Sofeh Mountain


Sofeh Mountain

Sofe Mountain

Sofeh Mountain or kuh-Sofeh is a beautiful and popular mountain located in the south part of Isfahan city. This marvelous mountain is a part of Zagros Mountain and stands at an altitude of 2257 meters (above sea level). Near the park there are some beautiful waterfalls and caves which all make this mountain a wonderful place. There is a great forest park which most of the inhabitants spend a lot of time in. Having cable cabin, bowling hall, playground, restaurant, and also zoological park adds more charm to the park and makes this place one of the greatest attractions of the city.

Isfahan was a sea about 60 to 180 million years ago. Sofeh Mountain is the cause of sedimentation of sea. Jurassic and Cenozoic areas are visible in this mountain. Mount Sofeh consist of three layers of geology respectively which are gray layer, yellow and black layers; the least of which goes back to the Jurassic period about 180 million years ago. At the high side hills of Soffeh Mountain, there are some strong castles which were used for defending. This phenomenon has given a magnificence view to this beautiful city.

The path towards the top of the mountain is very safe and has a mild steep This mountain is only moderately challenging and can be tackled by anyone with a basic level of fitness. It will take approximately 2.5 hours to summit the mountain. There is a pathway up, with benches and springs along the way. Mount Sofeh is very popular with the locals, especially in the evenings when the city lights wash over the skyline. The best place you can still find some peaceful areas around Sofeh especially on the top of the mountain.

Sofeh Mountain is a great destination for nature lovers.

Qeysarie Bazaar

Qeysarie Gate

The gate(portal) of Qeysarie Bazaar was the second structure to be constructed in the northern end of the square in safavid era. This Bazaar connects the old square (Atigh Square) to the new one which is the Naghsh-e Jahan Square and works as a transition element, built for the development of trading and acceleration of economy growth.

On the top of this great gate, as a symbol of the Battle of good and evil, the splendorous mosaic work represents two hunters with human bodies, tiger legs and each aiming an arrow to their dragon tail as a Sagittarius zodiac sign. Historian declare that this was the month that Isfahan was founded.

On the top of the Qeysarie Gate, not so long ago, there used to be structure called ”Nagharehkhaneh”, where music would be played at sunrise and sunset.

In the middle of the portal, there is a painting of Shah Abbas at war with the Uzbeks.  Other paintings resemble some hunting frescos painted by European artists. Unfortunately, too much direct sun light along with humid condition have caused some colours of the paintings to fade.

The famous Persian Moaragh mosaic tilework can be seen on the portal and the sides of the corridors. There is a poem from, Sa’di, the famous Persian poet written on the side walls. Each couplet on each side, facing the other.

The grand Bazaar of Isfahan, itself is a complete covered town. Each part of this Bazaar including; cross roads which are called Char-Su (four directions), Caravansaries with rectangular shaped open courtyards and smaller places similar to caravansaries, called Timcheh have certain specifications.

Overview

Opening Hours

Qeysarie Gate: Outdoor 7/24

Location

Qeysarie Bazaar: From Atigh Square To Naghsh-e Jahan Square

Qeysarie Gate: North side of Naghsh-e Jahan Sq, Isfahan, Iran

Contact

(+98) –

Price

Free

Ali Gholi Agha Hammam

Ali Gholi Agha Hammam and Museum

Ali Gholi Agha district is surrounded by a Bazaar, a Zorkhaneh (ancient Persian gym), a Mosque, and the Ali Gholi Agha Hammam (bathhouse) with its special features. This complex was built during the reign of Shah Sultan Hossein the last Safavid king.

Ali Gholi Agha and his brother Khosro Agha were two well-known benefactors in that time. Ali Gholi Agha had no children, as a result he decided to build this bathhouse for his neighborhood and the people around him.

Hammam-e Ali Gholi Agha is one of the few Hammams that has still survived from the late safavid-era. Hammams were usually used by both gender at different hours, but there is an exception to this Hammam. This Hammam had two parts where men and women could attend at the same hours of the day each in their own section.

As soon as you enter Hammam-e Ali Gholi Agha you will notice the impressive work of the ceiling which is designed in a way to make it possible for the light to come through the pits and yet if someone would have looked through them, they could not have seen anything from the outside.

Ali Gholi agha Hammam is divided into four main sections

Miandar which was the entrance of the bathhouse. It was specially designed in an angular way to keep the steam and the heat inside the bathhouse.

Sarbineh or the dressing hall was a place for gatherings, discussions and even prayers. therefore, there were benches surrounding the perimeter of Sarbineh elevated by a few steps above the central pool where visitors could lounge.

Garmkhaneh (Thermal House) was the main washing area with some small underground labyrinthine tunnels that carried the smoke of the fire to warm the place.

Chahar houz was the main swimming pool at the center. This pool is four times a regular swimming pool and that is why they call this part Chahar houz meaning ” four pools”.

The Hammams were the first and the last places to which the caravan people would go both on their arrival in the city and when exiting it to make themselves clean and ready to hit the road.

Overview

Opening Hours

From 21 March To 22 September: 8:30 AM – 14:30 PM and 15:30 PM– 18:00 PM

From 23 September To 20 March: 8:30 AM – 13:30 PM and 14:30 PM– 17:30 PM

Location

Bid Abadi St, Masjed Seyyed St, Isfahan, Iran

Contact

(+98) 31 3337 5777

Price

200,000 Rls

Iran Seasons

Iran, located at the crossroads of four geo-climatic zones, is one of the unique four season countries in the world. From the hot deserts in winter to the mountains where the temperature drops to minus 2°C in summer. In some regions you can experience summer and winter in half a day.

In the north the lands are covered with green forests. Caspian Sea coast has sub-tropical weather with moderate climate. Alborz mountain range, separates the north from the dry center. Heavy rainfalls occur mostly during spring and winter, but it is a fantastic destination in May and September and perfect for: beaches, water sports, views, outdoor activities and adventure.

With hot and humid climate, Iran is led to the Persian Gulf in the south. beautiful Palm trees as a symbol of Southern Iran are lined along the beaches and swaying in the wind on city streets. Best Time to Visit the south of Iran for the beaches is from February to May.

in the east and the center of this vast land Hot deserts with running sand and nights full of stars, are located. Dasht-e Loot, one among many of the deserts, has the hottest ground temperatures on Earth. The best time to visit is in the spring or fall.

In the west of Iran, mostly the northwest, the high mountains with heavy snowfall, have always caused cold and subfreezing temperatures. some Mountains are covered vastly with oat and walnut trees. For mountaineers, the climbing window between April and May is one of the best times.

  • Spring

    from April to June

    Weather is typically fairly mild and most of the rainfall occurs during the spring and winter. Spring is a fairly short season in Iran and one of the advisable seasons to visit Iran.

  • Summer

    from July to September

    Daily temperatures can be very hot in most regions. high humidity specially on the southern coastal areas of the Persian Gulf. on some days, temperatures can reach easily 40°C or more.

    Summer

  • Fall

    from October to December

    the majority of travelers visit Iran in fall season from late September to December. in most of the areas, the weather is neither too cold nor too warm.

  • Winter

    from January to March

    Iran’s mountainous regions are the most likely regions for snow. During winter, the weather in southern regions of Iran is often mild. Sometimes the cold air blowing from Siberia cause mild temperature drops.

    Winter

”it is never guaranteed that what happened in the past will happen in the future. But It does gives us a valuable view point.”

Isfahan weather by month

January

Winter in Isfahan is typically cold. If you visit now, you will definitely need to bring winter clothing. On average, however, snowfall does not occur frequently.

February

low temperatures are still quite chilly. You will still need to be prepared for cold days by packing plenty of warm winter clothing.

March

March is one of the high seasons in Isfahan. Just before the beginning of springtime. It is likely to be cold but, there is a noticeable warming. You can feel that the weather is beginning to improve. Bring a mix of clothing, including items for both mild and cold weather.

April

With more sun and longer days, things are starting to warm up a little bit. temperatures are average on the cool side. It is unlikely to be warm but rather more fresh and breezy weather. Expect a mix of sunny and rainy days. April is another high season in Isfahan.

May

It is starting to feel more like spring now, things are noticeably warming now, however, during the first half of the spring it can still get cold.

June

sunny days with the average to high temperatures. You will need mostly lightweight clothing with summer just around the corner.

July

July is one of the warmest months of the year in Isfahan. July marks a big change, with summer officially here, and temperatures have increased significantly.

August

August continues those warm days and summer sunshine.

September

While it is still summer, temperatures begin to gradually cool. While September marks the end of summer and temperatures start to cool, the first half of the month is still quite warm. You are likely to need a few items for cooler days and nights.

October

With the arrival of fall with things cooling down, a chill is likely to be in the air by now. though you’re still likely to enjoy a number of warm and sunny days.

November

Most days are chilly so you will have to be prepared for the cold. Nights are particularly chilly. Days are shorter and there is less sunshine

December

Daytime temperatures typically range between 5°C to 8°C while nighttime lows hover around 3°C. Bring your winter clothing.

The four seasons of the year in the colors of tinted glass windows, as green for spring, red for summer, yellow for fall, and blue for winter

Abbasi Hotel

Abbasi hotel, a 300-year-old building in the midst of the city of Isfahan with its historical architecture, was built in Safavid-era under the orders of Shah Sultan Hossein.

Abbasi hotel has 225 rooms and suites including the Chechm Andaz and Pardis rooms, standard Qajar and Safavid rooms which are guests’ favorites of all. Keep in mind that you Can only visit these rooms if you have booked one which only costs nineteen million Rials a night (1 to 4 persons per room). All of the rooms are equipped with special safety systems and are constructed based on international hotel standards.

It is a 17th century caravanserai that has been renovated. The simplicity and strength of this hotel are reminiscent of the glory and grandeur of Naqshe-e Jahan square. The main structure of some of these rooms belongs to the Safavid-era and its architecture is inspired by that era too. The mixture of plasterwork, illumination and vaulted walls create a unique overall atmosphere. Wall paintings and glittering gilded ceiling work are examples of magnificent art designed by various artists. Magnificent restaurants, traditional dining rooms and a traditional teahouse, each with their outstanding and persistent designs, create the atmosphere which takes you back to the memorable past.

This hotel offers a sport center with pool, sauna, gym, Jacuzzi and massage service for a more enjoyable stay. Hotel ground represents the classical Persian garden which has a reputation all over the world. The scenic view of the Chahar Bagh School’s dome as well as beautiful trees and garden create a peaceful and delightful environment. Recently, the entrance fee has been removed. Therefore, from 5PM to 10PM you can enter this magnificent hotel and walk around the classical Persian garden of Abbasi hotel for free.

Overview

  • TripAdvisor
Opening Hours

Daily Hours: 8 AM – 9 PM

Location

Amadegah St, Isfahan, Iran

Contact

(+98) 31 3222 6010

Price

Free

Mardavij Pigeon Tower

Situated among houses of Isfahan, in the middle of a square named Borj, there is a unique pigeon tower. The architecture of the pigeon tower represents the work of experienced architects of ancient Iran. The pigeon tower is regarded as one of the largest ones with a most perfect pattern of this type. The towers were built for the purpose of attracting pigeons to them so that they would nest in the towers.

Pigeons could fly comfortably inside the towers. Their droppings, which contain considerable amounts of elements like nitrogen, were collected in the tower and then used for farmlands that used to be located around the pigeon towers. Nitrogen in pigeon droppings has an efficient role in the growth of plants and vegetables.

Pigeon towers were constructed in an impenetrable way that could shelter the pigeons from predators. The small size of the entrances holes, 7 centimeters by 7 centimeters, on the top of the tower were to prevent large birds such as hawks, owls or crows from entering the tower.

A white and slippery circular band made of plaster gypsum about 80 to 100 centimeters wide covers around the base of tower over mud and straw to prevent the creeping up of a snake on the shaft of the tower to enter through the pigeonholes on the top of the tower.

Do not miss the opportunity of visiting this unique pigeon tower.

Overview



  • TripAdvisor

Opening Hours

Outdoor 7/24

Indoor 8 Am-12 pm

Location

Mardavij Pigeon Tower, Azadi Ave, Hezar Jerib Ave, Isfahan, Iran

Contact

(+98) –

Price

It’s free but you can pay tip if you want.

Monar Jonban

The historic monument belonging to the Mongol time, known as Monar Jonban, is a shrine over the tombstone of Amu (Uncle) Abdollah. Monar Jonban is considered as one of the most popular monuments of Isfahan for its wonderful architecture. It is located in far west of Isfahan. the twin symmetric minarets are more than a masterpiece. The High architectural knowledge of its architects is reflected in the mysterious structure of the minarets.

The main distinguished feature of this monument is that by shaking strongly one minaret, the other minaret starts shaking with the same frequency. it also can be felt in the whole structure slightly. According to the latest research that has been done, the reason that the other minaret vibrates automatically after the other one is shaken is the “U-shape” structure of the building. There are also other points of view to this matter but the mystery is still unsolved.

Presently, no one except for the special guard is allowed to climb up the narrow spiral staircase in the minaret to open arched summit and shake the minaret. A bowl of water can be put over the tomb so that with the waves forming on the surface of the water you can actually see the vibration.

The whole iwan is decorated with Inlaid mosaics with wavy lines and polygonal azure tiles. Dark blue tiles cover the inner side of its arch. Over the years, this remarkable monument has aroused admiration in the heart of travelers.

Time of shaking minarets

The shaking minarets are responsible for the worldwide fame of Monar Jonban. Be careful!! Make sure to check the timing of it so you wouldn’t miss it.

10:30 AM

12:00 PM

1:30 PM

3:00 PM

4:00 PM

Overview

  • TripAdvisor
Opening Hours

From 21 March To 22 September: 9 AM – 6 PM

From 23 September To 20 March: 9 AM – 4 PM

Location

Atashgah Blvd, Isfahan, Iran

Contact

(+98) 3137716066

Price

200,000 Rls

Shaking minarets time

10:30 AM

12:00 PM

13:30 PM

15:00 PM

16:00 PM

 

Isfahan Rug

Persian rugs (or carpets) woven in Isfahan are perhaps the best and most valuable in the world. Isfahan carpets are hand-knotted. Many quality Isfahan carpets are based on silk foundations, because of this Isfahan carpets are of an excellent quality. Plush and soft yet durable to stand test of time. A long lasting treasure known to become even more beautiful as they age.

The artistry of making Persian carpets has changed little across the ages. During Safavid-era the art of carpet weaving flourished. Shah Abbas who also enjoyed weaving carpets, moved his capital from Qazvin to Isfahan. Isfahan then became the site of the most noted center of rug weaving. A reflection of the extreme appreciation the king had for this art.

Isfahan rugs are like paintings. The colors are vibrant. Isfahan rugs are beautifully designed with unique colors and eye catching contemporary designs, balancing warmth with earthy undertones. Persian carpets were often inspired by the royal heritage of beautiful tile works (rich architectural history), or the gardens (nature) of the cities and palaces. Designers were further inspired by the poets of Persia (Rumi, Hafez, Attar, etc.)

Persian rugs have the variety of distinctive patterns and styles. No two Persian rugs are ever the same. Each one is beautiful in its own way.

Signatures and Symbols in Isfahan Rugs

It is also possible to find signatures woven into Isfahan oriental rugs. The signatures identify the master weavers of Isfahan and their heirs who helped with the rebuilding of the rug industry in Isfahan.

There is Hidden Meanings in a Persian Rug’s Colors, Patterns, and Symbols.  For example, the use of red color in Persian and Oriental carpets symbolizes courage and beauty.

After all it seems like magic flying carpets do exist. They may not fly, but looking at the beautiful and intricate design within it may well lift your soul.

Vank Cathedral

Vank Cathedral in Isfahan

Vank Cathedral History

Vank Cathedral is located in Kelisa Alley-Nazar-e Sharqi Street. This street is a part of the Armenian district of Isfahan, Jolfa. In 1606, it used to be only a prayer hall. Then, in 1655, it was renovated to Vank Cathedral with its high double layer dome. The numbers of these two years are inscribed on a tile work on top of church’s gate.

The oldest church in Iran is the Surp Sarkis Mother Cathedral in Tehran. Among the two famous churches, Bethlehem church is older than Vank cathedral in Isfahan.

Unique Characteristics

The Vank Cathedral is a masterpiece of architecture. Construction of this cathedral started at the time of Shah Abbas the second. Vank Cathedral architecture is a combination of Iranian and Armenian architecture. That is why when you first arrive at this old church, you will see that this cathedral is the only one to be built with indigenous materials like clay and brick. Certainly, it is a way to show the mixed culture and the symbiont circle that stood for four more than 400 hundred years in Jolfa.

Vank Cathedral Paintings

As soon as you move into the church’s passage and enter the prayer hall, you are faced by:

  • The unique collections of beautiful frescos: they depict stories from the holy bible and Tora. Armenian artists painted them during safavid era.
  • The magnificent tile works with gild adornments.

These characteristics are what make this Isfahan Armenian church different. Khajeh stepanusian paid for the most of the expenses of these glorious paintings. Vank cathedral paintings are bold and painted onto the walls with such precise lines.

Written Words on a Hair Piece in the Vank Cathedral Museum

The two-story museum on the northern part of the courtyard contains exhibits of some of the earliest books ever printed with one of the first printing devices in Middle east.

 Other Interesting Valuable Items in This Museum are:

  • Carved wooden crosses
  • Proclaim dishes
  • Old holy books
  • The smallest scripture in the world
  • A short piece of hair, measuring only about 0.004-inch-thick, with written words on it in Armenian which is visible through a microscope.

Important Monuments

  • The symbolic April 24th memorial.
  • There is a library with more than 10,000 books next to the museum.
  • The gravestones in this Cathedral belong to priests, Russian and British consults, politicians, doctors, and people who contributed to the process of building and completing the church.

You can find Vank Cathedral opening hours and entrance fee below.

Overview


Opening Hours

Daily Hours: 8:30 AM –  6:30 PM

Location

Vank Church alley, Jolfa District, Isfahan, Iran

Contact

(+98) 3136243471

Price

300,000 Rls

Ālī Qāpū Palace

Kãkh-e Ãli Qãpou کاخ عالی قاپو

Ali Qapu is a grand palace in Isfahan, Iran. It is located on the western side of the Naqsh e Jahan Square, opposite to Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and had been originally designed as a vast portal. It is forty-eight meters high and there are six floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. In the sixth floor, Music Hall, deep circular niches are found in the walls, having not only aesthetic value, but also acoustic.
The name Ali Qapu, from Persian ‘Ālī (meaning “”imperial”” or “”great””), and Azerbaijani Qāpū (meaning “”gate””), was given to this place as it was right at the entrance to the Safavid palaces which stretched from the Naqsh e Jahan Square to the Chahar Baq Boulevard. The building, another wonderful Safavid edifice, was built by decree of Shah Abbas I in the early seventeenth century. It was here that the great monarch used to entertain noble visitors, and foreign ambassadors. Shah Abbas, here for the first time, celebrated the Nowruz (Iranian New Year) of 1006 AH / 1597 C.E.
Ali Qapu is rich in naturalistic wall paintings by Reza Abbasi, the court painter of Shah Abbas I, and his pupils. There are floral, animal, and bird motifs in his works. The highly ornamented doors and windows of the palace have almost all been pillaged at times of social anarchy. Only one window on the third floor has escaped the ravages of time. Ali Qapu was repaired and restored substantially during the reign of Shah Sultan Hussein, the last Safavid ruler, but fell into a dreadful state of dilapidation again during the short reign of invading Afghans. Under the reign of Nasir ol Din Shah e Qajar (1848–96), the Safavid cornices and floral tiles above the portal were replaced by tiles bearing inscriptions.
Shah Abbas II was enthusiastic about the embellishment and perfection of Ali Qapu. His chief contribution was given to the magnificent hall, the constructures on the third floor. The 18 columns of the hall are covered with mirrors and its ceiling is decorated with great paintings.
The chancellery was stationed on the first floor. On the sixth, the royal reception and banquets were held. The largest rooms are found on this floor. The stucco decoration of the banquet hall abounds in motif of various vessels and cups. The sixth floor was popularly called the Music Hall. Here various ensembles performed music and sang songs.
From the upper galleries, the Safavid ruler watched Chowgan (polo), maneuvers and the horse-racing opposite the square of Naqsh e Jahan.
The palace is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 rials banknote. Actually, the palace is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20 rials banknote series 1953.

(Source: wikipedia.org)

Overview

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Opening Hours

Daily Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM

Location

Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. Sepah St. Imam Hossein Sq. Isfahan, Iran

Contact

(+98) 3132222173

Price

200,000 Rls

Atiq Square

Atiq Square or Atigh Square or Kohneh Square or Old Square, in Persian:(میدان عتيق or میدان کهنه) was a focal point of the city of Isfahan for centuries. In the eleventh century when Isfahan was the capital of the Seljuk dynasty, it was the main square and the chief centre of the business and social life of the city. It was an important central focus of the city until Naqsh-e Jahan Square was laid out in the 17th centenary. But even at that time, the Kohneh Square preserved its importance as the centre of the city’s minor activities. With the Jameh Mosque on the north, Qeysarieh Bazaar on the west, Harun Velayat Mausoleum and the Ali Mosque on the south, and the Seljuk palaces on the east, the Kohneh Square served as a prototype for majestic Naqsh-e Jahan Square that Shah Abbas I created in its vicinity.
(Source: wikipedia.org)

Overview

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Opening Hours

Daily Hours: 12 AM – 11:59 PM

Location

Imam Ali Square, Isfahan, Isfahan Province

Price

Free

Chehel Sotun Palace

Kakh-e Chehel Sotun

Built as a pleasure pavilion and reception hall, using the Achaemenid-inspired talar (columnar porch) style, this beautifully proportioned palace is entered via an elegant terrace that perfectly bridges the transition between the Persian love of gardens and interior splendour. The 20 slender, ribbed wooden pillars of the palace rise to a superb wooden ceiling with crossbeams and exquisite inlay work. Chehel Sotun means ‘40 pillars’ – the number reflected in the long pool in front of the palace.
The only surviving palace on the royal precinct that stretched between Naqsh-e Jahan (Imam) Sq and Chahar Bagh Abbasi St, this Safavid-era complex is reputed to date from 1614; an inscription uncovered in 1949, however, says it was completed in 1647 under the watch of Shah Abbas II. Either way, the palace on this site today was rebuilt after a fire in 1706.
The Great Hall (Throne Hall) is a gem, richly decorated with frescoes, miniatures and ceramics. The upper walls are dominated by historical frescoes on a grand scale, sumptuously portraying court life and some of the great battles of the Safavid era – the two middle frescoes (Nos 114 and 115) date from the Qajar period but the other four are original. From right to left, above the entrance door, the armies of Shah Ismail do battle with the Uzbeks; Nader Shah battles Sultan Mohammed (astride a white elephant) on an Indian battleground; and Shah Abbas II welcomes King Nader Khan of Turkestan with musicians and dancing girls.
On the wall opposite the door, also from right to left, Shah Abbas I presides over an ostentatious banquet; Shah Ismail battles the janissaries (infantrymen) of Sultan Selim; and Shah Tahmasp receives Humayun, the Indian prince who fled to Persia in 1543. These extraordinary works survived the 18th-century invasion by the Afghans, who whitewashed the paintings to show their disapproval of such extravagance. Other items, including Safavid forebear Safi od-Din’s hat, are kept in a small museum.
The palace’s garden, Bagh-e Chehel Sotun, is an excellent example of the classic Persian garden form and was recently added to UNESCO’s World Heritage list (Read More…). An ancient fallen pine resting on a plinth gives a sense of the great age of the garden. The polished noses of the lions on the standing water spouts at the head of the decorative pool hint at this being a favourite spot for a photograph of the garden’s perfect symmetry. Art students have set up a calico shop at the garden’s entrance selling Iran’s popular printed fabric.

(Source: lonelyplanet.com)

Overview

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Opening Hours

Daily Hours: 9 AM – 6 PM

Location

Sepah St., Imam Hossein Sq., Isfahan, Iran

Contact

(+98) 3132220181

Price

200,000 Rls