Places to Visit in Isfahan
Traveling to Iran can not be done without visiting the must-see Isfahan. Henri Stierlin, the Swiss writer, expert in the history of art and architecture, Islamic in particular, devoted a book to the city: "Ispahan, the image of Paradise". It is also called, in a game of words, so close to reality, "Isfahan, Nesf-e-Jahane", half the world.
ُSquares and streets
Naqsh-e Jahan Square - also known as Shah Square or Imam Square-1602. With two mosques and the bazaar. it is an important historical site, and a place classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. It is surrounded by buildings of the Safavid era.
Kohne Square:It is also called Atigh Square. It was a focal point of Isfahan for centuries. In the 11th century, when Isfahan was the capital of the Seljuk dynasty, it was the main square and the chief centre of the business and social life of the city. It was an important central focus of the city until Naqsh-e Jahan Square was laid out in the 17th centenary. But even at that time, the Kohneh Square conserved its importance as the centre of the city's minor activities. With the Jameh Mosque on the north, Qeysarieh Bazaar on the west, Harun Velayat Mausoleum and the Ali Mosque on the south, and the Seljuk palaces on the east, the Kohneh Square served as a prototype for majestic Naqsh-e Jahan Square that Shah Abbas I created in its vicinity.
Chahar Bagh Boulevard: It is a historical avenue in Isfahan constructed in the Safavid era of Iran. The avenue is the most famous in the history of Persia.
The mosques of Isfahan are among the most beautiful and interesting in the world.
Imam Mosque:It was called the Shah mosque before the Iranian Revolution. Built during the Safavid period, it is an excellent example of Islamic architecture in Iran, and is considered one of the masterpieces of Persian architecture. It is inscribed, as well as Naghsh-i Jahan Square, in UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Its splendor is mainly due to the beauty of its seven-color mosaics and calligraphic inscriptions.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque:it is one of the architectural triumph of Iranian architecture that was built during the Safavid Empire, standing on the eastern side of Naghsh-i Jahan Square, Esfahan, Iran. Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1619. It was built by the chief architect Shaykh Bahai, during the reign of Shah Abbas I of Persia. On the advice of Arthur Upham Pope, Reza Shah Pahlavi ordered to rebuild and repair the mosque in 1920s.
Hakim Mosque : One of the oldest mosques in Isfahan
Ali Qapu (The Royal Palace) - early 17th century. It is forty-eight meters high with seven floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. In the music room on the sixth floor, deep circular niches are found in the walls, not only of aesthetic value, but also acoustic. It is rich in naturalistic murals by Reza Abbassi, the painter of the court of Shah Abbas I, and his pupils. There are floral motifs, animals and birds.
Talar Ashraf (Ashraf Hall) : This hall was constructed on Saffavid era.
Hasht Behesht (The Palace of Eight Paradise):meaning "Eight Paradises" is a Safavid era palace in Isfahan. It was built in 1669 and is today protected by Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization. Of more than forty mansions which existed in Isfahan during the rule of Safavids, this is the only one left today.
Chehel Sotoun (The Palace of the Forty Columns) - 1647: It is called the Palace of forty columns, because there are many columns, and in Iran, 40 means a lot. Incidentally, there are twenty columns, and these are reflected in the pool opposite, which could also explain its name. This palace was used for religious ceremonies and royal festivals and for receiving royal ambassadors and distinguished guests.
Madreseye Shah (Imam Jafar Sadegh after the Revolution) - The compound was built during Soltan Hossein, a Safavid king, to serve a school of theology and office to train those who are interested in such and such sciences.The dome large parts of the walls are covered with bright yellow bricks that give a feeling of lightness. The front door adorned with gold and silver facade, and the tile works inside the building are masterpieces of art and industry. The central courtyard, with its swimming pool and garden, is surrounded by arcades on two levels, each giving access to a student room. (last update July 2015)
Pol-e Shahrestan (The Shahrestan Bridge) - It is one of the oldest surviving bridges in Iran.
Pol-e Khaju (Khaju Bridge) - 1650. It is the most beautiful bridge in the province of Esfahan. It was built by Safavid King of Persia, Shah Abbas II around 1650. This structure was originally adorned with artistic works of tiles and paintings serving as a tea room
Si-o-Seh Pol (The bridge of 33 arches) - 1602. It is classified as one of the most famous examples of safavid bridge design.
Pol-e-Joui- It is one of the oldest bridges of Ispahan and was built in 1665, during the Safavid era.
Pol-e-Maarnaan (Maarnaan Bridge)
Churches and Cathedrals
Vank Cathedral: (The Church of the Holy Sisters) - 17th century. The interior is covered with beautiful paintings and gilded sculptures and includes a richly inlaid woodwork. The central dome paints delicately in blue and gold depicts the biblical story of the creation of the world and the expulsion of man from paradise.
Atashgah- A temple of the Zoroastrian fire. This temple is spectacularly perched high on a rock on the outskirts of Isfahan and provides a stunning view of the city (although this is often covered by smog). You can take one of the blue buses (to ask drivers), which will take you there.
Buqe'h-ye Ibn-Sina-Avicenna Dome of the twelfth century.
Tombs of the Nizam al-Mulkand Malek Shah-twelfth and eighteenth centuries.
Jolfa- The Armenian Quarter.
The Shaykh Bahai hammam
Pigeonniers - XVIIth century.
Ali Agha Gholi Baths