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ISFAHAN

Isfahan is considered to be the most beautiful architecture, Islamic and Iranian museum of Art. We can see perfection of decorative and architectural arts in every corner of this city. This city Owens its beauty on bounteous Zayandeh-rood and on other hand to thousands of architects, artists and unknown masters who through many centuries have built this unique museum.

Every year millions of Iranians spend best days of their vacations in Isfahan and foreign tourists leave this city with best possible memories.

The city of Isfahan was formerly called “Anzan” they it was named “Gabian” or “Gye”, after the attack made by Arabs, was called “Jay”, and has seen many ups and downs.

During 1000 to 1006(AH), the capital of safaveya dynasty was moved from Gazvin to Isfahan and prosperity came to this city. During this period mosques, castles, royal palaces, gardens, big squares and … which were all indicators of the perfection of Iranian art and architecture were built in this city, starting form the reign of shah abbas safavi. However at the end of safaveya Efaghene” destroyed the city. This said, since that time, this historical city as one of the most beautiful cities in Iran has been a favorite city to see for both Iranians and foreigners.

City of Isfahan is situated in the heart land of Iran by the green plains of Zayandeh-rood and the slopes of Zagross mountains. Weather is tempered with regular four seasons. The average rain fall is about 100 to 150 millimeters per year.

MOUNTAINS:

soffeh” mountain, at south eastern Isfahan has a height of 2232 meters and is considered the most important height in Isfahan.

Atashgah” mountain is also famous mid is situated 7 Kilometers west of Isfahan in the way towards “Menar Jonban”. The heigh of this mountain is 1680 meters above the sea level.

During Sasanian dynastey a firehouse was built on top of this mountain. Structure of the fire house was made from very large and thick adobes. One can still see the place to keep fire amongst the ruins on top of the mountain. This structure is among the very few structures before Islam era in the city of Isfahan.

ISFAHAN RIVERS:

The name of Isfahan has always been accompanied by Zayandeh-rood. This river is sourced from the heights of “Zard Kooh-Backtiyari (Kohrang)” and after traveling a distance of about 360 Kilometers from west to east irrigates the isfahan area and in 140 kilometers of eastern lsfahan settles in “Ghave-Khoni” marsh land.

ISFAHAN HANDICRAFTS:

Isfahan handicrafts during many centuries is the representative of noble Iranian and Islamic art and is well known all over the world.

lsfahan traditional and contemporary handicrafts in fact is the continuation of the art works belonging to safavi era and is made by the art masters.

The most important arts come to life in this city are: etehing, miniature, parquetry, tile making lame weaving, pen work, Miniature work, Gold smithy silver and Gold, crpet weaving, rug weaving, carpet weaving, veil making, tent making, wood carving and clip weaving. These handicrafts along with “Gaaz” (a kind of pastry) with various flavoures are considered the main souvenirs from Isfahan.

HISTORICAL SIGHTS

Jameh Mosque of Isfahan” this structure was built in 156 (A.H.) in its current place but in a more limited dimensions, but in third century due to rise of population, a bigger mosque was built on top of the first mosque. The most used style in building of the mosque goes to “Salgoghi” dynasty. One can see plaster work in “OljayatooaItar, tile decorations, architecture lines, veranda’s various plaster works along with engravings of “Kofi” and “Sols” script. Which are indicators of efforts and interests of Isfahan artists are all in the structure of this mosque.

IMAM MOSQUE

this mosque was built during shah Abbas in 1020 (A.H) by Iranian artists including Ali Akbar Isfahani and is located in the southern side of Imam square (Naghsh-e-Jahan). Mosque’s doors are decorated with Silver and gold sheets and goes back to shah-safi who came into power after shah abbas the first. The engravings were made by the chirographers from safaveya era including Alireza Abbasi, Abdolbaghi Tabrizi, Mohamad Saleh Isfahani and Mohamad Reza lmami. All of the surfaces of the walls, dome and spire are made by seven color and sweaty tiles, the tile work in this mosque is unique in the world.

SHAIKH-LOTTFOLLA MOSQUE

this mosque is located in eastern side of lmam square (Naghshe-Jahan) and is considered among the most important architectural and tile works in eleventh century. It was built during shah Abbas the first in 18 years. The inner surface work specially mosque’s a later and its beautiful dome is among the most unique and master piece of seven color and sweaty tile making art works. We can see two engravings in the altar of this mosque which has this writing on it. “the work of the poor, petty arid needy of God’s charity-Mohamad reza-Ebn-Ostad-Hossein Banna Isfahani.”

IMAM SQUARE (NAGHSH-E-JAHAN)

this square and the surroundings important structures were built by the orders by shah-Abbas safavi. The important surrounding structures are: Imam mosque, shikh-lottfolla- mosque, Alighapo structure, Tohid-Khaneh (former prison) structure and ghisariya transom. In the middle of the square there used to be the ground and two stone gate of polo.

Imam square today is one of the centers for purchasing handicrafts and is also a place to hold many of national and religious events including the magnificent Friday prayers.

THE FAMOUS CHURCHES OF ISFAHAN

The betel ham church was built in 1307 A.H during Shah Abbas. “Vank church” was built in 1065 A.H during safavia era and has Manu valuable decoratings, a mixture of Iranian and European architecture.

Near the church there is a valuable museum in which there are valuable art paintings, scrip books and other valuable art works. Also there is rnaryam church in “Jolfa square” built in 1021 A.H.

ALI GHAPO STRUCTURE

this structure is among the famous structure of safavi-era and is situated in the western side of Imam square, front of shikh lottfollah mosque. This structure has sit stories and was built by the order of shah-abbas in the beginning of 11th centry A.H by isfahan architectures.

First and the most excellent door of the palace is a door which is called “Ali ghapoo” or “Bob Rafih.”

 

MENAR JONBAN

menar jonban is one of the famous historical sites of Iran. This structure has one porch and two spires. The height of porch from ground level is 10 meters high while the height of the spires from the ground level is 17.5 meters. The tomb of Abdollah Ben Mohamad Ben Mahmoud, one of the distinguished personalities of 8th century A.H is in this structure. One of the interesting things about this structure is if you shake one of the spires of this structure, the other spire would shake too.

CHEHEL-SOTOON PLACE (THE FORTY COLUMNS)

chehel-sotoon structure was built in the beginning of 11th century in three stages in middle of gardens, buildings and places of safavi government and has 67000 square meters area. This place is made of a porch with 20 columns and wooden ceiling. The name, chehel sotoon (forty columns) is because of the reflection of 20 columns in pool’s water. The paintings on the surroundings walls of chehel sotoon has been painted by the famous artist of safa era “Reza Abbasi” In magnification style-Iranian miniature fashion. From the poems of “Najib Kashani” on the foreheads of the columned-porch, we can infer that this structure was burned in the beginning of 12th century and was mended during Shah Soltan Hossein safavi.

ALLAH-VERDI-KHAN BRIDGE “(SE-O-SE-POL)-THIRTY THREE BRIDGE

Allah-verdi-khan bridge was constructed between the years 1008 till 1011 (A.H) over the zayanden-rood and was considered an architectural masterpiece during its time. The bridge is 300 meters long width of 14 meters. From architectural and bridge making point of view, it is very important and is unique in its strength, greatness and beauty. This bridge is the largest bridge over the Zayandeh-rood.

ROKNO-DEAN BRIDGE (KHAJOO BRIDGE)

This bridge is called baba rokno-dean because it is the city passage-way to baba rakno-dean shirazi’s tomb who was a great mystic in eight century. This bridge today is kown as khajo bridge is memento of shah abbas II times. This bridge was constructed in I060(A.H)

“Repositories of Decorative arts” Iran’s decorative arts repository (museum) is located in the historical building (stable) which was built in the beginning of 11th century (A.H.) simultaneous with the rule of “Shah-Abbas-I” and was used as a place to keep riding equipments and royal trappings.

This repository consists of different sections of penmanship including script works and calligraphy, bindery and imprintings, lac weaving, gold weavings, metal works, wooden works, ceramics, glass works which are valuable memento from safavi and gajar eras.

Abbasi Mehman Sara” (abbasi hotel) one of the caravansary of 11th century (A.H.) which was in the center of Isfahan and has turned to a very beautiful and splendid hotel. Despite having gone Many renovation it is still a reminiscent of Isfahan’s past.

Compiled from published materials by Isfahan provincial organization of Iran and world tourism.

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