Isfahan, this azure city that is unique in the world, is the third large city of Iran. Many famous European and American figures have been buried in Isfahan; such as Howard Baskerville, Phyllis Ackerman and Arthour Upham Pope who wished to be buried in Isfahan because of his love to Iran and specially Isfahan.
Isfahan is a city full of culture, color, magnificent buildings and beautiful gardens; maybe that’s the reason people call it “HALF OF THE WORLD”.
The city is mostly famous for it’s river, “Zayandeh Roud” and “Naghsh-e Jahan”, the biggest square in the world.
One of the most popular attractions in Isfahan is Naghsh-e Jahan square; and the most important architectural complex left from the Safavid period. Naghsh-e Jahan is also known as “polo square”; because people used to play polo in the square.
Four famous buildings surround this square: 1. “Qeysarie gate” on the north side, 2.”Sheykh Lotfollah mosque” on the east side, 3. “Ali Qapu building” on the west side and 4.”Shah mosque” on the south side of the square.
People can go for a ride on carriage around the square or seat in cafes located around it and enjoy the beautiful view. You can also visit amazing buildings; or go shopping in Qeysarieh bazaar and have the most famous and exquisite souvenirs of Iran with you when you go back to your country.
If you travel in summer, you can see children in the pond in the middle of the square, laughing out loud, while they’re sprinkling water to each other!
Zayandeh roud is one of the most famous rivers of Iran. It starts from “Zardkouh” mountain in “Zagros” mountain chain and flows with a little bend along Isfahan; and it finally ends at “Gavkhooni” swamp.
In the past, the river was more water-filled; and people used to go swimming in different parts of it. But nowadays that action is almost impossible. Though in some weeks that the river water rises, people put on their suit and go for a swim.
There are some bridges on it, which all are some of the finest architectures in Isfahan. The most popular ones are “Khajou bridge” and “Si-o-se pol“.
If you visit there at night, you’ll hear people laughing. Some are standing near the river and some are walking on the bridge or sitting on the carters of the bridges.
There is always a person who sings on the bridge and the combination of the sound of the bridge, laughter and the tune will make you smile and enjoy.
Si-o-se pol is a bridge with 33 carters and 295 long built in 16th century on Zayandeh roud. The bridge was a place to feast splashing ceremony! You may wonder at first but the ceremony was all about splashing water and rose-water to each other on the bridge! The cause goes back to an Iranian myth, which goes back to Jamshid’s time; and the purpose is getting rid of sins by doing the act of ablution.
When Armenians migrated from Aras rivers to Isfahan, they started to have the ceremony of “Khaj Shouyan” on the river; and this two ceremonies were the most important things attributed to Si-o-se pol.
Today you can still see people going for a walk on the bridge; or in warm nights, children playing on the bridge and people singing and laughing together. Si-o-se pol is one of the most important signs of Isfahan after Naghsh-e Jahan. Jean Chardin, French jeweler and adventurer, have called it the masterpiece of Iranian architecture.
“Jolfa” is a christian neighborhood going back to 1606 AD. You’ll see beautiful cafes, tall trees, magnificent houses with Armenian architecture in Jolfa.
If you visit there in Winter, it is impossible not to go inside one of the cafes located around Jolfa square. Small cafes, full of people with small round tables near each other will remind you Paris cafes.
You can’t see many cars in Jolfa and if you see, all the drivers are driving them so slow that you may not even notice. Maybe they are enjoying driving on the paved streets!
Jolfa is famous for the “Vank cathedral“. A church established in 1606 by Armenians.
The interior is decorated with delicate frescoes, gold carvings and includes a rich tile work wainscot. The central dome colored in delicate blue and gold shows the Biblical story of world’s creation and the expulsion and of man from Eden.
Pendants are painted throughout the church with a distinctly Armenian motif of the head of a cherub surrounded by folded wings. The ceiling above the entrance is painted with delicate floral motifs in the style of Persian miniature. There are two sections around the interior walls: The top section depicts events from Jesus ‘ life, while the bottom section depicts torture inflicted by the Ottaman Empire on Armenian martyrs.
If you are a foodie, you have to visit Mardaij. The region is located in the Southern part of Isfahan; and it’s full of different restaurants which yo can taste all kinds of Iranian food at them. Now that we are talking about food, don’t forget to go to Persian tea rooms in Isfahan, eat the delicious “Beryouni” and keep in mind to try “Doogh and Gusfil” for at least once.
Chaharbagh is one of the historical streets of Isfahan which divides into two parts: Chaharbagh Safavi and Chaharbagh Abbasi.
The street was built by the order of Shah Abbas l; but the second part of the street which starts form Takhti junction and ends at Dowlat gate was built in Pahlavi dynasty. Si-o-se pol divides the street into two parts. In the past there was some rivers flowing in the upper street to the Zayandeh roud.
Chaharbagh is also well-known for it’s beautiful trees and gardens around it; and if you want to take beautiful pictures and enjoy walking on the stone-pavements, we strongly recommend you to put it on your to do list.
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