Isfahan Province in Iran
Isfahan is as Half of the World
At the heart of Iran lies a land of beautiful buildings, nicely designed carpets, and unique inlay works. Isfahan has been the capital city of Iran for centuries. European visitors during the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries have placed it above Florence and Beijing. The city of Isfahan is just one of the big cities of Isfahan province.
You should go to Kashan and visit another part of the province where narrow alleys and clay homes show another aspect of the province’s beauty and serenity. Kashan is a place where people still wear their thousand-years-old clothing and speak their ancient dialect. The air is filled with the fragrance of Damascus Roses. You should visit Sialk to be fascinated by its 8 thousand years of history.
Naghsh-e- Jahan Square
Also called Imam Square, it is one of the largest squares of the world which was built at the order of king Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty in a garden called Naghsh-e Jahan. Around the square, many famous buildings like Abbasi Congregational Mosque, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and Alighapu Palace were built. During the Safavid dynasty, the square used to be a public gathering place for different ceremonies like the Soldier’s parade, playing polo, celebrations, and plays. This square has been registered in Unesco World Heritage List.
This is one of the unique palaces of the Safavid era which was built by the order of king Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty, early in 16th country CE. This was the coronation palace of Safavid kings as well as the appointment palace when the kings wanted to visit the ambassadors or other notables. This palace has five floors and each floor has its decoration of paintings and plasterwork. The most interesting part of this palace is its “Sound Room” where music would be played.
Sialk Hill of Kashan
This ancient hill is located 3 km to the south of Kashan. Studying the clay dishes discovered in this area revealed that its civilization dates back to 4500 BC. Other objects discovered in the area include clay tablets belonging to the Elamite era. Near the central hill of Sialk, two graveyards, conventionally called A and B, have been discovered. The objects found from the excavations include iron weapons, swords, lances, and piped dishes. The objects found in graveyard A date back to 2000 years BC and those in graveyard B date back to the early first millennium or late second millennium BC.
This temple which has a quadrupled dome is located in the city of Niasar and was discovered by French Archeologist Roman Guirshman.
Hasht Behesht palace
This palace was the home of Shah Soleyman of the Safavid dynasty and was built at the king’s order in the large Hasht Behesht garden of Isfahan. The decoration of this palace includes exterior title work with designs of birds and animals.
Chehel Sotun Palace
The palace was established in Chehel Sotun Garden of Isfahan at the time of king Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty. The decorations include paintings, mirror work, tile work, and goldwork articles. It is called Chehel Sotun – meaning a “forty column structure” – because many columns are used in building the structure.
Congregational Mosque of Isfahan
This is an Iranian-style mosque of Isfahan including works of art that show the changes in Islamic architecture in Iranian history. The decoration of this mosque includes title work and plasterwork.
This is the largest and most beautiful church in the Jolfa district of Isfahan. The internal decoration includes oil paintings deriving from Italian paintings which show some parts of the life of Jesus Christ.
Fin Palace and Garden of Kashan
Fin palace and garden which is located 6 km south of Kashan is a luxurious structure in Isfahan province. This is a typical palace of the Safavid era and during the Zand and Qajaār eras, some parts were added to the buildings. The importance of the garden lies in its setting and watering system. Amir Kabir, the Iranian prime minister at the time of Nasser ad-Din Shah Qajar, was assassinated in its bathroom in the 17th century.
The house is one of the masterpieces of Iranian architecture in Kashan. This house was built in 18th-century CE and consists of an indoor and an outdoors. The building materials used to build this house include clay, bricks, mud. The decorations include plasterwork, tile work, mirror work, and paintings.
Rosewater extraction in Ghamsar
The industry of rosewater extraction is associated with Ghamsar city near Kashan. This annual national ceremony is held during May, June, and July. Most workshops have been created between the cities of Ghamsar and Kashan. The liquid essence is exported to France and Bulgaria as they are the largest producers of perfume in the world.
This village which is one of the most famous mild climate villages of Isfahan is located at 28 km distance to the city of Natanz on the foothills of Karkas Mountain. The interesting issue about this village is its social structure, architecture, and the natives’ interest in preserving their ancient traditions and culture.
Gav Khuni Swamp
This is one of the most important and valuable swamps in the central plateau of Iran on the edge of the central desert. This swamp has an area of 476 square km with a changing depth from 80 to 150 centimeters. There used to be many Asian zebras living around it. During winters it is the habitat of thousands of migrating birds.
This bridge has been built on the Zayande Rud River. The foundation of this bridge dates back to the late Timurid era and in the 16th-century CE. However, it was completed at the order of Shah Abbas II of the Safavid dynasty. The chambers of this bridge are decorated with paintings and tilework. In the middle of the bridge, a special structure called Biglarbeigi was erected as a temporary settlement for the king and the royal family.
Traditional Bazaar of Isfahan
This bazaar was built and developed during the Safavid dynasty along with other buildings in the main square of Isfahan. In the portal, pictures and paintings show Shah Abbas during hunting and in a battle with Uzbeks. There are also other paintings showing European men and women. There is a bell and a big click above the portal.
Palaces and beautiful buildings including Alighapu, Chehel Sotun, and Hasht Behesht, and historical bridges including Sio- Se- Pol, Khaju bridge, and Sa’adat Abad bridges, and Sheikh Alikhan, Mahyar, Saraye Sefid, Mirza Kuchak Khan and Khansari caravanserais, and Menar Jonban, Chehel Dokhtar, Sareban, Ziar, Rahrovan, Atashkhaneh, and Dar-ol-Zia spires, the most beautiful square called Imam square (Naghsh-e Jahan square), Khanghah-e Abusa’id (Dervish house), Gheysariyeh and Harun Velayat transoms, Chahar Bagh, Baba Ghasem, Molla Abdollah, Mirza Hassan, Kaseh Garan, and Jalaliyeh schools, ancient markets, houses, and cotes in Isfahan City, Jogand Caravanserai, Fin, Panjeh Shah, and Molla Ghotb Ancient sites, old houses and Gomrok, Muteh, and Ghohrud caravanserais, Bagh-e Fin and national museums in Kashan, Tur Caravanserai in Golpayegan, Bazar-e Na’in and Bagh complexes, and Taj Abad building in Natanz City.
Friday-Prayer mosques including Abbasi, Sheikh Lotfollah, Zulfaqar, Aziran, Aghanur, Mesri, Shafieyeh, and Sheikh Olyan in Isfahan City, Dasht Ramian, Emam Hassan, Sefid and Zovareh Friday-prayer Mosques in Ardestan, Khansar, and Emamzadeh Shahreza Friday prayer Mosques in Shahreza, Oshtorjan village historical Mosque in Felvarjan, Motabarrekeh and Habib Ibn Musa, Soltan Mir Ahmad, Abulolo, Zeynaddin, Ardahal, Bibi Shah Zeynab, and Shah Soltan Hossein holy shrines, Agha Bozorg, Mir Emad, Mian De Ghohrūd and Abianeh Ancient Mosques in Kashan, Hashtadosehtan Mausoleum and Sar Avar Mosque in Golpayegan, Na’in Friday-prayer Mosque, and Seyed Vaqif and Khajeh Abd Us-Samad holy Shrines in Natanz.
Shalura and Kord Olya Waterfalls, Vortun Khur Bia Banak springs, Abshar Shah, and Kahrud Cave in Isfahan, Shah Ghandab beautiful caves in Shahreza, Soleymani, Nin, Ghamsar, and Niasar hot springs in Kashan, Travertan Saz springs, Muteh hunting Place in Golpayegan and Cheshmeh Abbas in Natanz.