Isfahan is a visual feast
Isfahan is Iran’s top tourist destination for good reason. Its profusion of tree-lined boulevards, Persian gardens and important Islamic buildings gives it a visual appeal unmatched by any other Iranian city and the many artisans working here underpin its reputation as a living museum of traditional culture. Walking through the historic bazaar, over the picturesque bridges and across the UNESCO-listed central square are sure to be highlights of a holiday. (Source: lonelyplanet.com)
Isfahan (Sepahan), with an area of 250 Km2, is located in the center of Iran’s main Plateau. The weather in Isfahan is semi-arid and temperate. Average annual temperature in the city is 160 c and average precipitation is 13mm. Thanks to Zayandehroud River, Isfahan’s agriculture has been successful despite the dry weather. However, during the pas recent years, precipitation in the city of Isfahan and regions in the upstream of Zayandeh Roud has decreased and caused the temporary closure of the river.
During the Sassanid era, Isfahan was called Ispahan (Espahan) or Sepahian which mean “gathering place of the army”. The army of the time would gather in the fertile lands of the region. In 640 CE Isfahan fell into the hands of Muslims army without war or bloodshed and through concluding a peace deal. It became part of the vast land that Islam ruled over.
In the year 1387 AD, Tamerlane plundered the city and ordered the massacre of its people.
During the time of the firs Safavid rulers Isfahan became one of Iran’s most important trade, cultural and industrial centers. In the late 16th century, Shah Abbas ordered the change of the capital from Qazvin to Isfahan. It was the capital of Iran for about one and a half century and gained its world renowned fame.
Isfahan has been called numerous names since ancient times: Apadana, Asfhan, Esbahan, Ispatna, Ispahan, Aspadan, Esfahan, Partak, Pari, Pertikan, Jey, Dar El Yahudi (land of the Jews), Shahrestan, Gaba, Yahudieh (Jews Town). In the Shahnameh (most famous Persian epic poem), this city has been repeatedly referred to as Sepahan.
- 3rd largest city in Iran. And 3rd most populated after Tehran and Mashhad.
- 6 UNESCO heritage registered sites.
- Cultural capital of the Islamic World (2006)
- Capital of culture and civilization if Islamic Iran and industrial capital of Iran after Tehran.(2009)
- Called “Nesf-e Jahan” meaning half of the world for its glorious Islamic architecture, beautiful boulevards, ancient bridges, palaces and mosques.
- In 2015, Isfahan and Rasht were the first Iranian cities to join the UNESCO’s World Creative Cities Network.