An ancient Median town named Gey (Jay), it was later known as Aspadana. In Sassanid
Empire, the city was residence of 7 royal Iranian
families called Espouheran. After the fall of the Sassanid Empire, Isfahan
was conquered by Arabs in 641 and it was a part of the Abbasi
realm until 931 it was liberated by Mardaviz Ziari
and became capital. It was a major city of the Seljuk
dynasty (11th-13th centuries AD) and of the Safavid
dynasty (16th-18th centuries). Its golden age began in 1598 when Shah Abbas
I made it his capital and rebuilt it into one of the 17th century's greatest cities. At its centre he created the immense Maydan-e Shah
, or Royal Square, a great rectangular garden enclosing the Masjid-e Shah (Royal Mosque). In 1722 Afghans took the city, and it went into decline. Recovery began in the 20th century, and it is now a major tourist centre, with other industries include steelmaking and petroleum refining. (Wikipedia
) - Isfahan This article is about the city of Isfahan. For other uses, see Isfahan (disambiguation). "Espahan" redirects here. For the village in Razavi Khorasan Province
, see Espahan, Razavi Khorasan
Ancient names: Spadana, Spahān
|Nickname(s): Nesf-e Jahān (Half of the world) |
| Isfahan |
|IsfahanIsfahan in Iran |
|Coordinates: 32°38′N 51°39′E / 32.633°N 51.650°E / 32.633; 51.650Coordinates: 32°38′N 51°39′E / 32.633°N 51.650°E / 32.633; 51.650 |
|Morteza Saqaeian Nejad |
|280 km2 (110 sq mi) |
|7,654 km2 (2,955 sq mi) |
|1,590 m (5,217 ft) |
• Population Rank in Iran
|Population Data from 2011 Census |
|IRST (UTC+3:30) |
• Summer (DST)
|IRDT 21 March – 20 September (UTC+4:30) |
Isfahan (Persian: Esfāhān Esfahān pronunciation (help·info)), historically also rendered in English as Ispahan, Sepahan, Esfahan or Hispahan, is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 kilometres (211 miles) south of Tehran. It has a population of 1,583,609 and is Iran''s third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad. The Greater Isfahan Region had a population of 3,793,101 in the 2011 Census, the second most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran.
The cities of Zarrinshahr, Fooladshahr and Najafabad, Se-deh, Shahinshahr, Mobarakeh, Falavarjan and Charmahin all constitute the metropolitan city of Isfahan.
Isfahan is located on the main north–south and east–west routes crossing Iran, and was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Even today, the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Islamic architecture, with many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. This led to the Persian proverb "Esfahān nesf-e jahān ast" (Isfahan is half of the world).
The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city also has a wide variety of historic monuments and is known for the paintings and history.
- 1 History
- 1.1 Prehistory
- 1.2 Pre-Islamic era
- 1.3 Persia''s capital
- 1.4 Modern age
- 2 Geography and climate
- 3 Main sights
- 3.1 Bazaars
- 3.2 Bridges
- 3.3 Churches and cathedrals
- 3.4 Emamzadehs
- 3.5 Gardens and Parks
- 3.6 Houses
- 3.7 Mausoleums and Tombs
- 3.8 Minarets
- 3.9 Mosques
- 3.10 Museums
- 3.11 Schools (madresse)
- 3.12 Palaces and caravanserais
- 3.13 Squares and streets
- 3.14 Tourist attractions
- 3.15 Other sites
- 4 Economy
- 5 Transportation
- 5.1 Airport
- 5.2 Metro and inter-city public transportation
- 5.3 Rail
- 5.4 Road transport
- 6 Culture
- 6.1 Rug manufacture
- 6.2 Food
- 7 Notable people
- 8 Education
- 9 Sports
- 10 Twin towns – Sister cities
- 11 See also
- 12 References
- 13 External links
The history of Isfahan can be traced back to the Palaeolithic period. In recent discoveries, archaeologists have found artifacts dating back to the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages.
| ||This section does not cite any references or sources. Please help improve this section by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (December 2012) |
Isfahan, capital of the Kingdom of PersiaRussian army in Isfahan in 1890sDetail of Khaju Bridge
The city emerged gradually over the course of the Elamite civilization (2700–1600 BCE) under the name of Aspandana also spelt Ispandana. During the Median dynasty, this commercial entrepôt began to show signs of a more sedentary urbanism, steadily growing into a noteworthy regional center that benefited from the exceptionally fertile soil on the banks of the Zayendehrud River. Once Cyrus the Great (reg. 559–529 BCE) unified Persian and Median lands into the Achaemenid Empire (648–330 BCE), the religiously and ethnically diverse city of Isfahan became an early example of the king''s fabled religious tolerance. The Parthians (250 BCE – 226 CE) continued this tradition after the fall of the Achaemenids, fostering the Hellenistic dimension within Iranian culture and political organization introduced by Alexander''s invading armies. Under the Parthians, Arsacid governors administered a large province from Isfahan, and the city''s urban development accelerated to accommodate the needs of a capital city. The next empire to rule Persia, the Sassanids (226 – 652 CE), presided over massive changes in their realm, instituting sweeping agricultural reform and reviving Iranian culture and the Zoroastrian religion. The city was then called by the name Spahān in Middle Persian. The city was governed by "Espoohrans" or the members of seven noble Iranian families who had important royal positions, and served as the residence of these noble families as well. Extant foundations of some Sassanid-era bridges in Isfahan suggest that the kings were also fond of ambitious urban planning projects. While Isfahan''s political importance declined during the period, many Sassanian princes would study statecraft in the city, and its military role developed rapidly. Its strategic location at the intersection of the ancient roads to Susa and Persepolis made it an ideal candidate to house a standing army, ready to march against Constantinople at any moment. One etymological theory argues that the name ''Aspahan'' derives from the Pahlavi for ''place of the army''.
In 1598 Shah Abbas the Great moved his capital from Qazvin to the more central and Persian Isfahan, called Ispahān in early New Persian, so that it wouldn''t be threatened by his arch rival, the Ottomans. This new importance ushered in a golden age for the city, with architecture, prestige, and Persian culture flourishing.
From Abbas'' time and on, the city was also settled by thousands of deportees from the Caucasus (Most notably Georgians) which Abbas and his predecessors had settled en masse in Persia''s heartland. At the end of the 16th century the city is said to have at least 250 000 Armenian inhabitants.
During the time of Abbas and on Isfahan was very famous in Europe, and many European travellers made an account of their visit to the city, such as Jean Chardin. This all lasted until it was sacked by Afghan invaders in 1722 during the Safavids heavy decline. The capital subsequently moved several times until settling in Tehran in 1775.
In the 20th century the city was settled by very large amounts of peoples from south Iran, firstly during the population movements in the early 20th century, but also in the 1980s following the Iran-Iraq war.
Modern ageModern architecture at Isfahan City Center
Today Isfahan, the third largest city in Iran, produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, and handicrafts. Isfahan also has nuclear experimental reactors as well as facilities for producing nuclear fuel (UCF). Isfahan has one of the largest steel-producing facilities in the entire region, as well as facilities for producing special alloys.
The city has an international airport and is in the final stages of constructing its first Metro line.
Over 2000 companies work in the area using Isfahan''s economic, cultural, and social potentials. Isfahan contains a major oil refinery and a large airforce base. HESA, Iran''s most advanced aircraft manufacturing plant (where the IR.AN-140 aircraft is made), is located nearby.. Isfahan is also becoming an attraction for international investments, like investments in Isfahan City Center, which is the largest shopping mall in Iran and the largest shopping mall with a museum in the world and has the largest indoor amusement park in the middle-east.
Isfahan hosted the International Physics Olympiad in 2007.
Geography and climate
The city is located in the lush plain of the Zayandeh River, at the foothills of the Zagros mountain range. No geological obstacles exist within 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Isfahan, allowing cool northern winds to blow from this direction. Situated at 1,590 metres (5,217 ft) above sea level on the eastern side of the Zagros Mountains, Isfahan has an arid climate (Köppen BSk). Despite its altitude, Isfahan remains very hot during the summer with maxima typically around 36 °C (97 °F). However, with low humidity and moderate temperatures at night, the climate can be very pleasant. During the winter, days are mild while nights can be very cold. Snow has occurred at least once every winter except 1986/1987 and 1989/1990.
Climate data for Isfahan
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F)
|20 (68) ||23 (73) ||27 (81) ||32 (90) ||33.6 (92.5) ||35.2 (95.4) ||37.7 (99.9) ||37.0 (98.6) ||35 (95) ||33.2 (91.8) ||25.5 (77.9) ||21.2 (70.2) ||37.7 (99.9) |
Average high °C (°F)
|9.2 (48.6) ||12.5 (54.5) ||17.0 (62.6) ||22.7 (72.9) ||28.2 (82.8) ||32.3 (90.1) ||34.7 (94.5) ||33.6 (92.5) ||30.8 (87.4) ||25 (77) ||17 (63) ||11 (52) ||23.42 (74.16) |
Average low °C (°F)
|−2.5 (27.5) ||−0.4 (31.3) ||4.1 (39.4) ||9.3 (48.7) ||13.7 (56.7) ||18.5 (65.3) ||21.0 (69.8) ||19.1 (66.4) ||14.7 (58.5) ||8.9 (48) ||3.2 (37.8) ||−1 (30) ||9.05 (48.29) |
Record low °C (°F)
|−19.4 (−2.9) ||−12.2 (10) ||−6.2 (20.8) ||−4 (25) ||4.5 (40.1) ||10 (50) ||13 (55) ||11 (52) ||5 (41) ||0 (32) ||−8 (18) ||−13 (9) ||−19.4 (−2.9) |
Precipitation mm (inches)
|29.9 (1.177) ||40.0 (1.575) ||31.7 (1.248) ||28.9 (1.138) ||18.7 (0.736) ||11.2 (0.441) ||6.7 (0.264) ||2.3 (0.091) ||2.1 (0.083) ||13.9 (0.547) ||22.5 (0.886) ||29.7 (1.169) ||237.6 (9.355) |
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
|4.1 ||6.0 ||4.1 ||3.4 ||2.5 ||1.7 ||1.0 ||0.8 ||0.8 ||1.7 ||3.3 ||3.9 ||33.3 |
|60 ||65 ||53 ||60 ||44 ||35 ||25 ||26 ||28 ||38 ||50 ||70 ||46.2 |
Mean monthly sunshine hours
|203.6 ||216.8 ||243.7 ||250.0 ||308.7 ||348.3 ||349.4 ||339.7 ||311.3 ||281.5 ||224.2 ||197.0 ||3,274.2 |
|Source: Synoptic Stations Statistics |
A handicraft shopA handicraft from IsfahanMain sights See also: Tourism in IranShah Mosque. Painting by the French
architect, Pascal Coste, visiting Persia in 1841Si-o-se PolNaghsh-i Jahan Square, Isfahan, IranView of Ali Qapu PalaceA carpet shop in Grand Bazaar
, IsfahanKhaju BridgeAn ancient item from Isfahan City Center museumArmenian Vank CathedralBazaars
The Zayande River starts in the Zagros Mountains, flows from west to east through the heart of Isfahan, and dries up in the Kavir desert.
The bridges over the river include some of the finest architecture in Isfahan. The oldest bridge is the "Pol-e Shahrestan", which was probably built in the 1100s during the Seljuk period. Further upstream is the "Pol-e Khaju", which was built by Shah Abbas II in 1650. It is 123 metres long with 24 arches, and also serves as a sluice gate.
The next bridge is the "Pol-e Jubi". It was originally built as an aqueduct to supply the palace gardens on the north bank of the river. Further upstream again is the Si-o-Seh Pol or bridge of 33 arches. Built during the rule of Shah Abbas the Great, it linked Isfahan with the Armenian suburb of Jolfa. It is by far the longest bridge in Isfahan at 295 m (967.85 ft).
Other bridges include:
- Pol-e Shahrestan (The Shahrestan bridge)
- Marnan Bridge
- Pol-e Khaju (Khaju Bridge) – 1650.
- Si-o-Seh Pol (The Bridge of 33 Arches) – 1602.
- Pol-e-Joui or Choobi (Joui bridge). – 1665
Churches and cathedrals
- Bedkhem Church – 1627
- St. Georg Church – 17th century
- St. Mary Church – 17th century
- Vank Cathedral – 1664
- Emamzadeh Ahmad
- Emamzadeh Esmaeil, Isfahan
- Emamzadeh Haroun-e-Velayat – 16th century
- Emamzadeh Jafar
- Emamzadeh Shah Zeyd
Gardens and Parks
- Birds Garden
- Flower Garden of Isfahan
- Nazhvan Recreational Complex
- Alam''s House
- Amin''s House
- Malek Vineyard
- Qazvinis'' House – 19th century
- Sheykh ol-Eslam''s House
Mausoleums and Tombs
- Al-Rashid Mausoleum – 12th century
- Baba Ghassem Mausoleum – 14th century
- Mausoleum of Safavid Princes
- Nizam al-Mulk Tomb – 11th century
- Saeb Mausoleum
- Shahshahan mausoleum – 15th century
- Soltan Bakht Agha Mausoleum – 14th century
- Ali minaret – 11th century
- Bagh-e-Ghoushkhane minaret – 14th century
- Chehel Dokhtaran minaret – 12 century
- Dardasht minarets – 14th century
- Darozziafe minarets – 14th century
- Menar Jonban – 14th century
- Sarban minaret
- Agha Nour mosque – 16th century
- Hakim Mosque
- Ilchi mosque
- Jameh Mosque
- Jarchi mosque – 1610
- Lonban mosque
- Maghsoudbeyk mosque – 1601
- Mohammad Jafar Abadei mosque – 1878
- Rahim Khan mosque – 19th century
- Roknolmolk mosque
- Seyyed mosque (Isfahan) – 19th century
- Shah Mosque – 1629
- Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque – 1618
- Contemporary Arts Museum Isfahan
- Museum of Decorative Arts
- Natural History Museum of Isfahan – 15th century
- Isfahan City Center Museum
- Chahar Bagh School – early 17th century
- Kassegaran school – 1694
- Madreseye Khajoo
- Nimavar school – 1691
- Sadr school – 19th century
Palaces and caravanserais
- Ali Qapu (The Royal Palace) – early 17th century
- Talar Ashraf (The Palace of Ashraf) – 1650
- Hasht-Behesht (The Palace of Eight Paradises) – 1669
- Chehel Sotoun (The Palace of Forty Columns) – 1647
- Shah Caravanserai
- Najvan Forest Park
Squares and streets
Tourist attractionsOld building of Isfahan city hall
Isfahan is an important historical center for different groups of tourists in the domestic and international world. The central historical area in Isfahan is called Seeosepol (the name of a famous bridge).
- Atashgah – a Zoroastrian fire temple.
- New Julfa (The Armenian Quarter). – 1606
- The Bathhouse of Bahāʾ al-dīn al-ʿĀmilī.
- Pigeon Towers – 17th century.
- Takht-e Foulad
- Isfahan City Center
Economy See also: Economy of Iran
| ||This section requires expansion. (March 2014) |
Transportation See also: Transport in Iran
Isfahan is served by the Isfahan International Airport which handles domestic flights to Iranian cities and international flights, mostly to regional destinations across Middle East and central Asia including Dubai and Damascus.
Metro and inter-city public transportation
Isfahan Metro is under construction and will include 2 lines with 43 km (27 mi) length. The first line of that is planned to be finished by end of 2010 with 21 km (13 mi) length and 20 stations. Until the metro is completed an expanded bus system accompanied by taxis will handle Isfahan intra-urban public transportation.
Isfahan is connected to three major rail lines: Isfahan–Tehran, Isfahan–Shiraz (recently opened), Isfahan–Yazd and via this recent one to Bandar Abbas and Zahedan.
Isfahan''s internal highway network is currently under heavy expansion which began during the last decade. Its lengthy construction is due to concerns of possible destruction of valuable historical buildings. Outside the city, Isfahan is connected by modern highways to Tehran which spans a distance of nearly 400 km (248.55 mi) to North and to Shiraz at about 200 km (124.27 mi) to the south. The highways also service satellite cities surrounding the metropolitan area.
CultureAn old master of hand-printed carpets in Isfahan bazaarThe Damask rose ''Ispahan'', reputedly developed in IspahanRug manufacture Main article: Isfahan rug
Isfahan has long been one of the centers for production of the famous Persian Rug. Weaving in Isfahan flourished in the Safavid era. But when the Afghans invaded Iran, ending the Safavid dynasty, the craft also became stagnant.
- Isfahan is famous for its Beryuni. This dish is made of baked mutton & lungs that are minced and then cooked in a special small pan over open fire with a pinch of cinnamon. Beryuni is generally eaten with a certain type of bread, "nan-e taftton." Although it can also be served with other breads. See also Biryani.
- Fesenjan – a casserole type dish with a sweet and tart sauce containing the two base ingredients, pomegranate molasses and ground walnuts cooked with chicken, duck, lamb or beef and served with rice.
- Gaz – the name given to Persian Nougat using the sap collected from angebin, a plant from the tamarisk family found only on the outskirts of Isfahan. It is mixed with various ingredients including rose water, pistachio and almond kernels and saffron.
- "Khoresht-e mast" (yoghurt stew) is a traditional dish in Isfahan. Unlike other stews despite its name, it is not served as a main dish and with rice; Since it is more of a sweet pudding it is usually served as a side dish or dessert. The dish is made with yogurt, lamb/mutton or chicken, saffron, sugar and orange zest. Iranians either put the orange zest in water for one week or longer or boil them for few minutes so the orange peels become sweet and ready for use. People in Iran make a lot of delicate dishes and jam with fruit rinds. This dish often accompanies celebrations and weddings.
- Pulaki – the name given to a type of Isfahani candy which is formed to thin circles like coins and served with tea or other warm drinks.
Notable peoplePersian Pottery from the city Isfahan, 17th century.Artists
- Jalal al din Taj Esfahani (1903– ), Persian classical vocalist
- Hasan Kasaie (b. 1928), Soloist of Ney (a traditional Persian musical instrument)
- Jalil Shahnaz (1921–2013), Soloist of Tar, traditional Persian instrument
- Freydoon Rassouli, artist and founder of Fusionart movement
- Master Ahmad Archang, artist and designer of Isfahan rug patterns
- Alireza Eftekhari, (1956– ), singer
- Nasrollah Moein (1951– ), pop and classical vocalist
- Hoshmand Aghili (1945– ), pop and classical vocalist
- Hassan Shamaizadeh, songwriter and Singer
- Leila Forouhar, pop singer
Actors and movie directors
- Reza Arhamsadr (1923–2008), famous father of Persian comic cinema and theater, actor
- Asghar Farhadi (1972– ), Oscar-winning director
- Nosratolah Vahdat, 1925, actor
- Mohamad Ali Keshvarz, 1930, actor
- Jahangir Forouhar, 1916–1997, actor and father of Leila Forouhar (Iranian singer)
- Bahman Farmanara, 1942–, director
- Kiumars Poorahmad, 1949–, director
- Rasul Sadr Ameli, 1953–, director
- Homayoun Asaadian, director
- Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari, 1956–2001, former princess of Iran and actress
- Homayoun Ershadi, 1947–, Hollywood actor and architect
- Bogdan Saltanov, 1630s–1703, Russian icon painter of Isfahanian Armenian origin
- Sumbat Der Kiureghian, 1913–1999 (سمبات دِر كيوُرغيان), an Isfahanian Armenian painter
- Hossein Mosaverolmolki, 1889–1969, (حسين مصورالملكي), painter and miniaturist
- Yervand Nahapetian, 1917–, (يرواند نهاپطيان), Isfahanian Armenian painter
- Freydoon Rassouli, American painter born and raised in Isfahan
- Ostad Javad Rostamshirazi, 1919–, Isfahanian painter
- Mahmoud Farshchian, 1930–, miniaturist
- Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, 1928–1981, cleric, Chairman of the Council of Revolution of Iran
- Mohammad-Ali Foroughi, a politician and Prime Minister of Iran in World war II era
- Hossein Fatemi, 1919–1954, PhD, politician (foreign minister in Mohamed Mossadegh Cabinet)
- Ahmad Amir-Ahmadi, 1906–1965, military leader and cabinet minister
- Hossein Kharrazi, chief of army in the Iran–Iraq war
- Mohsen Nourbakhsh, 1948–2003, economist, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran
- Nusrat Bhutto, Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party from 1979–1983, wife of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, and mother of Benazir Bhutto.
- Dariush Forouhar, (August 1928 – November 1998) was a founder and leader of the Hezb-e Mellat-e Iran (Nation of Iran Party)
- Salman the Persian
- Allamah al-Majlisi, 1616–1698, Safavid cleric, Sheikh ul-Islam in Isfahan
- Ayatollah Rahim Arbab chiarmahini, 1847–?, cleric, Ayatollah-al-ozma rank
- Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti, 1928–1981, cleric, Chairman of the Council of Revolution of Iran
- Ayatollah Ashrafi Esfahani, 1902–1982, cleric, Friday Prayer of Kermanshah
- Mahmoud Yavari, محمود یاوری,–1939, footballer, former player for Shahine Esfahan and Iranian National Team from 1958 to 1970, former coach of Iranian National Team
- Abdolali Changiz, football star of Esteghlal FC in the 1970s
- Mansour Ebrahimzadeh, former player for Sepahan FC in the 1970s and 1980s, former head coach of Zobahan
- Rasoul Korbekandi, goalkeeper of the Iranian National Team
- Moharram Navidkia, captain of the Sepahan
- Ehsan Hajsafi, player for the Sepahan
- Arsalan Kazemi, forward for the Oregon Ducks men''s basketball team and the Iran national basketball team.
- Mohammad Talaei, world champion wrestler
Writers and poets
- Hamid Mosadegh, 1939–1998, poet and lawyer
- Hatef Esfehani, Persian Moral poet in Afsharye Era
- Helen Ouliaei Nia, literary critic
- Houshang Golshiri, 1938–2000, writer and editor
- Kamal ed-Din Esmail, late 12th century until early 13th century
- Mirza Abbas Khan Sheida, 1880–1949, poet and publisher
- Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh Esfahani, 1892–1997, author
- Saib Tabrizi
- Nasser David Khalili, 1945–, property developer, art collector, and philanthropist
- Arthur Pope, 1881–1969, American archaeologist, buried near Khaju Bridge
EducationCentral Municipal Library of Esfahan.
Aside from the seminaries and religious schools, the major universities of the Esfahan metropolitan area are:
- High schools
- Adab High School
- Harati High School
- Saremiyh High School
- Sa''eb Education Complex
- Imam Mohammad Bagher Education Complex
- Mahboobeh Danesh(Navaie)
- Shahid Ejei High School
- Farzanegan e Amin High School
- Imam Sadegh Education Complex
There are also more than 50 Technical and Vocational Training Centers under the administration of Esfahan TVTO which provide non-formal training programs freely throughout the province.
Isfahan is the host of many national and international sport events therefore enjoying sport facilities such as Naghsh-e-Jahan Stadium with 50,000 capacity which second phase is under development to increase capacity to 75,000 spectators. Isfahan has an important derby called as Naqsh e jahan derby. This competition is one of the most popular annual football events in Iran between Sepahan Isfahan and Zob Ahan Isfahan.
Isfahan has three association football clubs that play professionally. These are:
- Sepahan Isfahan
- Zob Ahan Isfahan.
- Giti Pasand
Giti Pasand also has a futsal team, Giti Pasand FSC, they are one of the best teams in Asia and Iran. They won the AFC Futsal Club Championship in 2012 and were runners-up in 2013.
Twin towns – Sister citiesEsfahan street in Kuala Lumpur
, and Kovalalampor avenue in Isfahan.
Isfahan is twinned with:
- Baalbek, Lebanon
- Barcelona, Spain
- Kathmandu, Nepal
- Cairo, Egypt
- Dakar, Senegal
- Florence, Italy
- Freiburg, Germany
- Havana, Cuba
- Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh, India
- Iaşi, Romania
- Istanbul, Turkey
- Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
- Kuwait City, Kuwait
- Lahore, Pakistan
- Saint Petersburg, Russia
- Venice, Italy
- Xi''an, Shaanxi, China
- Yerevan, Armenia (1995)
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