Ali Qapu is a grand palace in Isfahan .Esfahan is Iran’s top tourist destination for good reason. Persian gardens and important Islamic buildings give it a visual appeal unmatched by any other Iranian city, and the many artisans working here underpin its reputation as a living museum of traditional culture. As the country’s third-largest city, Esfahan is home to some heavy industry, including steel factories and a much-discussed nuclear facility in the outskirts of town.
Ali Qapu is One of its tourist attractions. It is located on the western side of the Naqsh e Jahan Square, opposite to Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. The building is at heart a monumental gatehouse, originally conceived as a two-story atrium communicating between the public maydan and semi-private dawlat-khana or royal precinct consisting of an assemblage of palaces, storehouses and government bureaus located to the west of the square.
It was used as a residential palace. Shah Abbas the great, ordered to construct the palace on the site of palace and garden from the Timurid time. Shah Abbas’s palace was four floors with a veranda.
The palace is about 38 meters high, the loftiest and tallest building in the 17th century.
Some of Isfahanologists believe that Shah Abbas the great highly respected the first Shiite Immam Ali. On the other hand Qapu is a Turkish word means,” the magnificent door”.
There are two sets of staircases on the top floor. Staircases are very narrow only one Person can climb the stairs at the same time.
Reza Abbasi and his team of painters have left extraordinary paintings, especially on the ceiling. The last floor of the palace is famous as the music hall. The unique plasterwork has ornamented upper parts and the ceiling. Through this plasters work different imaginary shapes, such as flower vases, dishes, plates and bottle can be seen.
Ali Qapu’s building was founded in several stages, beginning from a building with a single gate, with entrance to the government building complex, and gradually developed, ending in the existing shape. The period of the development, with intervals, lasted approximately seventy years.
The initial building acting as the entrance to the complex was in cubical shape and in two stories, with dimensions measuring 20 x 19 meter and 13 meters high.
Foundation of the upper hall, built on the entrance vestibule, with cubical shape, over the initial cubic shape structure with the same height in two visible stories.
Foundation of the fifth story, the Music Amphitheater or the Music Hall, built on the lower hall, using the central room for a skylight, and thus the vertical extension being emphasized.
Foundation of the eastern verandah or pavilion advancing towards the square, supported by the tower-shaped building. By foundation of this verandah, the entrance vestibule was extended along the main gate and passage to the market, perpendicular to the eastern flank of the building.
Foundation of the wooden ceiling of the balcony, supported by 18 wooden columns, and contemporaneous with the erection of the ceiling, an additional stairway of the southern flank was founded and was called the Kingly Stairway.
During this stage, a water tower was built in the northern flank for the provision of water for the copper pool of the columned balcony. Plaster decorations in reception story and the Music Hall.