The history of Iran is a colorful one but it is dripping in Blood. Isfahan is one of the oldest cities of Iran and it also has the honor of being the capital long ago in the pages of history. The city’s name means half of another world. Its culture dates back to pre-Islamic era and was inhabited even before man learnt to count time and days. The city like all of Iran was under the Arab government after Islam up until the Mongols captured it and massacred the people in the thirteenth century.
There are numerous places to visit in Isfahan such as:
Imam Square (Medaan Emam):
This historical landmark is a square surrounded by many beautifully built residential and some commercial buildings. Fountains and gardens create a beautiful maze here. There are shops and stalls especially to facilitate any tourist who wants food or just to rest a bit. People also carry souvenirs that are cheaper than a bigger market and thus this is the place to visit if one wants to buy beautiful and affordable ceramics or tapestries.
The Mosque of Sheikh Lotfollah:
This mosque is a place of splendid beauty. At night, the whole mosque is lit up in a way that it shines from far away and its beauty increases manifolds. The circular top known as a Gumbad is decorated in a beautiful and ethereal kaleidoscope pattern that is simply breathtaking.
The Chehel Sotun is surrounded by an artificial lake or moat. As you walk closer to the building, you will be able to observe the towers and pillars of the pavilion in their reflection in the water. It is also beautiful inside but the exterior is considered to be one of its kind. Many tourists also stop for a strong cup of tea that is also unique to a teashop immediately in the alley outside of the Chehl.
The Si-O-Se Bridge used to be built over a roaring river but it has long since dried. Now, the real beauty is observed at night when the lights are lit and they spill out from between the arches of the columns. In the daytime it is a place to marvel at the interior structure of the covered bridge and enjoy a picnic in the sun in winters and in the bridge in summers when the sun is too hot.
Monar e Jounban:
The Monar e Jounban (the swinging Minaret) is actually a mausoleum for the saint Amu Abdoullah Ibn e Muhammad Ibn e Mehmood who died in 1316 AD. Although the structure is a masterpiece of traditional Iranian artwork, the minaret attracts visitors due to a remarkable phenomenon. There are two minarets flanking the actual mausoleum. The most beautiful and remarkable thing about these minarets is that when you pull on of them and shake one of it, the other one shakes as well. This causes the whole building to shake thus giving it the name of ‘swinging minaret’.
This mosque dates back as far as 1656. It is covered by intricate little details carved beautifully and skillfully also a reason that it has lasted so long. There is a beautiful central courtyard that is notable for its beautiful blue tiles. The inscriptions are so beautiful and made from vivid colors that most tourists keep coming back for revisits.
The Atashgah is the name of a hill-top temple which has been almost completely demolished over time. It was a temple of fire-worshippers built by King Vishtasp. The flame in the temple was said to have been burning for over centuries. Now, the tourists visit this temple simply for the view as the actual temple is gone. However, if you are not up to steep hills, don’t choose it as your next destination. Instead, spend time in the hotels at the foot of the hill.