North America
Central America
South America
Middle East

Isfahan, a Place Rich in History



Isfahan, also called Esfahan, is one of the oldest settlements in Iran with a population of over one million people. The city is situated far away from the current capital, but in the past the two and a half millennium year old Isfahan used to be the capital city of Persia.

Mostly known for the silver filigree and metal work , Isfahan was an important commercial hub and a melting pot of various people with different religions, languages, and customs.

The city reached its peak during the 16th and 17th centuries when Persia was unified by Shah Abbas. During that time Isfahan was thought to be one of the top cities in the world.

When traveling in Isfahan you cannot help but notice the large amount of historic monuments. Take in the views of the impressive river Zayandeh Rood. It is considered to be a life giver by the people living on its grounds, because of the fertile soil washed by its current since the beginning of time. You should also pay a visit to the Naqsh-e-Jahan Square where you will be able to see the Sheik Lotfollah mosque and the Imam mosque. A beautiful palace called Chehel Sotun, exhibits some of the most beautiful paintings in the Middle East and you can take a little time to relax in the palace gardens.

If you are looking for a place to shop, you should look no further than the covered bazaars where you will experience first hand how the local artisans sell famous Persian carpets. There are also many places to eat, so you can take a break and get some energy before you continue to explore Isfahan.

To explore the city you do not need to worry about transportation because it is very pedestrian friendly. As most sites worth seeing are located in close proximity to each other, walking is the best means of transportation. The largest bazaar along with the beautiful mosques and the palaces from a time past are all located around the most important square of the city. Here you will find many shops, so you can indulge in a little shopping spree while still admiring historical views.

The most important attraction in the city is the Imam Mosque, which is a real example of how Islamic architecture influences the culture of the world. The mosaic tiles change seven different shades of color and the detailed calligraphic inscriptions are just some of the things that people come here to see. The entrance is flanked by two impressive minarets and the high dome will offer you amazing views of the square.

Once inside you will be impressed with the beauty of the place. The plasterwork, the amazing calligraphy, and the beautiful tiles will take your breath away. Right under the dome you will be able to experience the incredible acoustics of the place.

Donít forget to visit Ali Qapu Palace as well. The six storey building used to be the residence of city Shahs.



Related Guides
Guides from Laura M.


There are no comments for this travel guide. Add your comment!