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Esfahan, Isfahan or ancient Aspadana has been the capital of the province of Esfahan since 900 years.

The city is located on a high at the foot of the Zagros Mountains.

The average elevation of the Province is 1,475 m and that of the city 1,570 m above sea level.

The present population of the province is 1,475 m and that of the city 1,570 m above sea level.

The present population of the province amounts to 3,774,204 (1992 census). City of Esfahan itself has a population of 1,159,102 (1992 census).

Although there is extreme heat and cold, the cold does not last longer than three months. It snows in winter, but rarely. Rain usually falls in March and April, probably because of vapor from melting snow.

A noteworthy town in Sassanian times, Esfahan passed to the Arabs in the mid-7th century and served as a provincial capital.

In the 11th century it was captured by the Seljuk Turks, who made it (1051) the capital of their empire.

In the early 13th century Esfahan was taken by the Mongols. Tamerlane conquered the city in 1388 and, after its inhabitants rebelled, slaughtered nearly 70,000 persons in revenge.

Esfahan, chosen and designed capital under Shah Abbas I (1598_, was reconstituted with so many new mosques, fine palaces, and bridges (masterpieces of world architecture), avenues and parks that even European travelers wrote rapturously of its beauties. At its zenith, under the Safavid dynasty in the 17th century, Esfahan had a population of about 600,000, making it one of the world's great cities of the time.

However, the city declined rapidly it was captured (1723) by the Afghans, who massacred most of its inhabitants. Russian troops occupied Esfahan in 1916.

In addition to being one of the finest art cities of the world and rich in history, Esfahan is also one of Iran's largest industrial, agricultural, and handicrafts production centers.

The Zealander Rud river watering gardens and fields with its numerous tributaries along its 360-km course, flows from west to east through the city, and divides off New Jolfa and some other suburbs from the main part of the city, but most of the main attractions are to the north of the river.

Esfahan has been an exceptionally attractive city for the tourists from all over the world. The excellent upkeep of its famous monuments contributes to its continued significance and popularity among visitors.
Abundance of water and fertile soil has given Esfahan many cereals and bean products and much fruit, such as melons, apples, and pomegranates. The almond and cherry orchards of Najafabad (in the suburbs of Esfahan) well repay a visit in early spring.



zayande rood


Sights to See

  • Chahar Bagh Avenue
    It is one of the most beautiful streets in the world, built in 1597 AD in the reign of Shah Abbas I.


  • Imam Square
    One of the largest squares in the world and a majestic example of city planning built by Shah Abbas I in 1612.


  • Imam Mosque
    The mosque begun in 1612 during the reign of Shah Abbas I and, despite the Shah's impatience, under construction until 1638, represents the culmination of a thousand years of mosque building and a magnificent
    example of architecture, stone carving, and tile work in Iran, with a majesty and splendor that places it among the world greatest buildings.


  • Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
    A masterpiece of architecture and tile work, this small mosque (began in 1602 and completed in 1619, taking a total of 18 years) on the eastern side of Imam square, was built by Shah Abbas in honor of the great Lebanese Sheikh Lotfollah, who was a sort of Islamic Billy Graham of his time.



  • Ali Qapu Palace
    The Palace, of the early 17th century AD and the center of government, was by the order of Shah Abbas I in the Safavid period.


  • Jam`e Mosque
    It is the most ancient and in some ways the most interesting building in Esfahan. It was built in the 11th and early 12th century as a focus for the town. It is a landmark in the evolution of Iranian sacred architecture
    during a period of one thousand years.


  • Chehel Sutun Palace
    The Chehel Sutun Palace, inside a garden with an area of 67,000 square meters, was built as an official court and a reception hall by Shah Abbas II (1647 AD).



  • Hasht Behesht Palace
    The historic building called Hasht Behesht (Eight Paradises) represents residential palaces used in the later period of the Safavid dynasty, and was built during the reign of Shah Suleiman (1669 AD).


  • Minar-e Junban
    The historic mausoleum called Menar-e Junban (The Shaking Minaret) from the Mongol period and 6 km to the west of Esfahan.


  • Atashgah
    The fine historic site and remains comprising thick sun-dried walls and a group of other ruins on top of a single rocky mountain, is 8 km to the west of Esfahan.



  • Sio Seh Pol
    The bridge is an extraordinary structure: 300 meters in length and 14 meters in width, serving both as bridge and dam. Sio Seh Pol (Bridge of Thirty-Three Arches) was built by the order of Shah Abbas the Great.


  • Khaju Bridge
    The 132 m long Khaju Bridge with two levels of terraces overlooking the river. It was built by the order of Shah Abbas II in 1650 AD.



  • Pol-e Shahrestan
    It is the oldest Bridge built before the Safavid period of Iranian history. Most of it's present stone and brick structure is believed to date from the 12th century.


  • Ali Minaret and Mosque
    The 40-m high minaret and Ali mosque, both of Seljuk period (probably of 13th century AD).


  • New Jolfa
    New Jolfa on the southern bank of Zayandeh River Rud was founded by Shah Abbas as a settlement for the Armenians of the Old Jolfa on the Araxes, who were thus rescued from the dangers of Turkish attack and brought to set an example of industry to the inhabitants of the Shah's new capital.


  • Vank Cathedral
    The beautiful All Savior's Cathedral in New Jolfa begun in 1606, at the time of arrival of Armenian immigrants to Esfahan, it was completed between 1655 and 1664 under the supervision of Archbishop David.





Excursions around Esfahan

  • The Mosque and Minaret of Gaz
    Located in Gaz village 18 km to the north of Esfahan. These structures belong to the Seljuk period. It is said that the mosque has been built on the site of an ancient fire-temple.


  • Mausoleum of Pir-Bakran
    Located in Pir-Bakran 30 km to the southwest of Esfahan, the tomb of Pir-Bakran, together with a gallery and courtyard date back to the 14th century AD, and have been constructed in the reign of Mongol Ilkhan Oljaitu.


  • Jam`e Mosque of Na`in
    As a famous historic monument of Iran and also known as the Alavian mosque, the Jam`e Mosque of Na`in is a construction of the 10th century AD. Architecturally, the crescent-like arches of the mosque bear close resemblance to those of Tarikhaneh Mosque in Damghan and the Jam`e Mosque of Nairiz in Fars province.


  • Jam`e Mosque of Ardestan
    This 12th Century AD Mosque with its exquisite plaster inscriptions is one of the memorable monuments that remain from the Seljuk era.