Ali Qapu is a grand palace in Isfahan, Iran. It is located on the western side of the Naqsh e Jahan Square, opposite to Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and had been originally designed as a vast portal. It is forty-eight meters high and there are six floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. In the sixth floor, Music Hall, deep circular niches are found in the walls, having not only aesthetic value but also acoustic. The name Ali Qapu, from Persian ‘Ālī (meaning "imperial" or "great"), and Azerbaijani Qāpū (meaning "gate"), was given to this place as it was right at the entrance to the Safavid palaces which stretched from the Naqsh e Jahan Square to the Chahar Baq Boulevard. The building, another wonderful Safavid edifice, was built by decree of Shah Abbas I in the early seventeenth century. It was here that the great monarch used to entertain noble visitors, and foreign ambassadors. Shah Abbas, here for the first time, celebrated the Nowruz (Iranian New Year).
Chehel Sotoon is a pavilion in the middle of a park at the far end of a long pool, in Isfahan, Iran, built by Shah Abbas II to be used for his entertainment and receptions. In this palace, Shah Abbas II and his successors would receive dignitaries and ambassadors, either on the terrace or in one of the stately reception halls. The name, meaning "Forty Columns" in Persian, was inspired by the twenty slender wooden columns supporting the entrance pavilion, which, when reflected in the waters of the fountain, are said to appear to be forty. The Chehel Sotoun Palace is among 9 Iranian Gardens which are collectively registered as one of Iran’s 23 registered World Heritage Sites under the name of the Persian Garden.
The Khaju Bridge is one of the most famous bridges in Isfahan, Iran and has roused the admiration of travelers since the 17th century. Shah Abbas II built it on the foundations of an older bridge around 1650. It has 23 arches and is 105 meters long and 14 meters wide. It links the Khaju quarter on the north bank with the Zoroastrian quarter across the Zayandeh River. The bridge is as much a meeting place as a bearer of traffic and at nighttime Esfahanis gather under the arches to sing: those with the most convincing voices (or indeed songs) attract sizeable crowds. The bridge also doubles as a dam with locks in the lower terraced arcade regulating water flow. When the river is full, the sunset from the middle of the bridge is a fine sight – so good, in fact, that a pavilion was built here exclusively for the pleasure of Shah Abbas II.
Built by Shah Abbas I the Great at the beginning of the 17th century, and bordered on all sides by monumental buildings linked by a series of two-storeyed arcades, the site is known for the Royal Mosque, the Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah, the magnificent Portico of Qaysariyyeh and the 15th-century Timurid palace. They are an impressive testimony to the level of social and cultural life in Persia during the Safavid era.
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 Naghsh-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 the four monuments that dominated the perimeter of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, this one was the first to be built. The purpose of this mosque was for it to be private to the royal court (unlike the Shah Mosque, which was meant for the public). For this reason, the mosque does not have any minarets and is smaller. Indeed, few Westerners at the time of the Safavids even paid any attention to this mosque, and they certainly did not have access to it.
Si-o-se Pol Bridge is a stone double-deck arch bridge in Isfahan, Iran. It is also called Siose Bridge (which in Persian means “33 Bridge” or “Bridge of 33 Arches”) or Allah-Verdi Khan Bridge. Si-o-se Pol Bridge is built by the chancellor Allahverdi Khan Undiladze on commission from Shah Abbas whose chancellor he was. Construction of the bridge began in 1599 and ended 1602. The bridge is long 298 meters and wide 13.75 meters. It has 33 spans from which it gets its name with the longest span of 5.6 meters, crosses Zayandeh River and is located in the southern end of Chahar Bagh Avenue. The bridge has a large plane at the beginning of the bridge where the Zayandeh River flows faster. There it has more arches making with that a suitable place for a tea house that can be accessed from the southern bank. There are two levels of arches. Lower level has 33 arches while upper has two arches above lower lever arch and one arch above the pier. The road that goes on the upper level is bounded by two high walls that protect travelers from winds and pedestrians that can walk there, from falling. Si-o-se Pol Bridge is considered largest Iranian construction on water.
At the beginning of the 17th century in 1606 during the Safavid period, work on the cathedral began. However, in 1655, this Armenian church was rebuilt as the Christian community was rapidly growing in Isfahan. A tilework plaque inscribed in Armenian can be seen by the entrance to the cathedral. Inside is nicely decorated showing a mixture of Islamic and Christian style. Inside the courtyard, there is the belfry and can see the dome of the cathedral which the interior is painted in Persian style with very elegant blue and gold. The walls are painted of European inspirations showing scenes of martyrdom, notably of Saint Gregory.
The Qeysarie bazaar or Soltani bazaar is a historical bazaar in Isfahan, Iran. The main commercial activities in the Qeysarie bazaar are carpet and kilim selling. The bazaar was one of the greatest and luxurious trading centers 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. The Qeysarie gate is the main entrance of the bazaar, and there are many historical buildings such as Nimavar school, Sadr school, Khayyatha mosque in it.
Located in the historic center of Isfahan, the Masjed-e Jāmé or Jameh mosque (‘Friday mosque’) can be seen as a stunning illustration of the evolution of mosque architecture over twelve centuries, starting in ad 841. It is the oldest preserved edifice of its type in Iran and a prototype for later mosque designs throughout Central Asia. The complex, covering more than 20,000 m2, is also the first Islamic building that adapted the four-courtyard layout of Sassanid palaces to Islamic religious architecture. Its double-shelled ribbed domes represent an architectural innovation that inspired builders throughout the region. The site also features remarkable decorative details representative of stylistic developments over more than a thousand years of Islamic art. The mosque is the result of continual construction, reconstruction, additions, and renovations on the site from around 771 to the end of the 20th century. The Grand Bazaar of Isfahan can be found towards the southwest wing of the mosque. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.