[Travel] Discover Iran - Most famous and beautiful sights in Isfahan


Having one of the most ancient civilizations that ever existed, Iran has many historic cities and endless artistic buildings showing its rich culture. The most famous are Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz und Persepolis. Each reign, that ruled over persia, chose another city to be the capital. Therefore, you'll find historic gems in all of those ancient cities.

This blog will be about Isfahan, one of the former capitals of Iran. The impressive architecture, royal mosques and unique bridges gave Isfahan the title "half of the world" [persian: Esfahan nesf-e Jahan]. Scroll on, to see the three most famous and beautiful sights of Isfahan.


1. Naqsh-e Jahan or Meidane Emam


In the 16th. century Shah Abbas, former king of Iran, decided to move his residence from Qazvin to Isfahan. With many thousand architects and artists he wanted to create the most beautiful city of Iran - which many tourists agree of today. King Abbas wanted to unite religion and trade, so he started to build the square Naqsh-e Jahan that is nine hectars big (one of the biggest squares in the world) and consists of a royal mosque and a bazaar. He wanted the whole world to be a part of tradeing in this giant place, so he allowed any kind of business to be part of the bazaar.

Buildings on Naqsh-e Jahan

The royal mosque, which is called Imam-Mosque since the islamic revolution in 1979, was built with about 472.500 mosaic tiles and is covered with 18 million bricks. Since this square was Shah Abbas' royal residence, the Mosque was also called Shah Mosque (eng.: King's Mosque).


A splendid gateway leads to the royal mosque. Just like all other mosques, the Imam-Mosque is built in the direction of Mekka. Along with the place Naqsh-e Jahan it's on the UNESCO World Heritage Site.




Second mosque on the square, which was orginally built for the king and his wives only. 



1,2 kilometer long, two-story arcades, enclose the square. In front of the royal mosque, on the other side of the square, you can find the gate to the bazaar, which is outside, along the arcades. 

Gateway to bazaar.
This historic and unique square is definitely my most favourite place in Isfahan. Half of the time I stayed in Isfahan I was strolling there with my Family, at any time of the day - it was always a wonderful experience. This place will give you an authentic feeling of Isfahan, uniting religion and trade at the same spot.

g Abbas' Residence.

It's the perfect place to stroll, have a picnic and buy unique artpieces or handicraft products in the bazaar shops. It's also a paradise for animal lovers: At day you can take a ride on horse and carriage and at night and early in the mornings you will see many cats playing with each other.

Kittens cuddling with each other early in the morning.


Meidane Emam at Night



At night it's even prettier: People spend their summer nights on this square, having a picnic, chatting, strolling and kids playing. The mosques and arcades' lights that illuminate the square, make this experience even more special.


English spelling:

The square: Naqsh-e Jahan Square (before islamic revolution) or Maidane Emam - Royal Square (now)
The mosque and royal palace: Masjed-e Shah (before) or Masjed-e Emam (now)


2. Si-o-Se Pol - Bridge in Isfahan


Si-o-Se Pol was built in 1632 and is known as one of the most famous bridges of Isfahan. The Name Si-o-Se means thirty-three and refers to the 33 spans of the Bridge. Actually it was used to cross the Zayandeh Rud [eng.: life-giving river], but for 2 years the government keeps the dams closed so you won't see the river in the following Pictures. There are eleven more bridges like this one, another really famous one is Pol-e Khaju.


Since the river usually dries up in summer, the government didn't open the dam in two years. The water is lead to villages right before Isfahan, due to their insufficuent water supply. Therefore, you won't see any water in the Zayandeh river in the following pictures. 



 If you are planning to have a nice photoshoot with the Si-o-Se bridge, then be ready to go there at 7 o'clock in the morning. At 8 o'clock you already won't be able to see the bridge well, since there are big crowds of people going for a walk. The stairs on each side of the bridge also let you take some nice shots for Instagram or Facebook.



Si o Se Pol Park 


On each side of the bridge you will see something like a park, where people take a walk, relax and enjoy the view. When you are explorig Isfahan by car, you will see this park on the way to the bridge, since it's situated right along the street, just like a sidewalk.

Si-o-Se Pol at Night


Si o Se Pol - spring 2016, when there was still water in the river.


At night everything looks different: When they turn on the bridge's lights at the evening and each of the 33 spans are illuminated, you will see why this bridge is so popular and frequently visited.

3. Chehel Sutun - 40 Columns


Palace Chehel Sotoun

This Fourty-Columns-Palace was built in 1647 by King Abbas II. Surrounded by a pool and flower garden, it's one of the most beautiful buildings of safavid architecture. Eventhough you only can count 20 columns, due to the reflections on the pool, it's called Fourty-Columns-Palace.

 



Inside the palace the walls and ceiling are decorated with paintings of ancient persian history. Today it's used as a museum, with persian artifacts and artwork. Due to its typical persian architecture, it's one of the most beautiful and famous buildings in Isfahan.

Golden musqaranes (Persian for stalactites. Triangular-like shapes used as crossovers from ceiling to walls).


One of the countless paintings about ancient history in Chehel Sotoun.

Which one did you like the most? Have you ever been to Iran or are you planning to travel there? Let me know!

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