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Isfahan

Isfahan

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isfahan Isfahan

Overview and History

About Esfahan
The capital of Esfahan province, and the Persians call it Nesf-e Jahan (Half of  The World)

Esfahan is one of the oldest cities of Iran with the 1,001,000 population located 414 km south of Tehran and 481 km north of Shiraz. This 2500 years old city served as Persia's capital from 1598 to 1722. 

Esfahan was a crossroad of international trade and diplomacy, and therefore was a kaleidoscope of resident languages, religions, and customs. The city is known for its silver filigree and metal work. 

This city is renowned not only for the abundance of great historical monuments, but also for its Life-Giving River, The Zayandeh-Rood, which has given the city an original beauty and a fertile land. Esfahan is filled with old gardens and some of the best sights in Iran. 

In the Arsacides (Parthians) era, Esfahan was the center and capital city of a wide province, which was administered by Arsacide governors. 

In Sassanids time, Esfahan was governed by "Espoohrans" or the members of seven noble Iranian families who had important royal positions, it played a residential role for these noble families as well. Moreover, in this period Esfahan was a military center with strong fortifications. This city was occupied by Arabs after final defeat of Iranians.

After Islam, Esfahan was under domination of Arabs, like other cities of Iran, till the early 10th century A.D., and it was paid attention only by Caliph Mansour. In the reign of Malekshah Saljooghi, Esfahan was again selected as capital and began another golden age. In this period, Esfahan was one of the most thriving and important cities of the world.

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this city was conquered by Mongols in 13th century A.D. and they massacred the people. After the invasions of Mongols and Taymour, as the result of its suitable geographic situation, Esfahan flourished again especially in Safavid time, which developed considerably.

After selection of Esfahan as capital by Shah Abbas I (1587-1629) who unified Persia it reached to its pinnacle of briskness. Esfahan had parks, libraries and mosques that amazed Europeans, who had not seen anything like this at home. The Persians called it Nesf-e-Jahan, half the world; meaning that to see it was to see half the world. 

Esfahan became one of the world's most elegant cities. In its heyday it was also one of the largest with a population of one million; 163 mosques, 48 religious schools, 1801 shops and 263 public baths. 

Decline of Safavid dynasty by Mahmood Afghan and conquest of Esfahan a 6 month siege, caused a degeneration period for this city. In Afsharieh and Zandieh times it flourished again but during Qajars reign, due to choosing Tehran as capital, Esfahan began to decline once more

Esfahan, regarding its historical and geographic conditions, was paid attention during Pahlavi time and some endeavors were made for repair and restoration of historical monuments. Moreover, Esfahan and the province redeveloped and industrialized rapidly. During last two decades, Esfahan developed with a very high rate of acceleration from urban development point of view, highly observing restoration of historical monuments. 

Today, Esfahan is a major industrial center and also is one of the important tourism centers of Iran and the world.

Getting There

By plane

Esfahan International Airport or Esfahan Shahid Beheshti (IATA: IFN) (ICAO: OIFM) was a military air base before the revolution. There are daily flights to Tehran and Mashhad in Iran. There are also flights to Damascus, Dubai and Kuwait and recently Istanbul. 

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By car

Esfahan is well-served by highways. There are automobile routes to capital Tehran, Kashan, Shiraz, Yazd and Ahvaz.

By bus

Esfahan is well connected to most parts of the country by bus . there are buses from Esfahan to Tehran and Tehran to Esfahan every 15 minutes. Also there are a few luxury buses with a so-called "European standard" (very comfortable seats, open mini-bar, etc.

 

People and Culture

The history of Isfahan can be traced back to the Paleolithic period. In recent discoveries, archaeologists have found artifacts dating back to the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages.

Persia's Capital

In 1598 Shah Abbas the Great moved his capital from Qazvin to the more central and Persian Isfahan, called Ispahān in early New Persian. This new importance ushered in a golden age for the city which lasted until it was sacked by Afghan invaders in 1722. The capital subsequently moved several times until settling in Tehran in 1795.

Modern age

Today Isfahan, the third largest city in Iran, produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, and handicrafts. Isfahan has one of the largest steel-producing facilities in the entire region, as well as facilities for producing special alloys.The city has an international airport and is in the final stages of constructing its first Metro line.

Over 2000 companies are working in the area using Isfahan's economic, cultural, and social potentials. Isfahan contains a major oil refinery and a large air-force base. HESA, Iran's most advanced aircraft manufacturing plant (where the IR.AN-140 aircraft is made), is located nearby. Isfahan hosted the International Physics Olympiad in 2007.

Some places in Isfahan you can visit for excite

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a119 Isfahan  Main sights

Palaces and caravanserais

Old schools (Madresse)

Churches and cathedrals

Squares and streets

Bazaars

Bridges

The Zayande River starts in the Zagros Mountains, flows from west to east through the heart of Isfahan, and dries up in the Kavir desert.

The bridges over the river include some of the finest architecture in Isfahan. The oldest bridge is the "Pol-e Shahrestan", which was probably built in the 1100s during the Seljuk period.[citation needed] Further upstream is the "Pol-e Khaju", which was built by Shah Abbas II in 1650. It is 123 metres long with 24 arches, and also serves as a sluice gate.

The next bridge is the "Pol-e Jubi". It was originally built as an aqueduct to supply the palace gardens on the north bank of the river. Further upstream again is the Si-o-Seh Pol or bridge of 33 arches. Built during the rule of Shah Abbas the Great, it linked Isfahan with the Armenian suburb of Jolfa. It is by far the longest bridge in Isfahan at 295 m (967.85 ft).

Other bridges include:

Emamzadehs

  • Emamzadeh Ahmad
  • Emamzadeh Esmaeil, Isfahan
  • Emamzadeh Haroun-e-Velayat - 16th century
  • Emamzadeh Jafar
  • Emamzadeh Shah Zeyda120 Isfahan
  • a121 Isfahan  Minarets

    Mausoleums and Tombs

    Tourist Attractions

    Isfahan is an important historical center for different groups of tourists in the domestic and international world. The central historical area in Isfahan is called Seeosepol (the name of a famous bridge)

    Other sites

    Transportation

    Airport

    Isfahan is served by the Isfahan International Airport which handles domestic flights to Iranian cities and international flights, mostly to regional destinations across Middle East and central Asia including Dubai and Damascus.

    Metro and Inter City Public Transportation

    Isfahan Metro is under construction and will include 2 lines with 43 km (27 mi) length. The first line of that is planned to be finished by end of 2010 with 21 km (13 mi) length and 20 stations. Until the metro is completed an expanded bus system accompanied by taxis will handle Isfahan intra-urban public transportation.

    Rail

    Isfahan is connected to three major rail lines: Isfahan-Tehran, Isfahan-Shiraz (recently opened), Isfahan-Yazd and via this recent one to Bandar Abbas and Zahedan.

    Road transport

    Isfahan's internal highway network is currently under heavy expansion which began during the last decade. Its lengthy construction is due to concerns of possible destruction of valuable historical buildings. Outside the city, Isfahan is connected by modern highways to Tehran which spans a distance of nearly 400 km (248.55 mi) to North and to Shiraz at about 200 km (124.27 mi) to the south. The highways also service satellite cities surrounding the metropolitan area.

     

    Culture

    Rug manufacture

    Main article: Isfahan rug

    Isfahan has long been one of the centers for production of the famous Persian Rug. Weaving in Isfahan flourished in the Safavid era. But when the Afghans invaded Iran, ending the Safavid dynasty, the craft also became stagnant.

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    Food

     

    • Isfahan is famous for its Beryuni. This dish is made of baked mutton & lungs that are minced and then cooked in a special small pan over open fire with a pinch of cinnamon. Beryuni is generally eaten with a certain type of bread, "nan-e taftton." Although it can also be served with other breads.
      See also Biryani.
    • Fesenjan – a casserole type dish with a sweet and tart sauce containing the two base ingredients, pomegranate molasses and ground walnuts cooked with chicken, duck, lamb or beef and served with rice.
    • Gaz – the name given to Persian Nougat using the sap collected from angebin, a plant from the tamarisk family found only on the outskirts of Isfahan. It is mixed with various ingredients including rose water, pistachio and almond kernels and saffron.
    • "Khoresht-e mast" (yoghurt stew) is a traditional dish in Isfahan. Unlike other stews despite its name, it is not served as a main dish and with rice; Since it is more of a sweet pudding it is usually served as a side dish or dessert. The dish is made with yogurt, lamb/mutton or chicken, saffron, sugar and orange zest. Iranians either put the orange zest in water for one week or longer or boil them for few minutes so the orange peels become sweet and ready for use. People in Iran make a lot of delicate dishes and jam with fruit rinds. This dish often accompanies celebrations and weddings.
    • Pulaki – the name given to a type of Isfahani candy which is formed to thin circles like coins and served with tea or other warm drinks.

 

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