Isfahan

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Isfahan

اصفهان

Spahān, Aspadana
City
295A7533.jpg
Allahverdi khan Bridge.jpg
Khajo bridge of isfahan by Adel Bazmeh.jpg
Chehel sotoun esfehan.jpg
Isfahan Aquarium I2.jpg
Vank Cathedral2 - Esfahan - 03-30-2013.jpg
Flowers garden Isfahan Aarash (25).jpg
Isfahan towers.jpg
Isfahan government logo.svg
Seal
Nickname(s): 
Nesf-e Jahān (Half of the World)
Isfahan city map.svg
Isfahan
Iran location map.svg
Red pog.svg
Isfahan
Isfahan in Iran
Coordinates: 32°38′41″N51°40′03″E / 32.64472°N 51.66750°E / 32.64472; 51.66750 Coordinates: 32°38′41″N51°40′03″E / 32.64472°N 51.66750°E / 32.64472; 51.66750
CountryFlag of Iran.svg  Iran
Province Isfahan
County Isfahan
District Central
Government
  MayorGhodratollah Norouzi
   City Council Chairperson Fathollah Moein
Area
[1]
  Urban
551 km2 (213 sq mi)
Elevation
1,574 m (5,217 ft)
Population
 (2016 Census)
   Urban
1,961,260 [2]
   Metro
3,989,070 [3]
  Population Rank in Iran
3rd
Time zone UTC+3:30 (IRST)
  Summer (DST) UTC+4:30 (IRDT 21 March – 20 September)
Area code(s) 031
Climate BWk
Website www.isfahan.ir

Isfahan (Persian : اصفهان, romanized: Esfahān [esfæˈhɒːn] ( Loudspeaker.svg listen )), historically also rendered in English as Ispahan, Sepahan, Esfahan or Hispahan, is a city in Iran. It is located 406 kilometres (252 miles) south of Tehran, and is the capital of Isfahan Province.

Persian language Western Iranian language

Persian, also known by its endonym Farsi, is a Western Iranian language belonging to the Iranian branch of the Indo-Iranian subdivision of the Indo-European languages. It is a pluricentric language predominantly spoken and used officially within Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan in three mutually intelligible standard varieties, namely Iranian Persian, Dari Persian and Tajiki Persian. It is also spoken natively in the Tajik variety by a significant population within Uzbekistan, as well as within other regions with a Persianate history in the cultural sphere of Greater Iran. It is written officially within Iran and Afghanistan in the Persian alphabet, a derivation of the Arabic script, and within Tajikistan in the Tajik alphabet, a derivation of Cyrillic.

Romanization of Persian or Latinization of Persian is the representation of the Persian language with the Latin script. Several different romanization schemes exist, each with its own set of rules driven by its own set of ideological goals.

Iran A country in Western Asia

Iran, also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. With 82 million inhabitants, Iran is the world's 18th most populous country. Its territory spans 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), making it the second largest country in the Middle East and the 17th largest in the world. Iran is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Turkmenistan, to the east by Afghanistan and Pakistan, to the south by the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, and to the west by Turkey and Iraq. Its central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, give it geostrategic importance. Tehran is the political and economic center of Iran, and the largest and most populous city in Western Asia with more than 8.8 million residents in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area.

Contents

Isfahan has a population of approximately 1.6 million, [4] making it the third largest city in Iran after Tehran and Mashhad, but was once one of the largest cities in the world.

Mashhad City in Razavi Khorasan, Iran

Mashhad, also spelled Mashad or Meshad, is the second most populous city in Iran and the capital of Khorasan-e Razavi Province. It is located in the northeast of the country, near the borders with Turkmenistan and Afghanistan. It has a population of 3,001,184, which includes the areas of Mashhad Taman and Torqabeh. It was a major oasis along the ancient Silk Road connecting with Merv to the east.

Isfahan is an important city as it is located at the intersection of the two principal north–south and east–west routes that traverse Iran. Isfahan flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries under the Safavid dynasty when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history under Shah Abbas the Great. Even today the city retains much of its past glory.

Achaemenid Empire first Persian Empire founded by Cyrus the Great

The Achaemenid Empire, also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian empire based in Western Asia founded by Cyrus the Great. Ranging at its greatest extent from the Balkans and Eastern Europe proper in the west to the Indus Valley in the east, it was larger than any previous empire in history, spanning 5.5 million square kilometers. Incorporating various peoples of different origins and faiths, it is notable for its successful model of a centralised, bureaucratic administration, for building infrastructure such as road systems and a postal system, the use of an official language across its territories, and the development of civil services and a large professional army. The empire's successes inspired similar systems in later empires.

It is famous for its Perso–Islamic architecture, grand boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, tiled mosques, and minarets. Isfahan also has many historical buildings, monuments, paintings and artefacts. The fame of Isfahan led to the Persian pun and proverb "Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast": Isfahan is half (of) the world. [5]

The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world. UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site.

UNESCO Specialised agency of the United Nations

The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations (UN) based in Paris, France. Its declared purpose is to contribute to promoting international collaboration in education, sciences, and culture in order to increase universal respect for justice, the rule of law, and human rights along with fundamental freedom proclaimed in the United Nations Charter. It is the successor of the League of Nations' International Committee on Intellectual Cooperation.

World Heritage Site place listed by the UNESCO as of special cultural or natural significance

A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area which is chosen by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) as having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance, and is legally protected by international treaties. The sites are judged important to the collective interests of humanity.

History

Etymology

See also: Names of Isfahan  [ fa ]

"Isfahan" is derived from Middle Persian Spahān. Spahān is attested in various Middle Persian seals and inscriptions, including that of Zoroastrian Magi Kartir, [6] and is also the Armenian name of the city (Սպահան). The present-day name is the Arabicized form of Ispahan (unlike Middle Persian, and similar to Spanish, New Persian does not allow initial consonant clusters such as sp [7] ). The region appears with the abbreviation GD (Southern Media) on Sasanian numismatics. In Ptolemy's Geographia it appears as Aspadana, translating to "place of gathering for the army". It is believed that Spahān derives from spādānām "the armies", Old Persian plural of spāda (from which derives spāh 'army' and spahi (soldier – lit. of the army) in Middle Persian).

Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known as by its endonym Parsig or Parsik, is the Middle Iranian language or ethnolect of southwestern Iran that during the Sasanian Empire (224–654) became a prestige dialect and so came to be spoken in other regions of the empire as well. Middle Persian is classified as a Western Iranian language. It descended from Old Persian, the language of Achaemenid Empire and it is the linguistic ancestor of Modern Persian.

Kartir Zoroastrian high-priest of the late 3rd century

Kartir was a powerful and influential Zoroastrian priest during the reigns of four Sasanian kings in the 3rd-century. His name is cited in the inscriptions of Shapur I and the Paikuli inscription of Narseh. Kartir also had inscriptions of his own made in the present-day Fars Province. His inscriptions narrates his rise to power throughout the reigns of Shapur I, Hormizd I, Bahram I, and Bahram II. During the brief reign of Bahram II's son and successor Bahram III, Kartir was amongst the nobles who supported the rebellion of Narseh, who overthrew Bahram III and ascended the throne. During Narseh's reign, Kartir fades into obscurity, due not doing anything noteworthy as high priest.

Spanish language Romance language

Spanish or Castilian, is a Romance language that originated in the Iberian Peninsula and today has over 450 million native speakers in Spain and in the Americas. It is a global language and the world's second-most spoken native language, after Mandarin Chinese.

Prehistory

Human habitation of the Isfahan region can be traced back to the Palaeolithic period. Recent discoveries archaeologists have found artifacts dating back to the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages.

Zoroastrian era

What was to become the city of Isfahan in later historical periods probably emerged as a locality and settlement that gradually developed over the course of the Elamite civilisation (2700–1600 BCE).

Under Median rule, this commercial entrepôt began to show signs of a more sedentary urbanism, steadily growing into a noteworthy regional centre that benefited from the exceptionally fertile soil on the banks of the Zayandehrud River in a region called Aspandana or Ispandana.

An ancient artifact from Isfahan City Center museum Isfahancitycenter museum.jpg
An ancient artifact from Isfahan City Center museum

Once Cyrus the Great (reg. 559–529 BCE) had 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. It was Cyrus who, having just taken Babylon, made an edict in 538 BCE, declaring that the Jews in Babylon could return to Jerusalem (see Ezra ch. 1). Now it seems that some of these freed Jews settled in Isfahan instead of returning to their homeland. The 10th-century Persian historian Ibn al-Faqih wrote:

"When the Jews emigrated from Jerusalem, fleeing from Nebuchadnezzar, they carried with them a sample of the water and soil of Jerusalem. They did not settle down anywhere or in any city without examining the water and the soil of each place. They did all along until they reached the city of Isfahan. There they rested, examined the water and soil and found that both resembled Jerusalem. Thereupon they settled there, cultivated the soil, raised children and grandchildren, and today the name of this settlement is Yahudia." [8]

The Parthians in the period 250–226 BCE continued the tradition of tolerance after the fall of the Achaemenids, fostering the Hellenistic dimension within Iranian culture and the political organisation introduced by Alexander the Great's invading armies. Under the Parthians, Arsacid governors administered the provinces of the nation from Isfahan, and the city's urban development accelerated to accommodate the needs of a capital city.

Isfahan at the end of the 6th century (top), consisting of two separate areas of Sassanid Jay and Jewish Yahudia. At 11th century (bottom), these two areas are completely merged. Esfahan scheme middle ages fr.png
Isfahan at the end of the 6th century (top), consisting of two separate areas of Sassanid Jay and Jewish Yahudia. At 11th century (bottom), these two areas are completely merged.

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. Both the city and region were then called by the name Aspahan or Spahan. The city was governed by a group called the Espoohrans, who came from seven noble and important Iranian royal families. Extant foundations of some Sassanid-era bridges in Isfahan suggest that the Sasanian kings were fond of ambitious urban planning projects. While Isfahan's political importance declined during the period, many Sassanid 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. The words 'Aspahan' and 'Spahan' are derived from the Pahlavi or Middle Persian meaning 'the place of the army'. [9] Although many theories have been mentioned about the origin of Isfahan, in fact little is known of it before the rule of the Sasanian dynasty (c. 224 – c. 651 CE). The historical facts suggest that in the late 4th and early 5th centuries, Queen Shushandukht, the Jewish consort of Yazdegerd I (reigned 399–420) settled a colony of Jews in Yahudiyyeh (also spelled Yahudiya), a settlement 3 km northwest of the Zoroastrian city of Gabae (its Achaemid and Parthian name; Gabai was its Sasanic name, which was shortened to Gay (Arabic 'Jay') that was located on the northern bank of the Zayanderud River. The gradual population decrease of Gay (Jay) and the simultaneous population increase of Yahudiyyeh and its suburbs after the Islamic conquest of Iran resulted in the formation of the nucleus of what was to become the city of Isfahan. The words "Aspadana", "Ispadana", "Spahan" and "Sepahan", all from which the word Isfahan is derived, referred to the region in which the city was located.

Isfahan and Gay were both circular in design, a characteristic of Parthian and Sasanian cities. [10] However, this reported Sasanian circular city of Isfahan is not uncovered yet. [11]

Islamic era

Isfahan, capital of the Kingdom of Persia Vanderaa1725.jpg
Isfahan, capital of the Kingdom of Persia
Isfahan to the south side, drawing by Eugene Flandin Isfahan to the south side by Eugene Flandin.jpg
Isfahan to the south side, drawing by Eugène Flandin
Russian army in Isfahan in the 1890s RussianIsfahan.jpg
Russian army in Isfahan in the 1890s
Mobarakeh Steel Company, one of the largest steel companies in the region Foolad Mobarakeh49.jpg
Mobarakeh Steel Company, one of the largest steel companies in the region

When the Arabs captured Isfahan in 642, they made it the capital of al-Jibal ("the Mountains") province, an area that covered much of ancient Media. Isfahan grew prosperous under the Persian Buyid (Buwayhid) dynasty, which rose to power and ruled much of Iran when the temporal authority of the Abbasid caliphs waned in the 10th century. The Turkish conqueror and founder of the Seljuq dynasty, Toghril Beg, made Isfahan the capital of his domains in the mid-11th century; but it was under his grandson Malik-Shah I (r. 1073–92) that the city grew in size and splendour. [12]

After the fall of the Seljuqs (c. 1200), Isfahan temporarily declined and was eclipsed by other Iranian cities such as Tabriz and Qazvin.

During his visit in 1327, Ibn Battuta noted that "The city of Isfahan is one of the largest and fairest of cities, but it is now in ruins for the greater part." [13] It regained its importance during the Safavid period (1501–1736). The city's golden age began in 1598 when the Safavid ruler Shah Abbas I (reigned 1588–1629) made it his capital and rebuilt it into one of the largest and most beautiful cities in the 17th century world. In 1598 Shah Abbas the Great moved his capital from Qazvin to the more central Isfahan; he name it Ispahān (New Persian) so that it wouldn't be threatened by the Ottomans. This new status ushered in a golden age for the city, with architecture and Persian culture flourishing. In the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of deportees and migrants from the Caucasus, that Abbas and other Safavid rulers had permitted to emigrate en masse, settled in the city. So now the city had enclaves of Georgian, Circassian, and Daghistani descent. [14] Engelbert Kaempfer, who dwelt in Safavid Persia in 1684–85, estimated their number at 20,000. [14] [15] During the Safavid era, the city contained a very large Armenian community as well. As part of Abbas's forced resettlement of peoples from within his empire, he resettled as many as 300,000 Armenians [16] [17] ) from near the unstable Safavid-Ottoman border, primarily from the very wealthy Armenian town of Jugha (also known as Old Julfa) in mainland Iran. [17] In Isfahan, he ordered the foundation of a new quarter for these resettled Armenians from Old Julfa, and thus the Armenian Quarter of Isfahan was named New Julfa. [16] [17] Today, the New Jolfa district of Isfahan remains a heavily Armenian-populated district, with Armenian churches and shops, the Vank Cathedral being especially notable for its combination of Armenian Christian and Iranian Islamic elements. It is still one of the oldest and largest Armenian quarters in the world. Following an agreement between Shah Abbas I and his Georgian subject Teimuraz I of Kakheti ("Tahmuras Khan"), whereby the latter submitted to Safavid rule in exchange for being allowed to rule as the region’s wāli (governor) and for having his son serve as dāruḡa ("prefect") of Isfahan in perpetuity, the Georgian prince converted to Islam and served as governor. [14] He was accompanied by a troop of soldiers, [14] some of whom were Georgian Orthodox Christians. [14] The royal court in Isfahan had a great number of Georgian ḡolāms (military slaves), as well as Georgian women. [14] Although they spoke both Persian and Turkic, their mother tongue was Georgian. [14] During Abbas's reign, Isfahan became very famous in Europe, and many European travellers made an account of their visit to the city, such as Jean Chardin. This prosperity lasted until it was sacked by Afghan invaders in 1722 during a marked decline in Safavid influence.

Thereafter, Isfahan experienced a decline in importance, culminating in a move of the capital to Mashhad and Shiraz during the Afsharid and Zand periods respectively, until it was finally moved to Tehran in 1775 by Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar dynasty. (See https://www.britannica.com/place/Tehran)

In the early years of the 19th century, efforts were made to preserve some of Ifsahan's archeologically important buildings. The work was started by Mohammad Hossein Khan during the reign of Fath Ali Shah. [18]

Modern age

In the 20th century, Isfahan was resettled by a very large number of people from southern Iran, firstly during the population migrations at the start of the century, and again in the 1980s following the Iran–Iraq War.

Today, Isfahan produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, handicrafts, and traditional foods including sweets. There are nuclear experimental reactors as well as facilities for producing nuclear fuel (UCF) within the environs of the city. Isfahan has one of the largest steel-producing facilities in the region, as well as facilities for producing special alloys. Mobarakeh Steel Company is the biggest steel producer in the whole of the Middle East and Northern Africa, and it is the biggest DRI producer in the world. [19] The Isfahan Steel Company was the first manufacturer of constructional steel products in Iran, and it remains the largest such company today. [20]

The city has an international airport and a metro line.

There are a major oil refinery and a large airforce base outside the city. HESA, Iran's most advanced aircraft manufacturing plant, is located just outside the city. [21] [22] Isfahan is also attracting international investment, [23] especially in the Isfahan City Center [24] which is the largest shopping mall in Iran and the fifth largest in the world. [25]

Isfahan hosted the International Physics Olympiad in 2007.

Geography and climate

The city is located in the lush plain of the Zayanderud River at the foothills of the Zagros mountain range. The nearest mountain is Mount Soffeh (Kuh-e Soffeh), just south of the city. No geological obstacles exist within 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Isfahan, allowing cool 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 hot during the summer, with maxima typically around 35 °C (95 °F). However, with low humidity and moderate temperatures at night, the climate is quite 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. [26] The Zayande River starts in the Zagros Mountains, flowing from the west through the heart of the city, then dissipates in the Gavkhooni wetland.

Climate data for Isfahan (1961–1990, extremes 1951–2010)
MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDecYear
Record high °C (°F)20.4
(68.7)
23.4
(74.1)
29.0
(84.2)
32.0
(89.6)
37.6
(99.7)
41.0
(105.8)
43.0
(109.4)
42.0
(107.6)
39.0
(102.2)
33.2
(91.8)
26.8
(80.2)
21.2
(70.2)
43.0
(109.4)
Average high °C (°F)8.8
(47.8)
11.9
(53.4)
16.8
(62.2)
22.0
(71.6)
28.0
(82.4)
34.1
(93.4)
36.4
(97.5)
35.1
(95.2)
31.2
(88.2)
24.4
(75.9)
16.9
(62.4)
10.8
(51.4)
23.0
(73.4)
Daily mean °C (°F)2.7
(36.9)
5.5
(41.9)
10.4
(50.7)
15.7
(60.3)
21.3
(70.3)
27.1
(80.8)
29.4
(84.9)
27.9
(82.2)
23.5
(74.3)
16.9
(62.4)
9.9
(49.8)
4.4
(39.9)
16.2
(61.2)
Average low °C (°F)−2.4
(27.7)
−0.2
(31.6)
4.5
(40.1)
9.4
(48.9)
14.2
(57.6)
19.1
(66.4)
21.5
(70.7)
19.8
(67.6)
15.1
(59.2)
9.3
(48.7)
3.6
(38.5)
−0.9
(30.4)
9.4
(48.9)
Record low °C (°F)−19.4
(−2.9)
−12.2
(10.0)
−8
(18)
−4
(25)
4.5
(40.1)
10.0
(50.0)
13.0
(55.4)
11.0
(51.8)
5.0
(41.0)
0.0
(32.0)
−8
(18)
−13
(9)
−19.4
(−2.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches)17.1
(0.67)
14.1
(0.56)
18.2
(0.72)
19.2
(0.76)
8.8
(0.35)
0.6
(0.02)
0.7
(0.03)
0.2
(0.01)
0.0
(0.0)
4.1
(0.16)
9.9
(0.39)
19.6
(0.77)
112.5
(4.43)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm)4.02.93.83.52.00.20.30.10.00.82.23.723.5
Average snowy days3.21.70.70.10.00.00.00.00.00.00.21.97.8
Average relative humidity (%)60514339332323242636485739
Mean monthly sunshine hours 205.3213.3242.1244.5301.3345.4347.6331.2311.6276.5226.1207.63,252.5
Source #1: NOAA [27]
Source #2: Iran Meteorological Organization (records) [28] [29]

Main places

A handicraft shop Iranian Handicraft.JPG
A handicraft shop
A handicraft from Isfahan Esfahan Craftsman Art.jpg
A handicraft from Isfahan
Shah Mosque. Painting by the French architect, Pascal Coste, visiting Persia in 1841 Masjid Shah, view of the courtyard by Pascal Coste.jpg
Shah Mosque. Painting by the French architect, Pascal Coste, visiting Persia in 1841

.

Si-o-se Pol Si-o-se-Pol.jpg
Si-o-se Pol
Naghsh-e-Jahan Square, Isfahan, Iran Naghshe Jahan Square Isfahan modified.jpg
Naghsh-e-Jahan Square, Isfahan, Iran
View of Ali Qapu Palace Ali-qapu-rooz.jpg
View of Ali Qapu Palace
A carpet shop in Grand Bazaar, Isfahan Carpet bazzar.JPG
A carpet shop in Grand Bazaar, Isfahan
Khaju Bridge Khaju Bridje at night.jpg
Khaju Bridge
Detail of Khaju Bridge Khaju-Bridge-Esfahan.jpg
Detail of Khaju Bridge
Isfahan aquarium Isfahan aquarium 08.jpg
Isfahan aquarium
Armenian Vank Cathedral Esfahan armenian Barry Kent.JPG
Armenian Vank Cathedral

The city centre consists of an older section revolving around the Jameh Mosque, and the Safavid expansion around Naqsh-e Jahan Square, with nearby places of worship, palaces, and bazaars. [30]

Bazaars

Bridges

Persian pottery from the city Isfahan, 17th century Persian-Potteries-17th-Century-Isfahan.jpg
Persian pottery from the city Isfahan, 17th century

The bridges on the Zayanderud river comprise some of the finest architecture in Isfahan. The oldest bridge is the Shahrestan bridge, whose foundations were built by the Sasanian Empire (3rd–7th century Sassanid era); it was repaired during the Seljuk period. Further upstream is the Khaju bridge, which was built by Shah Abbas II in 1650. It is 123 metres (404 feet) long with 24 arches, and also serves as a sluice gate.

Another bridge is the Choobi (Joui) bridge, which was originally 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 reign of Shah Abbas the Great, it linked Isfahan with the Armenian suburb of New Julfa. It is by far the longest bridge in Isfahan at 295 m (967.85 ft).

Another notable bridge is the Marnan Bridge.

Churches and cathedrals

Emamzadehs

Gardens and parks

Houses

Mausoleums and tombs

Minarets

Mosques

Museums

Schools (madresse)

Palaces and caravanserais

Squares and streets

A view of Meydan Kohne Aghigh Square esfahan 201312 06.jpg
A view of Meydan Kohne

Synagogues

Tourist attractions

The central historical area in Isfahan is called Seeosepol (the name of a famous bridge). [32] [33]

Other sites

Education

Central Municipal Library of Esfahan Esfahan Central Library.jpg
Central Municipal Library of Esfahan
Front Facade of the Central Municipal Library of Esfahan jdhbh hy grdshgry trykhy shhr zyby Sfhn 04.jpg
Front Facade of the Central 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 centres in the province under the administration of Esfahan TVTO, which provide free, non-formal training programs. [35]

Transportation

Old building of Isfahan city hall Isfahan Municipality.jpg
Old building of Isfahan city hall

Roads

Over the past decade, Isfahan's internal highway network has been undergoing major expansion. Much care has been taken to prevent damage to valuable, historical buildings. Modern freeways connect the city to the country's major cities, including the capital Tehran (length approximately 400 km) to the north and Shiraz (200 km) to the south. Highways also service satellite cities surrounding the metropolitan area. [36]

Metro

A line of metro that runs for 11 km from north to south opened on October 15, 2015. Two more lines are in construction, alongside with three suburban rail lines. [37]

Culture

An old master of hand-printed carpets in Isfahan bazaar Esfhan market(1).jpg
An old master of hand-printed carpets in Isfahan bazaar
The Damask rose 'Ispahan', reputedly developed in Ispahan Rosa damascena0.jpg
The Damask rose 'Ispahan', reputedly developed in Ispahan

Notable people

Mohammad-Ali Jamalzadeh Mohammad Ali Dschamalzade in Berlin.jpg
Mohammad-Ali Jamalzadeh
Houshang Golshiri Golshiri-Esfahan-1975.jpg
Houshang Golshiri
Mohammad Beheshti Mohammad Beheshti portrait.jpg
Mohammad Beheshti
Mohammad-Baqer Majlesi Portrait of Allamah Majlisi.jpg
Mohammad-Baqer Majlesi
Mohammad Ali Foroughi Foroughi PM1314.jpg
Mohammad Ali Foroughi
Mohammad Javad Zarif Mohammad Javad Zarif by Nasimonline.jpg
Mohammad Javad Zarif
Mahmoud Farshchian Mahmoud Farshchian.jpg
Mahmoud Farshchian
Mohammad Esfahani Dr Mohammad Esfahni (56).jpg
Mohammad Esfahani


Music
Film
Craftsmen and painters
Political figures
Religious figures
Sportspeople
Writers and poets
Others

Sports

Zob Ahan and Sepahan are the only Iranian clubs to reach the final of the new AFC Champions League.

Isfahan has three association football clubs that play professionally. These are:

Sepahan has won the most league titles among the Iranian clubs (2002–03, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2014–15). [64]

Giti Pasand also has a futsal team, Giti Pasand FSC, one of the best teams in Asia. They won the AFC Futsal Club Championship in 2012 and were runners-up in 2013.

Municipal government

Twin towns – sister cities

Esfahan Street in Kuala Lumpur, and Kualalampur Avenue in Isfahan Isfahankualalumpur.jpg
Esfahan Street in Kuala Lumpur, and Kualalampur Avenue in Isfahan

Isfahan is twinned with:

CountryCityState / province / region / governorateSince
Flag of the People's Republic of China.svg China Xi'an Shaanxi Province 1989 [65]
Flag of Malaysia.svg Malaysia Kuala Lumpur Kuala Lumpur 1997 [65]
Flag of Germany.svg Germany Freiburg Baden-Württemberg State 2000 [65]
Flag of Italy.svg Italy Florence Florence Province 1998 [65]
Flag of Romania.svg Romania Iași Iași County 1999 [65]
Flag of Spain.svg Spain Barcelona Barcelona Province 2000 [65]
Flag of Armenia.svg Armenia Yerevan Yerevan 2000 [65]
Flag of Kuwait.svg Kuwait Kuwait City Al Asimah Governorate 2000 [65]
Flag of Cuba.svg Cuba Havana La Habana Province 2001 [65]
Flag of Pakistan.svg Pakistan Lahore Punjab Province 2004 [65]
Flag of Russia.svg Russia Saint Petersburg Northwestern Federal District 2004 [65]
Flag of Senegal.svg Senegal Dakar Dakar Region 2009 [65]
Flag of Lebanon.svg Lebanon Baalbek Baalbek-Hermel Governorate 2010 [65]
Flag of South Korea.svg South Korea Gyeongju North Gyeongsang Province 2017 [66]

See also

Related Research Articles

Iranian Georgians are Iranian citizens who are ethnically Georgian, and are an ethnic group living in Iran. Today's Georgia was a subject to Iran from the 16th century till the early 19th century, starting with the Safavids in power. Shah Abbas I, his predecessors, and successors, relocated by force hundreds of thousands of Christian, and Jewish Georgians as part of his programs to reduce the power of the Qizilbash, develop industrial economy, strengthen the military, and populate newly built towns in various places in Iran including the provinces of Isfahan and Mazandaran. A certain amount, amongst them members of nobility, also migrated voluntarily over the centuries, as well as some that moved as muhajirs in the 19th century to Iran, following the Russian conquest of the Caucasus. The Georgian community of Fereydunshahr have retained their distinct Georgian identity until this day, while having to adopt aspects of Iranian culture such as the Persian language and Twelver Shia Islam in order to survive in the society.

Safavid dynasty Twelver Shiʻi ruling dynasty of Iran

The Safavid dynasty was one of the most significant ruling dynasties of Iran, often considered the beginning of modern Iranian history. The Safavid shahs ruled over one of the gunpowder empires. They ruled one of the greatest Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Iran, and established the Twelver school of Shia Islam as the official religion of the empire, marking one of the most important turning points in Muslim history.

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Isfahan Province Province in Region 2, Iran

Isfahan province, also transliterated as Esfahan, Espahan, Isfahan, or Isphahan, is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran. It is located in the center of the country in Iran's Region 2. Its secretariat is located in the city of Isfahan.

Naqsh-e Jahan Square Historical square at the center of Isfahan city, Iran

Naghsh-e Jahan Square, also known as Shah Square or Imam Square, is a square situated at the center of Isfahan, Iran. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. It is 160 metres (520 ft) wide by 560 metres (1,840 ft) long. It is also referred to as Shah Square or Imam Square. The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era. The Shah Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side is the Ali Qapu Palace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and at the northern side Qeysarie Gate opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Today, Namaaz-e Jom'eh is held in the Shah Mosque.

Zayanderud river in Iran

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Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque Mosque at the Naqsh-i Jahan Square, Esfahan, Iran

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Iranian architecture that was built during the Safavid Empire, standing on the eastern side of Naqsh-i Jahan Square, Esfahan, Iran. Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1619. It was built by the chief architect Shaykh Bahai, during the reign of Shah Abbas I of Persia. On the advice of Arthur Upham Pope, Reza Shah Pahlavi had the mosque rebuilt and repaired in the 1920s.

Chaharbagh, Isfahan boulevard

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Iranian Armenians Ethnic group

Iranian-Armenians also known as Persian-Armenians, are Iranians of Armenian ethnicity who may speak Armenian as their first language. Estimates of their number in Iran range from 70,000 to 200,000. Areas with a high concentration of them include Tabriz, Tehran, Salmas and Isfahan's Jolfa quarter.

New Julfa Place in Isfahan Province, Iran

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Fereydan region of Isfahan Province, Iran

Fereydan is a region of Isfahan Province, Iran.

Safavid art safavids in arts and architecture

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Farahabad, Mazandaran village in Mazandaran, Iran

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Hakim Mosque, Isfahan Iranian national heritage site

Hakim Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Isfahan, Iran. Completed in the mid-17th century, in the Safavid era, it is named after Moḥammad-Dāvud Khan Ḥakim who funded the construction.

Iranian Armenia (1502–1828)

Iranian Armenia (1502–1828) refers to the period of Eastern Armenia during the early-modern and late-modern era when it was part of the Iranian empire. Armenians have a history of being divided since the time of the Byzantine Empire and the Sassanid Empire, in the early 5th century. While the two sides of Armenia were sometimes reunited, this became a permanent aspect of the Armenian people. Following the Arab and Seljuk conquests of Armenia, the western portion, which was initially part of Byzantium, became eventually part of the Ottoman Empire, otherwise known as Ottoman Armenia, while the eastern portion became and was kept part of the Iranian Safavid Empire, Afsharid Empire and Qajar Empire, until it became part of the Russian Empire in the course of the 19th century, following the Treaty of Turkmenchay of 1828.

Abbas I's Kakhetian and Kartlian campaigns refers to the four campaigns Safavid king Abbas I led between 1614-1617, in his East Georgian vassal kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti during the Ottoman–Safavid War (1603–18). The campaigns were initiated as a response to the shown disobedience and subsequent staged rebellion by Abbas' formerly most loyal Georgian ghulams, namely Luarsab II of Kartli and Teimuraz I of Kahketi. After the complete devastation of Tbilisi, the quelling of the uprising, the massacre of up to 100,000 Georgians and the deportation of between 130,000 and 200,000 more to mainland Iran, Kakheti and Kartli were temporarily brought back under the Iranian sway.

Maghsoudbeyk Mosque

Maghsoudbeyk Mosque is near the northeastern corner of Naqsh-e Jahan Square. It was built in 1601 by the order of Maghsoudbeyk, who was one of the very rich stewards of Abbas I. There is an inscription in the mihrab of this mosque, which is one of artworks of the famous calligrapher of the Safavid era Ali Reza Abbassi. It's said, after that Shah Abbas was very satisfied with this inscription, he ordered Ali Reza Abbassi to work on the inscriptions of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. Behind the entrance hall of the mosque in a small chamber, there's a tomb which is the tomb of Mir Emad, the art rival of Ali Reza Abbassi. Maghsoudbeyk mosque was a very glorious and beautiful mosque in Isfahan in the Safavid era.

Mohammad Beg, was a Muslim of Armenian origin, who served as the Grand Vizier of the Safavid king (shah) Abbas II from 1654 to 1661.

The following is a timeline of the history of the city of Isfahan, Iran.

Safavid Georgia

The province of Georgia was a velayat (province) of the Safavid Empire located in the area of present-day Georgia. The territory of the province was principally made up of the two subordinate eastern Georgian kingdoms of Kartli and Kakheti and, briefly, parts of the Principality of Samtskhe. The city of Tiflis was its administrative center, the base of Safavid power in the province, and the seat of the rulers of Kartli. It also housed an important Safavid mint.

References

Notes
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Sources


Preceded by
Rey
Capital of Seljuq Empire (Persia)
1051–1118
Succeeded by
Hamadan (Western capital)
Merv (Eastern capital)
Preceded by
Qazvin
Capital of Iran (Persia)
1598–1736
Succeeded by
Mashhad
Preceded by
Qazvin
Capital of Safavid dynasty
1598–1722
Succeeded by
-