Isfahan is a city in Iran. It is located 406 kilometres (252 miles) south of Tehran, and is the capital of Isfahan Province.
Isfahan has a population of approximately 1.6 million, making it the third largest city in Iran after Tehran and Mashhad, but was once one of the largest cities in the world.

IRAN - Naghsh-e-Jahan Square in Isfahan

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. 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.
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.

isfahan 33 bridges


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

Islamic era

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 that the city grew in size and splendour.

chehel sotoonEsfahan armenian Barry Kent

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.
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. Isfahan is also attracting international investment, especially in the Isfahan City Center which is the largest shopping mall in Iran and the fifth largest in the world.

Isfahan artIsfahan artIsfahan artIsfahan art

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).

Grand Bazaar, Isfahan

The Grand Bazaar (in Persian: Bazar Bozorg, بازار بزرگ) is a historical market located in Isfahan, Iran, also known as the Qeysarriyeh Bazaar (in Persian: بازار قيصريه), Qeysarie bazaar or Soltani bazaar. The main commercial activities in the Qeysarie bazaar are carpet and kilim selling.
The bazaar was one of the greatest and luxorious trading center in the safavid era. It was built in 1620 on the northern side of Naqsh-e Jahan Square. It connects the Naqsh-e Jahan Square to the Atiq square and seljukid part of Isfahan.

Grand Bazar IsfahanGrand Bazar IsfahanGrand Bazar Isfahan

Bedkhem Church

The Bedkhem Church (Other names: Bedghehem church or Beyt Lahm church or Bethlehem church) is an Armenian Apostolic church in the Julfa quarter in Isfahan, Iran. One of the most important historical churches of the city, it belongs to the Abbas I era. The church is located in the Julfa square near Saint Mary Church. The Bedkhem church was built by an Armenian merchant named Khaje Petros. There are decorations and paintings on its walls depicting the life of Jesus. The 72 exquisite paintings, painted by Armenian artists, are presented in two rows. In the lower row the paintings are painted sequentially, but in the upper row each painting is in a separate frame.

Bird Garden of Isfahan

The Bird Garden of Isfahan was founded in 1998 by the municipality of Isfahan and it is now under the supervision of the recreation and welfare organization of the municipality. The garden has an area of 17000 m². It's enclosed and covered by a chain-link fence pitched on 16 moveable metal pillars with a height of up to 32 m. More than 5000 birds from 130 different species are kept in the garden. The birds are native to different parts of Iran and also other countries like Australia, Indonesia, China, and Tanzania.

Jameh MosqueJameh Mosque of IsfahanBirds Garden of Isfahan


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