Standing 1570 meters above sea level, Esfahan is 415 kilometers south of Tehran. This world-famous city with many historical buildings, bridges and eye-catching places, was one of the most significant tourist attractions in Iran, so that almost all tourists visiting Iran go on a visit to Esfahan. Dating back around 2500 years, Esfahan was the capital of Iran in three historical periods. The golden age of Esfahan was during the Safavid era (1501-1736).
Enjoying ancient monuments with magnificent architecture and eye-pleasing tilework on the one hand, and beautiful handicrafts on the other, Esfahan attracts a large number of tourists interested in the Iranian art and history. The Imam Mosque was situated to the south of Naqsh-e-Jahan square. Built in the reign of Shah Abbas, tilework and architecture of this mosque were superb. Its minarets were 48 meters high.
Situated to the west of Naqsh-e-Jahan square, the Ali Qapoo Palace belonged to the Safavid period. It was used for the reception of the ambassadors and envoys from other countries. Óli Qapoo was a six storeyed building with numerous rooms, the plasterwork and paintings of which were extremely impressive. The Chehel Sotoon Palace was another building dating back to the Safavid period, built amidst a vast garden covering an area of 67,000 square meters. The building had a veranda with 18 pillars and a large pool in front of it. Being mirrored in the still water of the pool, the pillars would create a beautiful view. The wall-paintings in the interior of the building were superlative in their kind.
Being unique in architecture and construction, the Si-o-Se Pol Bridge had thirty three arches through which the Zayandeh Rood river passes. It was built in the reign of Shah Abbas. The Chahar Bagh School was built during the rule of Shah Sultan Hoseyn for theology students. Its beautiful dome was an architectural triumph. Built in the reign of Shah Abbas, Vank Church was the most famous church in Iran. It contained numerous paintings with religious themes.
On the banks of Zayandeh Rood passing through the city, there were the parks of Boostan and Mellat. These verdant parks, in harmony with the ancient bridges of Khajoo and Si-o-Se pol created pleasant views. There were many other sights in Esfahan. The following were some of them displaying extraordinary qualities of art: Kakh-e-Hasht Behesht (the Palace of Eight Paradises), Monar Jonban (the Moving Minaret), Jame'mosque and the mausoleum of Khajeh Nezam-ol-Molk's.
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