Esfahan Travel Guide, Iran
Esfahan Travel Guide – Half of the World
This Esfahan travel guide will give you all the necessary information you need when travelling to the third largest city in Iran, which is also known as Isfahan. It is the capital of Esfahan Province and has a population of 1.600.000, with a metropolitan area reaching up to 3.500.000 inhabitants, which makes it the second largest urban agglomeration in Iran after the capital Tehran. It is located around 800 kilometers from Doha in Qatar and Ashgabat in Turkmenistan. Esfahan has a very rich history and was once one of the largest and most prosperous cities in the world, as it saw its maximum development from the beginning of the 11th century up to the 18th century. The city was the capital of Persia twice in its history and still lies on the main north-south and east-west commercial routes crossing Iran. Moreover, many of the impressive buildings, bridges and mosques have survived the centuries and are still incredibly impressive today, getting Esfahan its nickname, “half of the world”.
Esfahan Travel Guide – The Architectural Wonders
The Islamic architecture in the city is astonishing, and the central market in Esfahan, Naghsh-e Jahan, remains for this reason one of the biggest city squares in the world. It is part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and hosts many buildings dating from the Safavid dynasty, which form one of the most important architectural heritages in Esfahan. Other important buildings date from the Sassanid dynasty or are of Islamic origin, but the city still preserves monuments dating back to the 10th century. There are plenty of squares, palaces and mosques, out of which the most notable are Meydan Kohne (Old Square), Ali Qapu (Royal Palace, 17th century), Hasht-Behesht (Palace of Eight Paradises, 1669) and the Shah Mosque together with the Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque. Another great example of urban architecture in development is the Grand Bazaar, which all the Esfahan visitors find fascinating.
Esfahan Travel Guide – The Persian Rug
Esfahan features a series of bridges that play an important role in making this city famous, out of which the most important are the Pol-e Shahrestan Bridge (11th century) and Si-o She Pol (the Bridge of 33 arches, 1602). But one of the most characteristic traits, worth mentioning in any Esfahan travel guide, is the famous Persian rug that is still being manufactured in the city to this day. Esfahan is one of the places where this craft has seen its longest history and the products that are made here have customers in the entire Western world. Traditional designs are quite symmetrical and have excellent balance and proportion, and the most regularly used colors are blue, indigo and rose. Manufacturers still work these rugs by hand and you can find them on sale in the above mentioned Grand bazaar.