Khaju Bridge was built on the order of Shah Abbas the second in 1650. This bridge is the only decorated bridge with Haft-Rang (polychrome tiles) tilework in Iran. Khaju Bridge is 137 m long and 12 m wide. The word Khaju is derived from the word “Khajeh”. “Khajeh” is the title used for the members of the court who were close to the royal family. This group of courtiers used to live near this bridge. This resulted in naming of the Khaju Bridge. Khaju Bridge is also known under the names: Jesre Hasan, Baba Roknoddin, Gabr-ha
Khaju Bridge Gives You the Impression of a Moving Boat
The top storey of this double decker bridge was used for caravans to pass over. The covered corridors were used by pedestrians. When someone looks down on the stone foundations (which are in triangle shape) and sees the flowing water it gives them the impression of being on a moving boat. This feature is for the reason of helping the water to pass through the bridge in case of a flood. The lower storey were only used by pedestrians. In the middle there are two alcoves called “Shahneshins”. They are located in the middle of the eastern and western side of the top storey. Each Shahneshin is a large room overlooking three balconies. The balconies are adorned with paintings from the Qajar and Safavid era.
Stone Lions with A Face of a Warrior
There are two stone lions on both sides of the bridge, these statues were brought here from Takht-e Foulad cemetery. They were originally used as tombstones of warriors who were martyred on battlefield. Inside the mouth of each stone lion a face of a warrior is carved. There are carved shapes of gymnastic apparatuses and warfare equipment such as: shield, bow, mace and sword.
Unequal sluices of Khaju Bridge
The 21 sluices on the lower part of the bridge are different in size compared to each other. This intentional design is for the reason of increasing the resistance of the bridge against water flow. it is worth mentioning that the size difference is in no way random. Moreover, there are in harmony and rhythm to prevent the damages that may happen in case of a flood. Also, the sophisticated hydraulics structure is designed to slow down the water flow.
Arthur Upham Pope Tomb
Arthur Upham Pope was an American expert on archeology and Iranian art. He was renowned orientalist of Islamic industries who compiled and edited six volumes of ‘’ A survey of Persian art’’ with his wife. during his studies of Iran, Pope made twenty trips that strengthen his love for Iran. He came to Iran with his wife, Phyllis Ackerman, in 1925 A.D. Pope passed away from a heart attack in Shiraz. He was transferred to Isfahan according to his will and testament. He was buried near Khaju Bridge. Eight years later his wife died and was laid next to him there. The architecture features of the tomb is a combination of the Sassanid and Samanid dynasties.
Professor Arthur Upham Pope expressing his passion for Iran
he had stated that ‘’the whole point is to show the Iranian people that great sprits, artists, poets, creative leaders and scholars are not of such quality as to evoke the profound admiration of a kindred spirit in other hands, who affirm their gratitude and devotion with more than words, and to affirm to visitors from other countries that one is not interred in Iran by accident of dying there, but with the conviction that it is a privilege for those who understand and use it as a final resting place, as a witness to their faith in the land and the great personalities that have through the many centuries made it what is it and, at the same time, prophesize a more noble future…l submitted my corpse to Iran’s land for the sake of love of Iran and yielded my heart to Iranians.’’
Kamal Smaeel St. Khajou Sq., Isfahan, Iran