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Sightseeing in Isfahan - what to see. Complete travel guide

When searching for a city to visit in Iran many tourists from all over the world make their choice in favor of Isfahan. This city is situated approximately four hundred kilometers to the south of Tehran. Having visited this marvelous place at least once, it is easy to understand why Isfahan is often informally called “Persia’s gem”. The city is truly beautiful. No other Islamic region has such unique gardens that turn the city into a green and blooming oasis. Mosques with azure cupolas look so fabulous and mesmerizing that they stay in the memory for many days and weeks after your visit to this Iranian city.
The earliest evidence of settlements in Isfahan dates back to the Palaeolithic period. Ancient artifacts discovered during the archaeological excavations prove this. During the ancient period, the city was a part of the Elamite civilization and was famous as Aspadana. At that time, it was one of the main Median cities. Later, Isfahan became an important military region and was well-known for its durable protective facilities that granted safety to the settlement. The Arabs took over the city after a long period of fighting for power. Unfortunately, the new owners couldn’t develop the city, causing a decline. Isfahan started recovering and bringing back its former importance only in the 10th century.
Mongols invaded the region when the city started developing again. Soon after that, Tamerlane’s army completely plundered the settlement. However, Isfahan managed to recover and become one of the leading cities again due to its beneficial location. When Shah Abbas the Great became the ruler at the end of the 16th century, the city became the Safavid capital. This was a period of prosperity for the city. Isfahan started growing in size and getting richer. Everything changed in the 18th century because Afghan invaders attacked Isfahan. After a long siege, the city was completely destroyed and turned into ruins. Naturally, this event had a devastating effect on the economy of the city. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Nowadays, the Iranian city has recovered and continues developing. Numerous tourists, who arrive in this city in order to see its landmarks, also make a contribution to the city economy. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque remains one of the major landmarks of the Iranian city. This is a precious masterpiece of Persian architecture. It took almost eighteen years to build such a unique shrine. All construction works ended in 1619.
An image of a peacock in the central part of the cupola is a distinctive feature of this mosque. Colorful tiles cover all walls in the hall for prays. The tiles feature writings in Arabian. There are also verses from the Quran at the edges of the hall. Every year, thousands of tourists visit Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. People come to see the unbelievable luxury of halls and splendid interiors with their own eyes. There are no analogs to this architectural flawlessness in the world.
Do you want to see a truly marvelous place? In this case, visit the Monar Jonban, an ancient mausoleum. It was built in 1316, and its famous towers were added several years later. Two five-meter-tall minarets decorate the two-story building. There is an interesting peculiarity about these minarets – if you shake one of them, the other minaret starts shaking as well. As the city’s government is concerned about the condition of the old building, it is not allowed to visit the mausoleum. Despite this, everyone can see the unusual minarets of the mausoleum in action because the landmark’s staff enters the towers every day and shakes the minarets.
Consider adding Chehel Sotoun to the list of the landmarks you plan to visit. This is a gorgeous pavilion that stands in the middle of a picturesque park. Shah Abbas II ordered to build this pavilion in the XVII century for the purpose of meeting foreign diplomats and delegations, as well as for celebrations and various events. The landmark’s name, Chehel Sotoun, means “Forty columns”. Tourists might wonder at first why the name says forty columns when there are only twenty columns. There is a catch – simply look at the pavilion from some distance and you will see how twenty columns reflect in the water, forming the forty columns mentioned in the name.
Inside, the pavilion features gorgeous frescos that made the architectural landmark internationally famous. If you take a closer look at them, you will learn more about everyday life in the palace and the battles that Shah Abbas participated in. besides that, don’t forget to take a look at the collection of old carpets, ceramics, and porcelain. The pavilion’s halls feature portraits of local aristocrats who were important for Isfahan and its history.
Tourists from many countries will find it easier to travel to Tehran first even though there is an airport in Isfahan. A flight from Europe will be not long. The next part of the journey is a train ride that takes roughly seven and a half hours and ends near the city. After that, use public transport to get to the center of Isfahan. It is also possible to get to Isfahan from Tehran by bus. The journey time is roughly equal.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Isfahan and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all shopping areas
Shopping streets in Isfahan
♥   Shopping area ' Tohid Street' Isfahan, 2.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sights around Isfahan from our guide 'Extreme places on Earth'

Khaju Bridge

From the series “Unbelievable and Magnificent Bridges and Viaducts”
At present, the bridge structure consists of more than 50 pavilions decorated with fine mosaics and drawings. In the course of existence, the bridge did not lose the original functions. It is actively used both for river crossing and as a dam. On the banks of the Zayandeh River are laid the magnificent gardens, the irrigation without a dam would be simply impossible. For the tourists, the Chadschu Bridge serves as an ideal place for walks and recreation, in whose spacious galleries one enjoys the silence and grazes the old works of art. … Read further

Sightseeing in Iran: things to see

There are hundreds of cultural centers and museums in Iran. In Tehran, tourists can visit the Treasury of National Jewels. The collection of this museum features precious artifacts that once belonged to the rules of the country. Visit this museum and you will be able to admire ancient weapons and shields adorned with precious stones, see tiaras and magnificent thrones of the previous rulers of the country, as well as many other artifacts made from precious metals and stones. Some exhibits are truly breathtaking – for example, there is a giant globe that has all seas and oceans made from emeralds. … Open
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Isfahan

All about Isfahan, Iran - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Isfahan, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Isfahan in few days.
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