About Isfahan Province
Isfahan known as one of the beautiful cities in the world, an unforgettable destination that is popular all of over the world, an set of knowledge about Iranian and Islamic civilization, locally famous as half of the world. Esfahan Nesf-e-Jahan, ‘Isfahan is half the world’ .This well-known saying was originally coined to describe Isfahan in Safavid times, when the city was at the height of its glory Even today, Isfahan remains one of Iran’s most beautiful cities and because of hand-painted tiling and magnificent public its monuments can be ranked among the most splendid of the Islamic world
From 1598 till 1722 Isfahan was capital of Persia and was long noted for its fine carpets and silver filigree. Today, textile and steel mills take their place
Why travel to Isfahan?
Attractions of Isfahan
SIO SEH POL BRIDGE
SIO SEH POL BRIDGE or ( Si-o-se-pol (33 bridges) Allah Verdy Khan Bridge), is one of the masterpieces in bridge construction in Iran and the world . It was constructed on the Zayandeh Rood river in 1599 and ended 1602. It has 33 spans. It has many arches making with that make a suitable place for a tea house that can be accessed from the southern bank. Si-o-se Pol Bridge is largest Iranian construction on water.
Khajoo Bridge , or ( Pol-e Xaaju), Shahi Bridge, Baba Rokneddin is one of the most famous bridges in Iran was built around 1650, under the reign of Abbas II, the seventh Safavid king (shah) of Iran. Pole Khaju or Kahju Bridge is the finest bridge in Isfahan. This bridge was built in order of Shah Abbas II, it also functions as a building and a place for public meetings. This bridge is decorated with artistic tilework and fabulous paintings.
Naghsh-e Jahan Square
Naghsh-e Jahan Square ,Built by Shah Abbas I the Great at the beginning of the 17th century, and bordered on all sides by monumental buildings linked by a series of two-storeyed arcades, the site is known for the Royal Mosque, Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah, Qaysariyyeh and Aliqapoo palace. During the Abbasi reign Abbas I, festivities, polo, dramatics and military parades took place in this Squre. This mysterious squre, with thousands
of shops around, where you can see and buy souvenirs of Isfahan, for example Mina, Khatam, Mes ,copper Topfs, Finruze(Turquoise) and Ghalamkarie. .There could you take a ride with horse carriage.
Ali Qapoo Palace
Alighapoo palace , also known as ‘Daulat Khaneh Palace’. Its unique archaic architecture of Safavid era. This mansion was constructed under the orders of Shah Abbas I. that the monarch would receive special envoys in this palace and hold his audience here. undefined Valuable miniature paintings, the works of the reputed artist of the times Reza Abbassi, and other traditional works of art can be noted here. Plasterwork of the ‘sound room’ was modeled such that the acoustic affect produced natural and pleasant sounds. From the halls of the palace in Square , the guests watched polo, illuminations, fire-works and the dramatics that took place . Safavid ruler watched Chowgan (polo), maneuvers and the horse-racing opposite the square of Naqsh e Jahan from the upper galleries.
Imam Mosque (Shah Mosque)
Imam Mosque (Shah Mosque) , known as: Abbasi Jame Mosque, Masjed Shah, Masjid Imam, Royal Mosque The Masjid-i Imam, formerly known as Masjid-i Shah (Shah Mosque) regarded as a masterpiece of Persian architecture in the Islamic era. Located at the heart of the city of Isfahan, alongside of the Naqsh-e Jahan square. This mosque is considered one of the most important historical Mosques in Isfahan, which was built during the Safavid era under the rule of Shah Abbas the Safavid King. it is also the most important display of Persian architecture in Islamic era. This structure is the everlasting masterpiece in terms of architecture, tiling and carpentry. It was registered In 1931 as one of Iran’s National Monuments nd was also registered as a UNESCO World heritage site along with Naqsh-e-Jahan square.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, ot Masjed Sheikh Lotfollah (Farsi), is situated on the eastern side of Naghsh-e Jahan square and the northern side opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. This mosque was built during Shah Abbas time, and dedicated to his father-in-law. It was probably he who introduced the great mathematician, Sheikh Baha Al-Din Mohammed Ameli, otherwise known as Sheikh Bahai, who designed the famous sundial in the Royal Mosque, to Shah Abbas. Sheikh Lotfallah died in 1622.
Menare Jonban – Shaking Minarates
The minaret of Isfahan was designed during the Ilkhanate dynasties The building was built as a tomb for “Uncle Abdullah”, a mystic and ascetic of the patriarchal period, and is made of a large marble stone and a piece of cloth on the tomb, and around it is carved in the third line and in a prominent way in Surah Yasin.The history of this simple and important building is 300 years after the construction of the tomb, and right from the time when the Safavid scientists built 2 minarets on this tomb to make it different from other buildings in Isfahan. It was different. These minarets are designed in such a way that they can be moved, by moving one minaret, the other moves as well, which is why they are called moving minarets.
There are about 3,000 pigeon towers around Isfahan and its structure is such that pigeons were easily protected from enemies and that there was no way for invading birds such as owls and crows to enter.Inside these pigeon houses you will encounter regular pigeon nests and the material of these houses is thatch. The pigeon house tower in Isfahan is made in the shape of a cylinder. By building these towers, both the pigeons could have a shelter and collecting this number of birds in one place was a smart job to use the pigeon droppings as fertilizer for agricultural purposes.
These towers are made of thatch and they have been tried to be built. These towers seem to be in perfect harmony with nature as if they came from the heart of nature.
Chehel Sotoun Palace
Chehel Sotoun Palace, known as Chehelsoton, Forty Pillars Palace. The Chehel Sotoun Palace and its garden constructed during the reign of Shah Abbas I. The astounding mirrors hall with its decorative mirror work,paintings and tile work, along with its glorious porches and pool which faces this hall, all add to its splendor. Interesting aspects of the Chehel Sotoun Palace are: The stone lions at the four corners of the central pool, the hall and marble and vaulted cornices around it. Paintings ,the gilded adornments and the portrait of the sovereign in the royal hall.. The reflection of the twenty pillars of the hall in the pool opposite the palace brings about a conception of forty pillars.
Vank Cathedral, known as Kelisay-e Vaank (Farsi), Church of the Saintly Sisters, The Holy Savior Cathedral
The Holy Savior Cathedral The Vank Church is one of the most beautiful and largest churches in the Jolfa vicinity of Esfahan. The walls are adorned with oil paintings and Religious paintings can be observed here. It has been founded in 1606 by Shah Soltan Hossain Safavid, by the hundreds of thousands of Armenians .
HASHT BEHESHT PALACE
HASHT BEHESHT PALACE or The Eight Heavens, The Eight Paradises was constructed during the reign of Shah Soleiman Safavid. . Despite the fact that the small part of this basis remains,, tile work with interesting designs, which are the remnants of this palace can be noted. Hasht Behesht Palace has been turned into a park now. The Palace that is in the middle of garden, used to be the summer residence of the former kings of Iran and is built in the form of Iranian classic architecture. The eight divisions and octagonal forms of such structures represent the eight levels of paradise for Muslims,The paradigm. Jame or Atigh mosqueJuma Mosque or Isfahan Grand Mosque is one of the oldest and most important mosques in Iran. Today it is one of the most popular tourist destinations. This mosque was built in 777 AD. But the most important change of the mosque took place during the Seljuk period because it moved away from the pattern of the “Arab mosque” and by building four porches on the north, south, east and west sides, created a new style known as the “Iranian mosque”. The word “mosque” and “Jame” means “Jame Mosque”, which means a mosque that is intended for holding prayers, especially Friday prayers. For this reason, it is also called Friday Mosque. In the past, this mosque was known as Atiq Mosque.And some today know it as an ancient mosque and mention the antiquity of this ancient mosque in Iran.
ZAYANDEH ROOD RIVER
ZAYANDEH ROOD RIVER is one of the most important rivers of the central plateau of Iran. This Rivere takes its source from Zagros Mountains .The maximum length of this river is 420 km and its width ranges from 10 to 20 m in the valleys and varies till 800 m in the city of Isfahan .Throughout its course, the presence of lush green thickets adds to the beauty and the pleasant environment, which attributes to the recreational atmosphere. Furthermore, alongside the banks of this river, in the city of Isfahan and near the Zaman Khan, can be considered as an excellent spot for recreational purposes.
Atashgah (Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Isfahan)
Atashgah (Zoroastrian Fire Temple of Isfahan) that also known as Isfahan Fire Temple is the local name for a Sassanid-era archaeological complex (Zoroastrian Fire Temple) situated on a rocky mound that rises 86 meters above the surrounding Marbin Plain outside of Isfahan city. The complex is mentioned in medieval Arabic and Persian sources, which offer different theories regarding its date and function.
ISFAHAN GRAND BAZAAR
ISFAHAN GRAND BAZAAR also known as: Nezamieh Bazaar, Nezam-ol-Molk Bazaar, Naghsh-e Jahan Bazaar, Qeysarieh Bazaar or Soltani bazaar The role of bazaars in Iranian cities is very important; Isfahan is a historical city that has a particular role in Iran’s history, whose bazaar was formed over the centuries. Isfahan bazaar is a relic of the Safavid era and was one of the main luxurious trading centers in the region. It was built in 1620 in the middle of the Naqsh-e Jahan square: the second biggest square in the world.
GAVKHOONY WETLANDS , known as: Baatlagh-e Gaavkhooni, also known as Gav-khooni Wetland (Batlaagh-e Gaav Khooni) can be considered as one of the reputed wet lands in the central plateau of Iran. This vicinity covers an area of 476 sq. km. The same is 1,470 m. and the maximum depth of this wetland is 150 cm. This wetland has high biological resources, including other activities in regards to environment. read more on itto.org The area also accounts as a refuge for immigrant birds, thereby adding to the tourist attractions.
Chaharbagh School, also known as Soltani School and Madar-e Shah (King’s mother) School, is the last magnificent historical monument of the Safavid period in Isfahan, which has been built to teach religious education during the reign of Shah Sultan Hussein, the last Safavid king, from 1116 to 1126 AH. Chahar Bagh School, which according to many researchers was both a school and a mosque, is located on the east side of Chahar Bagh Street with an area of 8500 square meters.
Abbasi Caravanserai (Madershah), the most beautiful caravanserai on the way and in terms of size, strength, beauty and quality of construction has very unique features and is a valuable historical monument that these features have led to the name of the most beautiful caravanserai on the way .
The historical monument of Abbasi Caravanserai (Madarshah) was built during the Safavid period of Shah Abbas II about 415 years ago, at which time ambassadors and representatives of other countries visited the capital of Iran and met with the king. This building belongs to the family. It is royal and the construction cost is paid by the king’s mother as a vow.
The Emamzadeh Haroun-e-Velayat, or the Harun-i Vilayat Mausoleum, is an imamzadeh in Isfahan, Iran. It is located opposite the Ali minaret in Dardasht and belongs to the Ismail I era. There are many accounts of Harun Vilayat, the person who is buried in it.
Shahrestan Bridge or Jay Bridge is the oldest bridge in Isfahan on the Zayandeh River. This bridge was built during the Sassanid era and was repaired during the Dilmian and Seljuk eras.
The city bridge has twelve large stone foundations.
This bridge was actually a military bridge. In terms of architecture and antiquity of the building in the old bridges of Iran, only Dezful Bridge and Shushtar Bridge are equal to this bridge.
FEREYDOUNSHAHR SKI RESORT
FEREYDOUNSHAHR SKI RESORT is located 180 km west of Isfahan near Fereyduoon -Shahr city and is the highest ski resort in Iran. The resort is equipped with 1x small rope tow for beginners,1x ski lift, 1x two seats chairlift which gives you access to a zipline.
Popular cities in Isfahan ProvinceNaein, Ardestan, Natanz and Kashan, Golpayegan, Najaf Abad, Khomeini Shahr, Falavarjan and Shahreza
Climate of Isfahan
Isfahan experiences an arid climate, much like the rest of the Iranian plateau with little rainfall. It features cold winters with temperatures between -2°C and 8°C in January. Cold waves can occasionally lower temperatures to -10°C and the record low is -19.4°C Snow does fall at least once every winter. In contrast, summers can get hot with highs topping 36°C in July but with pleasant nights just above 21°C .
Transportations of Isfahan
There is a night-train to Tehran and a daily train to Mashhad. There are no trains to Shiraz.There is also night train from Tehran to Isfahan.The train station in Isfahan is located far from the old town.
Isfahan is well connected to most parts of Iran by bus. There are multiple bus terminals in Isfahan and you should note which one is more suitable for you. Kaveh, Sofeh, Zayanderud, and Jey are namely the major bus terminals of Isfahan city.
Some brilliant tourist attractions in and around Esfahan are:
Naghsh-e Jahan square (Meidan-e Emam)
Jame(Friday) mosque of Esfahan
Si-o-Se pol bridge
Sheikh Lotf Allah mosque
Ali Qapu palace
Chahar Baq school
Hasht-Behesht palace (and Bolbol garden)
Monar Jonban(Shaking Minarets)
Isfahan is located 435 km south of Tehran. What makes the city more attractive is its geographical diversity. It is surrounded by desert to the north and east and leads to the Zagros Mountains to the west and south. The nearest mountain to Isfahan is Mount Soffeh, about half an hour’s drive from ‘Naghsh-e Jahan’ square. It is a popular entertainment center among locals, containing local chairlift stations. The ‘Zayandeh-Rud’ River, one of the largest river of Iranian Plateau, is one of the unique features of the city. It originates from the Zagros Mountains and flows into ‘Gav-Khuny’ Lake (a seasonal salt lake). Because of some geographic phenomena like the existence of mountains and their directions, Isfahan enjoys a moderate climate. In Isfahan, you can purchase different wonderful and appealing souvenirs and handicrafts, the most famous types of which are ‘Galam-Zani’ and ‘Khatam-Kari’. The art of pottery, tiling (hand painted tiles), and hand printed carpets are other Isfahani handicrafts. You cannot leave Isfahan without tasting its delicious sweets like ‘Gaz’ and ‘Poolaki’, both of which are baked in different types like ‘Gaz-e Pestei’ (filled with pistachios) and chocolate ‘Poolaki’. Transportation: Isfahan Shahid Beheshti International Airport: Tourists can access Istanbul, Kuwait, Vienna, Jeddah and Najaf via this airport. Domestic flights are also provided. Isfahan Railroad Station: You can reach Tehran or Mashhad by train. It has daily departures to the mentioned cities. Busses: Both intercity and inner city busses are available with well-run services. Isfahan is well connected to all provinces and almost all major cities of Iran by bus. There exist several intercity bus terminals like ‘Kave’, ‘Jey’, etc. Note: You can reach Isfahan easily through highways by car. There are good routes to nearby cities (like Shiraz, Yazd, and Tehran). In addition to inner city busses, you can access different destinations using Metro (there are three lines, one is available, the others are under construction) or taxies (snap, ‘Dar-Bast’, private taxis, etc.)
Fatntastic Iran Travel welcomes you to a brief information of Isfahan handicrafts & souvenirs
What to buy in Isfahan?
The most important of Isfahan’s handicrafts are : Carpet weaving, brocade weaving, kilim, enamel work, khatam , engraving on metal, silver work, jewelry making, ceramic and tiles and types of sweetmeats, such as ‘gaz’ and ‘souhan’.
Minakari or Enamelling is the art of painting, colouring and ornamenting the surface of metals by fusing over it brilliant colours that are decorated in an intricate design .
Qalamkari or stamp printing is an art that has a history of about 800 years in Iran. Cotton, silk, flax, Chelvar and Karbas (a type of white fabric with coarse texture) should be used in Qalamkari.
Khatam kari, another handicraft of Isfahan, is used by skilled artists in the wood industry. Khatam kari is also common in Shiraz and it date backs to the Safavid era. This art is to put together small pieces and triangles of wooden shapes to create beautiful geometric shapes. They also use materials such as camel or horse bones, gold, silver, aluminum and brass, and also ebony wood, jujube, orange and betel. One of the most beautiful Iranian handicrafts that is mostly found today in Isfahan. This art, like many other arts, culminated in Safavid era due to Shah Abbas’s support of art.
Ghalamzani also is an ancient Persian craft of engraving intricate designs on metal, from gold and silver to bronze and copper vessels. Isfahan is the main center for this handicraft. The artistic work of this course is made by well-known artists who has the glorious indication of Iranian handicraft and Isfahan
Firuzehkoobi/ Firouzeh Koobi or was invented in Mashhad, but culminated in Isfahan, dating back to 60 to 70 years ago. undefined Firouzeh-koobi on containers includes a copper object on parts of the surface of which small pieces of turquoise are set in mosaic fashion thus giving the object a special glamo.
Persian carpets and rugs (Kilim & Gabbeh) are so popular for their qualities, designs, and colors, waved mostly by women with their delicate femininity. Isfahan is known as one of the major carpet-weaving centers
Day Trip to Isfahan
Perfume of the Arabian Nights (Isfahan)
Departure for the visit of Isfahan and discovery of the Great Friday Mosque,
The oldest historic monument in Isfahan is the Friday Mosque or the Jamet Mosque or the Atique Mosque.
Vanak Church is the largest and most important church in Isfahan and Iran and is located in the Armenian quarter of Jolfa. It is one of the most beautiful churches in Iran, built by Armenians in the Jolfa region of Isfahan during the reign of Shah Abbas II. The construction of this church began in 1655 and was completed in 1664.
The historic palace of Hasht Behesht in Isfahan was built in 1660 in the garden of BolBol and the House of Government of Safavid during the reign of Shah Suleiman the Safavid.
Bazaar of Isfahan, also called Bazar Nezamieh or Bazar Nezam Al-Molk because of its proximity to the Great Mosque and the military school.
One of the magnificent and interesting bridges that was built on Zayandehrud during the Safavid period is 33 bridges.
Thirty-three bridges are one of the architectural and engineering masterpieces of Iranian history and the longest bridge in Zayandehrud.
The Khajou Bridge, one of the most beautiful historical monuments of Iran under the Safavid domination, was built on the Zayandeh river in Isfahan on the orders of Shah Abbas II. The other names of Khajoo Bridge are: Shah Bridge, Babarkanuddin, Hassanabad, Shahi and Shiraz Bridge and in the eastern part of bridge 33, which is one of the other historic monuments of Isfahan.