Isfahan, the capital of the province of the same name, was the capital of the Persian Empire between the 16th and 17th centuries. Particularly well irrigated, its large green expanses surprisingly contrast with the desert expanses typical of Iran! The city is a Mecca of Persian culture, and the numerous historic buildings scattered here and there bear witness to this.

Isfahan is a true jewel of the East, the city is a typically Iranian grand dame, and displays a strong character, and assertive majesty! The name of Isfahan (or Esfahan or Ispahan), made famous in Europe by a long series of reports travel, had first designated a densely populated, highly urbanized neighborhood located in the lower reaches of the Zayandeh Rud River. It deserves the epithet “half the world” (Esfahān, nesf-e jahān), and nevertheless remains, in the center of an intensely cultivated oasis, one of the most important cities of the Iranian plateau.

isfahan, or Esfahan, a city in central Iran, is a city of great architectural beauty that deserves to be included in your travel itinerary to discover what was once Persia.sfahan, or Esfahan, a city in central Iran, is a city of great architectural beauty that deserves to be included in your travel itinerary to discover what was once Persia.

Located in the mountains of Zagros and overlooking the Zayandeh River, it is the capital of the province of the same name and is a very ancient city, already prosperous in the times of the Sassanid Empire, then conquered by the Arabs and the Abbasids and finally capital of the Seljuk sultanate.

Many dominations and cultures have passed from Isfahan (including Mongols and Afghans) leaving impressive traces of their passage in the cultural wealth of the city.

ATTRACTIONS

Royal Square or Naghsh-e Jahan,

in Persian (the image of the World) urban center of the city, redesigned by Shah Abbas I. In the large central square Naghsh-e Jahan (512 x 163 meters) there are two series of arches where in the lower part there are all the shops of the artists where they produce and sell most of Iran’s handicrafts such as miniatures, turquoise and fabrics. Naghshe Jahan Square housed an elite of merchants who were in search of artistic refinement. Still in the square there are still the poles that were used to delimit the polo field built 400 years ago.

Queen’s Mosque or Sheikh Lotfollah,

is a majestic masterpiece of the Safavid period located in a harmonious and completely recognizable space for its artistic opulence. Shah Abbas I chose the talented Iranian architect, Ali Akbar Isfahani, as head of the construction of the mosque, which took almost 17 years to build. The mosque, at the behest of the shah, would have been dedicated to his father-in-law, the Lebanese theologian who would later be entitled to a Koranic school in Isfahan. The masterpiece of the architect Isfahani has put into practice a unique model of mosque that has never existed before. In fact, the mosque has neither minarets nor an internal courtyard, nor a bath for ablution. However the prodigious external and internal decoration, the play of light towards the mihrab, the calligraphy magnificence with the lapis lazuli background and finally the complexity and beauty of the floral motifs under the dome have made the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan one of the most beautiful in Iran.

Royal mosque,

namely the Mosque of the Imam today. The genius of the architect Isfahani can be seen, willingly and unwillingly, outside the interior space of the mosque. In fact, when you have completed your visit to the mosque, in the middle of Naghsh-e Jahan square you see an unusual abundance of minarets and a cunning and “deliberate” detour from Isfahani, for an aesthetic adaptation to the square. The Imam Mosque is an unmistakable masterpiece where every decoration and every particle finds its meaning in the geometric symmetry. Here the inner courtyard has been decorated with a bath for ablutions, around which there are four imposing iwans that represent the majesty of the use of blue colors in the Islamic sacred space. In addition to the decorative beauty, the two-layered dome – 36.3 m. of internal height and 51 m. the external one – of the southern Iwan, an excellent system has been applied to amplify the sound, during the calls of the ritual. Walking with a velvety step is recommended to hear the rumble.

Ali Qapu Pavilion

it is the palace where the sovereign received his guests. Ali Qapu has six floors with a door that connected the square to the Chehel Sotun Palace. When you are in the square you immediately notice the beautiful terrace with its 18 columns, where you can certainly enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the Naghsh-e Jahan square. The masterpiece of the Palace consists of the incorporated details such as the fifth floor tub, the inlaid wooden ceiling, the type of tablet applied on the walls of the building that highlight an oriental dream world. Finally, in the spine of the Ali Qapu Palace a spiral staircase winds its way to the enchanting Music Room, decorated with stuccoes depicting vases and other similar themes, which together help to improve the acoustics of the room.

Palace of the Forty Columns or Chehel Sotun

it is the pavilion where the King granted audiences. A few steps from the Piazza, another luxurious Persian Garden shines in the courtyard of the Chehel Sotun, embracing one of the delights of the Safavid Renaissance: the pavilion still pulsates in the heart of the Persian Garden as if the luxury of real life had never ended. Here the frescoes are strung up because it is very little to define them as refined and elegant. Admiring the paintings and the stories they tell means opening a cultural and anthropological door to identify for a moment with the most important characters of the history of the Middle East of 1600 – 1700.

Mount Soffeh,

located south of Isfahan, Mount Soffeh and its 2,257 meters offers the opportunity for hardcore athletes to practice climbing, or for hiking enthusiasts to take advantage of the many hiking trails to cross the ruins of ancient castles, or even a small zoo , restaurants and a cable car that takes you directly to the top: the latter is worth a detour because it offers an absolutely exceptional panorama of the metropolis, so it is a must when visiting Isfahan.

Haj Mirza coffee

With every inch of the walls and ceiling covered with photographs, paintings, lamps and other intriguing odds and ends, the Azadegan teahouse feels like a real cave of wonders. Characteristic older men make up the regular clientele and reliably gift tourists with entertaining anecdotes and a whirlwind history of Esfahan. You have to sit down to see the suspended objects and taste a doogh – an Iranian yogurt drink – or a saffron ice cream or a local herbal tea or traditional dishes such as babaganoush or ashe reshteh – or legume soup – before going out and for optimal digestion you can take a classic tea to be sweetened with crystallized sugar.

Caravanserai Abbasi

from the seventeenth century transformed into a hotel complex is an exquisite building that is worth a visit, if not a stay. The rooftop restaurant has a particularly pleasant view (open in the summer), but the courtyard tearoom is not without its charm.

Open until 11pm in the summer months, few tea houses in the country are so striking and tangibly historic. A more conventional café is located in the main hall of the hotel.

Qeysarieh coffee,

located on the north side of Imam Square adjacent to the bazaar passage, it offers tea and herbal teas with fantastic views of the square. While inside there are photographs and colorful ornaments, the terrace offers a more serene platform from which to enjoy the impressive view. It is worth visiting at different times of the day to observe the changing moods of Iran’s largest square.

Jolfa district

Nicknamed “the new Jolfa”, named after a city where many Armenians were transferred by the Shah of Iran, this neighborhood is located south of the Zayandeh Rud River which flows through the city; it is in fact one of the most visited neighborhoods in Iran, as it is home to a dozen religious monuments such as the famous Vank Cathedral, the most visited in Iran, built in the 17th century and still in use, which in itself is worth the detour when visiting Isfahan.

In addition, this very lively district offers many cafes and restaurants, markets, shops and tea houses, everything has a particular style because here the young people of the city who are part of the different religious communities of Isfahan mix: Jews, Christians and Muslims.

Vank Cathedral

and its own museum tell the story of the diaspora of the Armenian people who have lived outside their motherland for more than 300 years. Iran not only knew how to welcome its guests, but above all it protected them from the serious conflicts that threatened social life in the Armenian neighborhood of Isfahan. Today, in the courtyard of the Vank Cathedral, the Armenians with great care and caution have opened a new ethnological museum, where it is possible to immerse yourself in the real culture of a country so far and almost, thanks to the information displayed in the galleries of this historical showcase of the Armenian people. But the story does not end there because the Vank Cathedral – it is not the only church in Isfahan – invites the Armenian community to celebrate religious holidays and above all to commemorate the genocide. In fact, every year on April 24, Armenians gather in the Vank Cathedral to commemorate the deportation and elimination of their compatriots, about 1.5 million dead. As soon as you enter the elegant courtyard of the Vank Cathedral, going down the steps of the main entrance you will notice one of the most important monuments of the Armenian people, dedicated to the people deported during the great tragedy.

Friday mosque,

it is the most important visit because here you can admire the Islamic architectural progress that took place from the seventh century until 1900. So it is not wrong to underline the fact that the Friday Mosque is the oldest and most complete in the whole country. Here the details are infinite and the spaces are immense. An exemplary model of altar called the Mihrab of Olgiaito was born in this mosque, in the 14th century; the building has a complex stucco composition consisting of three-dimensional inscriptions that blend with floral and geometric carvings. The Mosque has two clearly recognizable spaces even for the inexperienced eye: internal space and external space. It is wonderful to admire the monochromaticity of the colors of the bricks in the inner space and the turquoise blue and lapis lazuli colors in the outer space. The passage from one space to another makes us travel in time especially when we are under the magnificent Taj al-Moluk Dome, reputed to be the most beautiful, among those made of bricks, in all of Iran.

Bird Garden,

created in the 70s, this garden is a gigantic aviary that includes more than 5000 species of birds, mostly from Iran but also from Asian and African countries; the various spaces are arranged according to the characteristics of each species, such as a pond for pink flamingos or ducks. In addition, the space is home to multicolored parrots that will amaze the little ones and many street vendors will offer visitors cheap food. For those looking for what to do in Isfahan, this is a great destination!

Si-o-se Pol or Ponte 33,

it is one of the exemplary bridges of the city. It is distinguished by its two-level structure; it is especially recommended to admire the night lights oriented towards the majestic arches that give the building a supernatural aspect after sunset! The bridge also serves to regulate the course of the river it crosses, and therefore has a dual role, cultural and infrastructural. Bridge 33 is the most famous bridge that crosses the Zayandeh Roud River and has always been a great choice to visit. This river is one of the longest in Iran and runs through about 480 kilometers.

Khaju Bridge

built during the reign of Shah Abbas II around 1650 (a bridge would have already existed there at the time of Tamerlane), the Khaju Bridge also serves as a dam, a crossroads.

The 132 m long Khaju Bridge has two levels, the lower one with special closures regulating the level of the river. The original paintings and terracottas can still be distinguished in some places, as well as the remains of the stone benches arranged to allow the shah to admire the landscape. The pavilion built in the center was reserved for him. If you are passionate about the mountains, ancient Persia, a thousand one notes, desert in Iran, trekking, nomadism, photographs, anthropology, historical landscapes and the fascinating culture of the Middle East SITO Travel helps you organize your trip to Iran, you can contact us and contact us about us, because our experience is born and developed in the field.

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تور سفارشی
تورهای ما به صورت خصوصی و در هر زمان از سال قابل رزرو هستند. ما همچنین می‌توانیم برنامه سفر را متناسب با نیازها و ترجیحات شخصی شما سفارشی کنیم. برای اطلاعات بیشتر و قیمت‌ها، لطفاً با ما تماس بگیرید.

Sandra Haarmann

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