
century has undergone many refurbishments over the centuries, turning it into a
combination of Islamic architecture algorithm and involving the contribution of
the Seljuks, Mongols and Safavids. Located north of the Grand Bazaar, the two
Seljuk brick domes are certainly the most celebrated aspect of the mosque,
though the whole complex - decorated with glazed tile work and ornate motifs
- is worth to visit.
In the early 17th century, hundreds of
thousands of Armenian Christians from northwestern Iran were resettled by Shah
Abbas in Isfahan - the Vank Cathedral was the most impressive worship site
subsequently built. The exterior of the cathedral is of relatively simple
brick, brownish-yellow. On the contrary, inside can be described as intricate
and colorful wall paintings, containing some disturbing depictions of the
terrors of hell. There is also a fascinating museum (showing the original
version of Shah Abbas's founding of the new Armenian city) and a memorial to
the Armenian Genocide.
Gholi Agha Hammam
Ali Gholi Agha Hammam is a traditional
bathhouse as well as an ethnographic museum in the beautiful ancient
city of Isfahan. Here you can find statues of people doing bathing and other
important steps of the day! This attractive bathroom follows Isfahan's
architectural style and consists of two main bathrooms, one large and the other
smaller, with a small pool. The place is designed so that when the rays of the
lights are illuminated inside the building, the ceramics and tiles reflect the
Located just outside the city - Sofeh
Mountain - an area of outstanding natural beauty that promises fresh air and
scenic views of the city. You can reach the summit either by hiking (it takes
about an hour) or by the trap. If it snows in the winter and snows in the summer,
zero is the perfect place for outdoor recreation if you need to take a break
from city traffic.