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    * Isfahan *

    Esfahan, Sepahan,Esparan

    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 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. Isfahan Esfāhān Ancient names: Spadana, Spahān Country Province County District Government  • Mayor Area  • city  • Metro Elevation Population (2012)  • city  • Population Rank in Iran   Time zone  • Summer (DST) Website
    Nickname(s): Nesf-e Jahān (Half of the world)
    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 Data from 2011 Census
    IRST (UTC+3:30)
    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.


    History 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.

    Pre-Islamic era
    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''.

    Persia''s capital

    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) Average high °C (°F) Average low °C (°F) Record low °C (°F) Precipitation mm (inches) Avg. precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)  % humidity Mean monthly sunshine hours
    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)
    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)
    −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)
    −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)
    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)
    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
    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 Bridges

    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:

    Churches and cathedrals Emamzadehs Gardens and Parks Houses Mausoleums and Tombs Minarets Mosques Museums Schools (madresse) Palaces and caravanserais 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).

    Other sites Economy See also: Economy of Iran
    This section requires expansion. (March 2014)
    Transportation See also: Transport in Iran Airport

    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.

    Road transport

    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.

    Food Notable peoplePersian Pottery from the city Isfahan, 17th century.ArtistsActors and movie directorsPaintersPolitical figuresReligious figuresSportspeopleWriters and poetsOthers EducationCentral Municipal Library of Esfahan.

    Aside from the seminaries and religious schools, the major universities of the Esfahan metropolitan area are:

    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:

    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:

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