Mesmerizing Naqsh-e Jahan Square: Known as Imam Square, this place as the most famous attraction of Isfahan city is placed at the center of Isfahan, Iran. It is an important historical place and one of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. This160 meters-wide and 560 meters-long square is encircled by buildings from the Safavid era. You can see the Imam Mosque on the south side of the street. Opposite this mosque stands Ali Qapu and on the eastern side another mosque known as Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. Inside the square, there are some horses with their carriages on which you can do horseback riding and they will take you back in time to the Safavid era as if you are the king on the horse. There is also a long bazaar around these monuments where you can go shopping and buy souvenirs for yourself and your friends or family. The architecture of this amazing and gorgeous square is also unique as it is one of the largest squares in the whole world.
Imam Mosque or Shah mosque, with blue-tiled mosaic designs and stunningly attractive and perfectly proportioned architecture of Safavid era creates a perfectly marvelous view to your eyes. This superb monument represents the creativity of Shah Abbas and the expertise of his architect. Construction of this masterpiece started in 1611 and terminated in 1629, the last year of Shah Abbas’s reign, when its high dome was finished. The white marble stones for its foundation were brought from the city of Ardestan and its portal is festooned with Kashi Moarraq by very skillful artists of that era. Its portal was constructed to face the square, but the mosque’s orientation is toward Mecca and the square is connected to the inner courtyard through a short corridor, having a pool for ritual ceremonies of absolution and four iwans. Its portal had an ornamental function in the beginning, but it changed to be the Qeysarieh Portal at the entrance of Grand Bazaar of Isfahan. The majesty of the architecture of this mosque cannot be described in words; thus you must go there to pay a visit in person.
Ali Qapu:Another attraction on the west side of Imam Square is Ali Qapu Palace, which is opposite to Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, was fist constructed to be a huge portal. The monument with its six floors and forty-eight-meters of height has deep circular niches in the sixth floor. Its name means great gate because it was located exactly at the entrance to the Safavid palaces from Naqsh-e Jahan Square to the Chahar Baq Boulevard. The monument, built by the order of Shah Abbas I in the seventeenth century was originally constructed to receive foreign guests and ambassadors. Shah Abbas used to celebrate Nowrooz (Iranian New Year) here in this fabulous edifice.
Inside the monument is replete with naturalistic wall paintings of the court painter of Shah Abbas. There are flower, animal, and bird themes in his work. The last Safavid ruler, Shah Sulan Hussein, repaired and restored the whole monument, but again Afghans invaded Iran and made a mess of it. Shah Abbas II who was passionate for the embellishment and perfection of Ali Qapu, again restored it and added the third floor to its magnificent hall. 18 columns of this monumental edifice are decorated with mirrors and the ceiling is covered with great paintings. This palace is displayed on the back of the Iranian 20,000 Rials note.
Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is another monument dominating the boundary of the Naqshe Jahan Square, which was the first one among the four constructed edifices around the Square. This mosque, unlike Imam Mosque which was built for the public, was built for the private life of the royal court.At the entrance of the mosque, there were standing guards who protected the women of Shah, and the doors were held closed all the time. Although, in comparison with Imam Mosque, Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is very simple in design, but it has an exceedingly complex decoration both inside and outside. The exterior of its single 13 m in diameter dome is richly ornamented with exquisitely made and beautiful tiles.
Isfahan Bazaar, or Bazaar of Isfahan, a historical market in Isfahan, is one of the oldest and largest bazaars in the Middle East, originated in the 17th century. The bazaar is a two-kilometer vaulted street connecting Isfahan’s old city to its new city. The grand bazaar of Isfahan was itself a complete covered town around which the old Isfahan City was concentrated. There are caravanserais in the bazaar with a rectangular shaped open courthouse.
Every line of the bazaar is allocated to selling certain types of goods, such as carpet, shoes, spices, gold, silver, handicrafts.Handicrafts is one of the most interesting parts of your trip will definitely be a surprise to you. You can enjoy different kinds of handicrafts such as the world-famous colorful Iranian hand woven rugs or carpets of this country, Moarraq Kari, a sort of delicate manual wood working, Khatam Kari, the art of decorating the surfaces of wooden articles with fine pieces of wood, bone and metal precisely cut geometrical shapes. you can also buy Sohan, a kind of sweet traditional Persian saffron brittle toffee made of flour, egg yolks, rose water, sugar, butter, or vegetable oil, saffron, cardamom and pieces of almond or pistachio. You can also find different kinds of Iranian spices with various flavors from hot to strange to make your food or dish tasty.
Visiting time: open 24 hours
Entrance fee: for every single attraction is approximately 6 US$.
Address:Isfahan, Naqsh_e Jahan square
Naghshe Jahan Square is one of the most stunning attractions of the entire world that every tourist must visit. Entry to this square is 24 hours without limitation. But every single attraction here (Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Ali Qapu and Imam Mosque) has its own different visiting time.You can spend one full day from morning till after noon to visit this fabulous attraction. You may explore its traditional bazaar and find different kinds of high quality Persian handicrafts there. You can buy local sweets of this city such as Gaz, Poulaki and Pashmak inside beautiful boxes here. Naghshe- Jahan Traditional Restaurant on one of the corners of this square is one of the best restaurant of Isfahan that is ready to serve travelers lunch and dinner with its menu of various kinds of dishes. Please do make reservations in advance for eating at this restaurant.
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