The city of turquoise domes and minarets that are inside the heart of sky with their enchanting designs. This city hosted numerous tourists since thousand years ago, each one of them have admired its beauty and grandeur. This unique gem of Iran passed a lot of ups and downs during its history but besides the dust of time which is in its face, it continues to shine in the sky of Iran.
Isfahan is one of the most famous laces of Iran in the word that is known for centuries as the “Half of World” (A.K.A NESFE JAHAN). This city has more than 6,000 monuments thus the Half of Word fits this valuable place of Iran.
Isfahan is a combination of rich cultural heritage and beautiful nature and a history as old as Iran’s history, culture and civilization. Numerous and valuable
works from various historical periods which remains in various cities of the region, changed Isfahan to a museum of art, history, and nature and visiting this region is one of items of Iranian and international tourists wish list.
Climate & Geographical Conditions
This Turquoise Solitaire of World is really big so, it has different types of geographical roughness. The mountainous areas of southern and Zagros Mountains in the West, together with Karkas Mountains in the north and the sand hills, sand dunes and fixed and mobile Sabulous in East and North- East has been enclosed this province. Also the heights of the region that their tallest is “Marshenan” mountains in the central part of province are covered
the “Zayanderud” valley. Isfahan is one of the most fertile plains of the central plateau of Iran and this leads to difference of its weather and climate in such a way that minimum temperature of West of the province is up to -30 and the maximum temperature has been reported in the eastern half was +49.
Historical & Cultural Attractions
Isfahan is a treasure of different historical periods and this legacy of the history is narrated in the city as if the soul of Iran’s history lies in this city.The precious memories of this region which remains from different periods of history, is the result of the entity of history of such a region that dates back to the third millennium BC. There are ancient mounds and especially the historical hills of Silk are the evidence of this claim. Long history and valuable architectural monuments of Isfahan caused some of the major monuments such as Naqsh-e Jahan Square is recorded in the National Organization of UNESCO’s list. Old mosques with historical and architectural value are the major monuments of Isfahan province. These mosques are located in different cities of this province. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque has beautiful architecture, Jameh Mosque of Isfahan is a sign of parts of architecture changes of the different course of history, Baba Sookhteh Mosque is a valuable gem in architecture art, Imam Mosque is unique in terms of grandeur and architecture
of the Safavid period, Ardestan Jameh Mosque is one of the oldest Mosques of Iran, Zavareh Jameh Mosque and Golpayegan Jameh Mosque are valuable architectures of the Seljuk period, and all of them are valuable and historical places of Islamic art of Isfahan.
Non-Muslim religious centers such as fire temples includes the Fire Temple of Isfahan, Niasar Ancient Fire Temple and some churches such as Hacoop Church, Vanak Church, Church of Beit-ol Lahm (Bethlehem) are also some of historical attractions of Isfahan. Historic palaces with unique architecture are other truism attractions of Isfahan. Chehel Sotoun Palace is one of the buildings that caused the title of Half of World for Isfahan and this city owes half of its fame to this one building. And Hasht Behesht Palace is one of residential palaces of the last kings of Safavi Perion. Ali Qapu Palace is a unique sample of one of the architectural wonders of the Safavid palaces Not only the visitors who visits the city for first time admire its magnificent monuments, but also the citizens who lived in this city for a long time, discover
a new wonder of these constructions every time. In the following a few out of tens of natural and tourism attractions of this city are mentioned:
Siosepol or Siose Bridge
the construction of this bridge started at 1596 and with efforts of Allah- Verdi Khan, the Generalissimo of Shah Abbas and based on the order of Shah Abbas. This bridge is 259 m long and 14 m width and is the longest bridge of Zayanderud. In the Safavi Period the ceremony of Abrizan or Abpashan was held on this bridge (Abpashan is one of the valid and famous ceremonies related to Nowruz. One of the ceremonies of these celebrations is the ritual of washing and cleansing and splashing water on each other to erase the sins). The Armenians of Julfa held the Khajshouyan Ceremony in the area of this bridge (Christians celebrates on January 6, the day God appears as the human in form of Jesus Christ). The center way was for horses and court and Army carriages to pass through it. Both sides of the bridge that crossed the through beautiful spaces were assigned to the sidewalks. This bridge is also known as: Shah Abbasi Bridge, Allah-Verdi Khan Bridge, Julfa Bridge, 40 Cheshme Bridge, 33 Cheshmeh Bridge and the reason of each one of this titles is as follow:
Shah Abbasi Bridge
This bridge is constructed based on order of First Shah Abbas, it is also known as Allah-Verdi Khan Bridge because it is constructed by his efforts,
the bridge was the transportation place of Julfa People so it is also known as Julfa Bridge, at first it has 40 springheads so it was called 40 chechme (springhead) and now it has 33 springheads so it is called 33 chechme.
Naqsh-e Jahan Square of Isfahan
is one of the most beautiful squares of word with 507 m long and 158 m width, it is like a chain that connected 4 spectacular historical places of the world that are located in Isfahan includes: Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam Mosque, Entrance of Caesarea Market and Ali Qapu Palace. Before the selection of Isfahan as Iranian capital in the Safavid period, there was a large garden in place of this square named “Naqsh-e Jahan”. The garden was also the location of government buildings and palaces of rulers of Teimori Period (1370s).
The Naqsh-e Jahan square was constructed in a small square that was remained from the Teimori period. Since construction of Imam and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and Entrance of Caesarea Market, these 3 buildings were connected by uniform arches and after construction of the square and ending of decorations, the floor of this square was sand planed and flatted. Since that time, the square was dedicated to holding matches and games that was regular it that time such as polo and pillory and marching ceremony of soldiers and armies carried out in the same place. Two stone pillars located at the front of the Imam Mosque and their counterparts located across the Caesarea Market. These are evidence of playing polo and other games in this square. The importance of this square is for its beauty and historical value, and also because the four of the greatest masterpieces of the Safavid architecture that are located around this square. The great Abbasi Mosque is located at the south, in east, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, in the west, the great Ali Qapu Palace and in the north the Entrance of Caesarea Market is located. In fact, this square and its surrounding is a prominent center of the masterpieces of Safavid era (1603 AD). And had an important political, economic and social role in history. In era of first Shah Abbas and his successors it was the venue for events such as festivals, competitions, archery, polo, and a military parade and in the in normal times, each corner of the square, but the area around the Ali Qapu Palace was assigned to one guild of tradesmen. One day per week, residents of nearby villages brought their products into the square to sell them.
Abbasi Jameh Mosque: This Mosque is the most important Mosque of the Safavid Period that still exists in Iran. Construction of the mosque beganin 1611 and it was decorated in the time of King Soleiman in 1630 AD. The architect of this mosque is Ali Akbar Isfahani and its inscription is written by Alireza Abbasi. Dome’s height is 52 meters, minarets 48 meters high and the minarets of main entrance are 42 meters high. The other specification of this mosque is its very beautiful and artistic tiles and architecture and visual relationship of the mosque and its four minarets with the square.
Entrance of Caesarea Market: The Entrance of Caesarea Market is the main entrance of Grand Bazaar of Isfahan. It was a three-storey building not long ago and now has only two floors. In the destroyed third floor of the building named timpani hall, they used to play music and some times to declare the time. This entrance is opened to the Grand Bazaar of Isfahan and in the past, it was the main way to enter the Isfahan Bazaar. The Bell of Deyr-e Hormuz and The clock on the Portuguese Castle of Hormuz Island (about 80 cm diameter) were brought after the conquest of the island and it was installed above the entrance.
Ali Qapu Music Hall: Ali Qapu Palace is located at the west of square and in 6 floors. Its area is about 1800 Sq.m. The final height of this palace is 34 meters and each floor has unique decorative art of its own. One of the characteristics of this place is its response to sound and noise at the entrance, together with a very beautiful hall, the main music hall and 53 rooms used for living room, meeting room, government’s room and the ambassadors and guests’ room.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque: The Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the buildings surrounding the square, which was dedicated as a mosque of Shah Abbas and it was built based on the Shah’s order. The building is located in the East of the square. Its dome has 32 m height and its construction lasts for 17 years. The difference of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque and other Safavid’s mosques is that this mosque has no courtyard and minarets. The famous Safavid calligrapher Reza Abbasi wrote the entrance of the mosque. In May 1979 the square was recorded as a UNESCO World Heritage and first Persian item in this list.
Monar Jonban: It is a mausoleum and two minarets, constructed on the shrine of “Amoo Abdollah Ben Mahmoud Saghlabi”, one of the wellknown Iranian and it was built in the eighth century of Iranian calendar. Its tombstone dates back to 1316 AD. This small building with 9 m width and 17 m height is famous because by shaking one of the minarets, the other minaret and the whole building will shake. The most logical reason is there to shake the minaret, the physical phenomenon of resonance. The porch of building is built in Mongol style and has some tiling of that era. But the shape of minaret suggests that they may have added to the porch at the end of the Safavid period
Chehel Sotoun Palace: It is one of the historical buildings of Iran and world.
The area of Chehel Sotoun garden is about 67,000 Sq.m. its construction has been started in first Shah Abbas Era and in the center, a building was constructed. Chehel Sotoun garden is only a small part of Jahan Nama Garden and it dates back to before Safavid era. First Shah Abbas built a palace inside it that was the core of the first Chehel Sotoun Palace and included the main hall of the palace and its four corners. Significant changes emerged in the building during the reign of Shah Abbas II and hypostyle balcony, mirror porch, side porches of central hall, eastern and western parts pools and central hall’s frescoes were added to the building. Since 1647 the palace was officialy assigned to ceremonies and reception of the kings and government officials of the Safavid era. The naming the building as Chehel Sotoun, two reasons can be cited: First, the number 40 symbolizes the diversity and plurality in Islamic Mysticism, and second, the reflection of 20 column of east side Porch in front pool of the palace, bringing the total number to forty columns (A.K.A Chehel Sotoun). In 1931 the Chehel Sotoun palace was registered in the National Heritage List.
Natural and Tourism Attractions
One of the largest rivers of Iran is Zayanderud that flows from west to the east of the Isfahan province and passes through the mountains, valleys, plains, orchards, woods and farmlands and finally, with its beautiful windings divides the region to North and South. Zayanderud is sometimes enraged and roaring, and sometimes walking slowly and head cocked on its bed, the farms and trees will drink in its way until it reaches its tomb, Gavkhouni. From past, the people had built some bridges on this river to connect the north and south of it, and some of these bridges dating back to the Isfahan’s origin. Some of most famous bridges are Siosepol Bridge and Khaju Bridge. This river is lifeblood of this beautiful, green and fertile territory and it always has been the inspiration of tasteful poets. Due to the geographic location of the river and the surrounding mountains and the snow stuck, Isfahan has several springs such as Haftoon Spring, Khoorasgan Spring, Rahroan Spring and Shah Kooh Spring. Considering the fact that Isfahan is so close to the desert, but because of Zayanderud, it is one of the greenest cities of Iran. It has several woods and lush and beautiful environment for tourism and recreation. Chahar Bagh, the garden of Fadak, the flowers garden, Ghadir garden, Birds Park are the other tourist attractions of this precious pearl in the center of the Iranian plateau. Chehelsotoon Museum, Butterfly Museum, Education Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Decorative Arts Museum, Martyrs’ Museum, Natural History Museum and the Museum of Vank Church shows the precious masterpieces of Isfahan Province
Isfahan, the Supporter of Football
Isfahan is well known as the city that loves football, and strengthened the football community. This province has two professional football clubs, named Foolad Moobarakeh Sepahan and Zoobahan, and seven semi-professional clubs and the rest are amateurs. Both professional football clubs are playing at Iranian Champion League (Khalij-e Fars). Some of the glories of these 2 teams includes: Zoobahan played in the final of the AFC Champions League 2010 and Foolad Moobarakeh Sepahan played in AFC Champions League final in 2007 and participated in the 2007 Asian Cup.
Fooladshahr Stadium- Isfahan- Iran
Naghsh-e-Jahan Stadium is a Multifunctional Sports Complex situated in Isfahan City. Its construction began in 1995 and after pause in between; its first phase was inaugurated in in 2002. The stadium completion was delayed again but for the time being final steps of the construction of the stadium is underway. Naghsh-e-Jahan is an 85,000-seater semi-roofed stadium, and as it shown in the schematic map it has been constructed with the most modern facilities.
During the Safavid period, the city of Isfahan gained such a glory and majesty to be called half of the World. Among the remaining architectural works of this age there is a school, Bazaar and caravansary complex which shines like a precious jewelry in Chahar Bagh Avenue in Isfahan. This complex was made by the order of Shah Sultan Hossein Safavid who dedicated it to his mother. The school, therefore, is called school and caravansary of King’s mother. Among those structures, school is famous for fine and unique tile-working and is regarded as the most beautiful historical work of Isfahan and the world. At the beginning, bazaar and caravansary were built for their earnings for maintenance of school and livelihood of school members. The bazaar, which
is located near the north side of the school, is covered with long beautiful overarches with surrounding two story chambers. This bazaar used to be known as long bazaar and it is known today as art bazaar. Currently, local and traditional artifacts are offered to the customers and craftsmen are building these artifacts in the second floor. There are many artifacts sold in this bazaar which reminds us of some memorable names such as Khatam mina, Qalamkar, Qalamzani, Monabbat, Soukht, Tazhib, Moaraq, Golabetoun, Zaribafi, etc. school, bazaar and caravansary complex belong to three hundred years ago. King’s mother construction apparently started in 1700 ad and continued till 1716 ad. Date imprints in all corners of this school demonstrate its building time. This hotel and hostel has very suitable facilities and is located in a historical and memorable atmosphere. It include facilities such three-bedroom apartment, suites with the view to the beautiful scenery of Hotel Abbasi Garden, luxury suites such as Qajar, Sabz, andSafavid and two-bedroom apartments with indoor design and the architecture all belong to approximately 300 years ago. New hotel is inspired from the previous conditions and ancient architecture. Pool, a very nice lobby, Sports Halls, multiple stores and shops, a 4 purpose saloon, various restaurants, business
center,Quran museum, library, travel Agency, and Caravansary of king’s mother, all with eye catching and outstanding historical texture, pattern and decoration for local and foreign guests.
Construction of international Kosar Parsian hotel in Isfahan was started in an area of 11000 sq. m in 1969. This hotel were erected alongside of beautiful Zayandehroud neighboring Si o se pol. This residential complex first opened with 130 room named Sheraton Hotel under the Sheraton Hotels group. Later after one
year it was renamed to Kourosh hotel and operated with this name under Sheraton hotels group until 1979. Hotel’s preliminary reconstruction was started in 2005 in order to improve the quality and quantity of services and soon after the reconstruction its capacity was extended to 170 from previous 130 rooms and luxury suites. Second phase of reconstruction is currently under the operation. Following the implementation of second development phase, 60 rooms to the residential complex, two auditorium and roofed sports complex including swimming pool, sauna, bodybuilding gym, and a multi-story parking were added.Further development plans are anticipated after the completion of this phase.
International Kosar hotel of Isfahan is located in the center of Isfahan like a priceless gem with an exceptional and unique position in the blue heart of the exquisite and spectacular scenery along Zayandehroud overlooking the historic bridge of Allahverdi Khan. This hotel is equipped with two glorious restaurant named Zarin and Simin, a summer restaurant, a Lebanese restaurant, cateringhall and auditorium, and an entertainment and sports complex(summer swimming pool, sport club, dry and steam sauna, table tennis), a Chapel, a traditional teahouse, a coffee shop and a commercial center.
Shahid Beheshti International Airport of Isfahan
Shahid Beheshti International Airport of Isfahan (SBIA) is one of the oldest . airports in the country which is situated at Soffeh region and was taken over by Iranian Air Force as it was required at the time. The new Airport is located 10 Miles away from East of Isfahan in an area of as vast as 1041 hectares providing air services, education and passenger flights. It was officially launched in the country’s air Aviation in 1,982. The airport covers an area of 112,464 square meters, including 13,750 square meters for domestic flights as well as 7,300 square meters dedicated to international flights. One of the advantages of SBIA is its distance from urban areas. In addition the city enjoys many natural and tourism attractions and due to political, social, economic and cultural aspects it absorbs many tourists from every corner of the globe.