اصفهان ، اسپه دانه، اسپهان
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, historically also rendered in English as Ispahan,
Sepahan or Hispahan, is the capital of
Isfahan Province in
Iran, located about 340 km south of
Tehran. It has a population of 1,583,609, Iran's third largest city after Tehran and
Mashhad. The Isfahan metropolitan area had a population of 3,430,353 in the 2006 Census, the second most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran. The cities of
Shahin-shahr, Zarrinshahr, Mobarakeh, Falavarjan and Fouladshahr 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 "'Esfahu0101n nesf-e jahu0101n ast" (Isfahan is half of the world). The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the biggest 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. 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
|— city — |
Ancient names: Aspadāna, Spahān
|Montage of Isfahan, Top upper left:Khaju Bridge, Top lower left:Si-o-se Pol(33 Arches Bridge), Top right:Chehel Sotun Garden and palace, Bottom upper left:Naqsh-e-Jahan Square, Bottom lower left:Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque in Ghal-e Tabarok area, Bottom right:Jameh Mosque in Shahahan area |
|Nickname(s): Nesfe Jahan (Half of the country) |
|Isfahan (اصفهان)Isfahan in Iran |
|Coordinates: 32°38′N 51°39′E / 32.633°N 51.65°E / 32.633; 51.65Coordinates: 32°38′N 51°39′E / 32.633°N 51.65°E / 32.633; 51.65 |
| Iran |
|Morteza Saqaeian Nejad |
|106,179 km2 (40,996 sq mi) |
|Elevation ||1,590 m (5,217 ft) |
|Population (2006) |
• Population Rank in Iran
| ||Population Data from 2006 Census |
|IRST (UTC+3:30) |
• Summer (DST)
|March 21 – September 20 (?) (UTC+4:30) |
Isfahan (Middle Persian Spahān, Classical New Persian Ispahān) (Persian: اصفهان Esfahān), historically also rendered in English as Ispahan, Sepahan or Hispahan, is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 km south of Tehran. It has a population of 1,583,609 and is Iran's third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad. The Isfahan metropolitan area had a population of 3,430,353 in the 2006 Census, the second most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran.
The cities of Zarrinshahr, Fooladshahr and Najafabad, Se-deh, Shahin-shahr, Mobarakeh, Falavarjan and chiarmahin 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 Elamite Empire
- 1.3 Persia's Capital
- 1.4 Modern age
- 2 Geography and climate
- 3 Main sights
- 3.1 Mosques
- 3.2 Palaces and caravanserais
- 3.3 Old schools (madresse)
- 3.4 Churches and cathedrals
- 3.5 Squares and streets
- 3.6 Bazaars
- 3.7 Bridges
- 3.8 Bathhouses
- 3.9 Tourist Attractions
- 3.10 Other sites
- 4 Transportation
- 4.1 Airport
- 4.2 Metro and Inter City Public Transportation
- 4.3 Rail
- 4.4 Road transport
- 5 Culture
- 5.1 Rug manufacture
- 5.2 Food
- 6 Famous people
- 7 Education
- 8 Sports
- 9 International relations
- 9.1 Twin towns – Sister cities
- 10 Gallery
- 11 References
- 12 External links
HistoryChehel Sotoon is a famous tourist attraction. Prehistory
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.
Elamite EmpireIsfahan, capital of the Kingdom of Persia '
Ancient Isfahan was part of the Elamite Empire under the name of Aspandana also spelt Ispadana. It later became one of the principal towns of the Median dynasty. Subsequently the province became part of the Achaemenid Empire. After the liberation of Iran from Macedonian occupation by the Arsacids, it became part of Parthian Empire. Isfahan was the centre and capital city of a large province, which was administered by Arsacid governors. In the Sassanid era, Isfahan 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. Moreover, in this period Isfahan was a military centre with strong fortifications.
Khaju Bridge Persia's Capital
In 1598 Shah Abbas the Great moved his capital from Qazvin to the more central and Persian Isfahan. This ushered in a golden age for the city which lasted until it was sacked by Afghan invaders in 1722. The capital subsequently moved several times until settling in Tehran in 1795.
Modern ageA handicraft shopA handicraft from Isfahan
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 are working 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 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 km 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 BWk). 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 but nights can be very cold and snow has occurred at least once every winter except 1986/1987 and 1989/1990. However, on the whole Isfahan’s climate is extremely cold in winter.
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) ||37.6 (99.7) ||41 (106) ||43 (109) ||42 (108) ||39 (102) ||33.2 (91.8) ||25.5 (77.9) ||21.2 (70.2) ||43 (109) |
Average high °C (°F)
|9.2 (48.6) ||12.5 (54.5) ||17.0 (62.6) ||22.7 (72.9) ||28.2 (82.8) ||34.3 (93.7) ||36.7 (98.1) ||35.6 (96.1) ||31.8 (89.2) ||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 (48.0) ||3.2 (37.8) ||−1 (30) ||9.05 (48.29) |
Record low °C (°F)
|−19.4 (−2.9) ||−12.2 (10.0) ||−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)
|19.9 (0.783) ||14.2 (0.559) ||21.7 (0.854) ||18.9 (0.744) ||8.7 (0.343) ||1.2 (0.047) ||1.7 (0.067) ||0.3 (0.012) ||0.1 (0.004) ||3.9 (0.154) ||12.5 (0.492) ||19.7 (0.776) ||122.8 (4.835) |
|60 ||50 ||43 ||40 ||34 ||25 ||25 ||26 ||28 ||38 ||50 ||60 ||39.9 |
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)
|4.0 ||2.9 ||4.1 ||3.4 ||2.0 ||0.3 ||0.3 ||0.1 ||0.0 ||0.8 ||2.2 ||3.8 ||23.9 |
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 |
Main sightsSi-o-se PolNaghsh-i Jahan Square, Isfahan, IranView of Ali Qapu PalaceA carpet shop in Grand Bazaar, IsfahanKhaju Bridge
Vank Cathedral Mosques
- Hakim Mosque
- Jameh Mosque
- Menar Jonban (Shaking Minarets)
- Shah Mosque
- Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque
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
Old schools (madresse)
- Madreseye Sadr.
- Madreseye Shah (Chahar Bagh School).
- Madreseye Khajoo.
Churches and cathedrals
- Vank Cathedral – 17th century
- Kelisaye Maryam (The Church of Mary)
Squares and streets
- Naqsh-e Jahan Square also known as "Shah Square" or "Imam Square" – 1602.
- Meydan Kohne (Old Square)
- Chaharbagh Boulevard – 1596.
- Chaharbagh-e-khajou Boulevard
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 nicest architecture in Isfahan. The oldest bridge is the "Pol-e Shahrestan," which was probably built in the 12th century 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 it 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) – 11th century.
- 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).
- Khosro Agha
- Ali Gholi Agha
- Sheikh Bahaei
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.
- Buqe'h-ye Ibn-Sina (Avicenna's Dome) – 12th century.
- The Tombs of Nizam al-Mulk & Malek Shah – 12th & 18th century.
- New Julfa (The Armenian Quarter).
- The Bathhouse of Bahāʾ al-dīn al-ʿĀmilī.
- Pigeon Towers – 17th century.
- Manar Jonban, a famous minaret
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 length. The first line of that is planned to be finished by end of 2010 with 21 km 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 bazaar Rug manufacture Main article:
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.
Not until 1920s, between two world wars, was weaving again taken seriously by the people of Isfahan. They started to weave Safavid designs and once again became one of the most important nexus of the Iranian rug weaving industry. Isfahani carpets today are among the most wanted in world markets, having many customers in western countries.
Isfahani rugs and carpets usually have ivory backgrounds with blue, rose, and indigo motifs. Rugs and carpets often have very symmetrical and balanced designs. They usually have a single medallion that is surrounded with vines and palmettos and are of excellent quality.
- Isfahan is famous for its Beryooni. 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. Beryooni 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.
- Poolaki – 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.
- Jalal al din Taj Esfahani,1903–, famous vocalist of classical music of Iran
- Hasan Kasaie,1928, distinguished ney player (ney is a musical instrument used in Iran's classical music)
- Jalil Shahnaz, 1921, notable Tar player of Iran
- Freydoon Rassouli, famous artist and Founder of Fusionart movement
- Master Ahmad Archang famous artist and designer of Isfahan rug patterns
- Alireza Eftekhari, 1956–, is a famous singer in Iran
- Mohammad Esfahani, popular music
- Moein, 1951, popular and classical music
- Hoshmand Aghili, 1945–, popular and classical music
- Hassan Shamaizadeh, music composer and Singer
Actors and movie directors
- Reza Arhamsadr, 1923–2008, a famous father of Persian comic cinema and theater, popular actor
- Nosratolah Vahdat,1925, a famous & popular actor
- Mohamad Ali Keshvarz, محمدعلی کشاورز 1930,-, a famous & popular actor
- Jahangir Forouhar, 1916–1997, جهانگیر فروهر, a famous & popular actor and Father of Leila Forouhar (the Iranian woman singer)
- Kiumars Poorahmad, 1949–, a famous & popular director
- Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari, 1956–2001, former princess of Iran also an actress
- Homayoun Ershadi, 1947–, a Hollywood actor and an architect
- Bogdan Saltanov, 1630s – 1703, Russian icon painter of Isfahanian Armenian origin
- Sumbat Der Kiureghian, 1913–1999, سمبات دِر كيوُرغيان, the best Isfahanian Armenian painter
- Hossein Mosaverolmolki,1889–1969, حسين مصورالملكي, notable painter and miniaturist
- Yervand Nahapetian, 1917–, يرواند نهاپطيان, Isfahanian Armenian painter
- Freydoon Rassouli, An American painter born and raised in Isfahan
- Ostad Javad Rostamshirazi, 1919–, Isfahanian painter
- Mahmoud Farshchian, 1930–, distinguished miniaturist
- Mohammad-Ali Foroughi, a politician and Prime Minister of Iran in World war II era
- Shapour Bakhtiar, Ex Prime Minister of Iran
- Hossein Fatemi, 1919–1954, PhD, politician (Foreign Minister of Dr M.Mosadegh Cabinet)
- Ahmad Amir-Ahmadi, 1906–1965, military leader and cabinet minister of Iran
- 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.
- 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
- Mahmoud Yavari, محمود یاوری, Born in 1939, Former Player of Shahine Esfahan and Iran National Team from 1958 until 1970, The Former Coach of Iran National Team and is known as an oldest and the most Active Coach in 2010 Persian Gulf League and Football Federation, He was also retired of Iran Police Department as a Colonel degree, amir ghalenouie calls him as Father of Football of Iran
- Abdolali Changiz, football star and Famous Player of Perspolis Fc in 1970s
- Mansour Ebrahimzadeh, Former Player of Sepahan in 1970s and 1980s, He have been Coach of Zobahan FC since 2007
- Rasoul Korbekandi, Famous Goalkeeper in Iran National Team, current coach of Rah Ahan FC
- Moharram Navidkia, Captain of the Sepahan Football Club
- Ehsan Hajsafi, youth phenomenon of the Sepahan Football Club
Writers and poets
- Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh Esfahani,1892–1997, author
- Mohammad ALi Mokrame Esfahani, 1886–1966, Liberalist and anti-religion's Superstitions Poet and journalist in Sedaye Esfahan Newspaper
- Khakshir Esfahani, 1883–1956, Poet of Joke and satire
- Houshang Golshiri, 1938–2000, writer and editor
- Mirza Abbas Khan Sheida, 1880–1949, poet and publisher
- Hamid Mosadegh, 1939–1998, poet and lawyer
- Hatef Esfehani, 1198(died), Persian Moral poet in Afsharye Era
- 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:
- Isfahan University of Art
- Isfahan University of Medical Sciences
- Isfahan University of Technology
- Allame Majlesi Branch, Islamic Azad University
- University of Isfahan
- Sheikh Bahaei University
- High schools
- Harati High School
- Adab High School
- Imam Mohammad Bagher Education Complex
- Mahboobeh Danesh(Navaie)
- Shahid Ejei High School
- Farzanegan e Amin High School
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 F.C. and Zob Ahan.
Isfahan has two association football clubs that have been title contenders in Iran's Premier Football League. These are:
- Sepahan Isfahan
- Sepahan Novin
- Zob Ahan Isfahan.
International relations Twin towns – Sister cities