Isfahan | اصفهان
Have you ever heard about Isfahan, Iran? If I have to be honest with you, I don’t know much about Iran. I heard the name of this city few months ago and I was curious to know more about the architecture of this place, so I made a Google research. Here are few spaces that grabbed my attention. Hope they inspire you!
Isfahan is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 km south of Tehran and is Iran’s third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad, produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, and handicrafts. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. It is famous for its Islamic architecture, with many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. This led to the Persian proverb “‘Esfahān nesf-e jahān ast” (Isfahan is half of the world).
- Sheikh Lutf Allah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Safavid Iranian architecture. Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1618. It was built by the chief architect Shaykh Bahai. It is registered, along with the Naghsh-i Jahan Square, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the unique characteristics of the mosque is the peacock at the center of its dome. If you stand at the entrance gate of the inner hall and look at the center of the dome, a peacock, whose tail is the sunrays coming in from the hole in the ceiling, can be seen.
- Si-o-se Pol (which means 33 Bridge or the Bridge of 33 Arches) is one of the eleven bridges of Isfahan, Iran. It is highly ranked as being one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design.Picture: Wikipedia
- Chehel Sotoun is a pavilion in the middle of a park at the far end of a long pool, built by Shah Abbas II to be used for his entertainment and receptions. The name, meaning “Forty Columns” in Persian, was inspired by the twenty slender wooden columns supporting the entrance pavilion, which, when reflected in the waters of the fountain, are said to appear to be forty.
- Ālī Qāpū is a grand palace, located on the western side of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square opposite to Sheikh Lotf Allah mosque, and had been originally designed as a vast portal. Ālī Qāpū is rich in naturalistic wall paintings by Reza Abbassi. There are floral, animal, and bird motifs.
- Armenian Vank Cathedral (Vank means “cathedral” in the Armenian language) was one of the first churches to be established in the city’s Jolfa district by Armenian immigrants settled by Shah Abbas I after the Ottoman War of 1603-1605. The cathedral consists of a domed sanctuary, much like a Persian mosque, but with the significant addition of a semi-octagonal apse and raised chancel usually seen in western churches. The cathedral’s exteriors are in relatively modern brickwork and are exceptionally plain compared to its elaborately decorated interior.
- The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world (some claim that it actually is the largest in the world) and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city also has a wide variety of historic monuments.
What do you think? Would you like to visit Isfahan? I definitely want to visit this city one day!!! And one more thing … Do you know Maz Jobrani? He is an Iranian-born American comedian who is part of the “Axis of Evil” comedy group. He is hilarious!! Here is a short video, that will make you laugh 😉