Introduction to Isfahan Province :
Province of Isfahan is located in the center of Iran. Isfahan is the third largest city and with 2/4 million, is the third highest populated city of Iran after Tehran and Mashhad.This city is center of Isfahan province. Isfahan location has made it important economic center also. In fact It is major manufacturing center of Iran. The main industries include still mills , food, textile, chemical, oil and petrochemical industries , power and electrical and etc.
Nature of Isfahan City:
The west and south west of Isfahan are surrounded by Zagros Mountains. And there are many more mountains in western and southern parts. Other areas are desert and semi- desert. The highest point is Karkas near Natanz and lowest point is near Kashan. Isfahan enjoys four separate seasons and that’s why it has one of the most pleasant climate of Iran. The hottest months are July and August with 40′ C and January is the coldest month , occasionally colder than-10′ C.
Zayande Rood flows through Chahar Mahal Bakhtiari into Isfahan and makes the nature of this city more beautiful.
This 430km long river finally vanishes in the Gavkhuni Marshland.
Isfahan History :
It is said that Isfahan was a center for armies to get together prior to war. That’s the reason it is called Isfahan which is derived from Sepahan or Espahan. This location had made this city center of strategy specially in Sassanian Period. Even now because of being surrounded by 9 cities there are lot of transportation in Isfahan.
How to go to Isfahan :
Being in the center of Iran and connected to the other cities by railways ,airways and lands has made traveling to Esfahan very easy, so daily there are buses, trains and flights to Isfahan.Important touristy cities near Isfahan are Yazd is located 320 km far and in east side of Isfahan, Shiraz city 500km far in south, Kashan 200 km far in north and Tehran 450 km far in north. Travel agencies always try to keep these cities in itineraries for tourists.
Persian is language of people in city but they have special accents and dialects which are derived from Pahlavi Persian and Avestan.
Shiite Muslims are the majority religious group of Isfahan province. They live peacefully with the other groups such as Zoroastrian, Christians(Gregorian , Assyrian, Catholic and Protestan) and Jews. Christians live in south of city their area is called Jolfa. None Muslims respect Islamic dress code. They have elementary and secondary school in which they practice and learn their own beliefs. For further education they attend the same school with Muslims. These minorities have their own religious and cultural centers like Atashkades, Churches and Synagogue. The age of some of these buildings shows the rich heritage of city.
Historical sites of Isfahan:
There are a long list of historical sites and attractive places to visit in city. Here we brought some of them.
Fire temple, qeisarieh bazar , pole khaju, see o se pol, chahar bagh garden, jahan nama garden, aligholi agha bathhouse, aliqapu palace, chelsetoon palace, hasht behesht palace, Abbasi Carvanserai, Vank church, imam Mosque, sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, jame Mosque, shaking tower, seyed Mosque, Abbasi hotel, Armenian Museum, natural history must, Chehelsetoon museum.
- Naqsh e Jahan Square (Imam Meidan):
It is one of the most splendid squares in the world covers an area of 507 by 158 meters. There are five great historical monuments in it. ( sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Shah Mosque currently known as Imam Mosque, Aliqapu Palace, Qeisarieh Bazar and Naqsh e Jahan itself.
- Shah Mosque
The most significant Mosque of Safavid era located in Naqsh e Jahan Square. Its construction started in 1612 and completed in 1630. The mosque has four large iwans , 54 meters high dome and 52 meters minarets.
- Ali Qapu Palace:
On the western side of Naqsh e Jahan Square. According to historians it was built at the site of 14 century Timurid palace. The construction of Ali Qapu started during Shah Abbas 1st from 1592 to 1598. It has a unique balcony. The king could watch the activities of people while sitting in balcony.
- Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque:
- This mosque is opposite Ali Qapu Palace , in the eastern side of Naqsh e Jahan Square ( walking distance). It is the masterpiece of architecture of Safavid era. It was built between 1602 to 1619 AD by order of Shah Abbas The Great. The mosque doesn’t have minarets in fact it was made for royal family and relatives.
- Qeisarieh Bazar:
Gheisarieh Bazar is in the northern end of Naqsh e Jahan Square. This bazar has a great portal with mosaic decoration which shows the Zodiacal sign of Sagittarius. Historians believe this is the month that Esfahan was founded.
- Vank Church
Vank cathedral-Isfahan city
- Vank Church is located in Nazar e Sharghi St. It was originally built as a prayer hall in 1606 and later it was extended with high double dome and received the name of Vank Church in 1655 during Shah Abbas 2nd. The central dome is decorated with fine paintings depicting biblical stories of Adam and Eve and Jesus Christ.
- Chelsetun Palace:
The entrance of this great palace is in Ostandari Street , behind the Naqsh e Jahan Square ,walking distance.
It was made by the order of Shah Abbas2nd to receive foreign guests and ambassadors. There are lot of great paintings and tile work and fresco in Chelsetun Palace.
- Hasht Behesht :
It was a residential palace of Safavid kings which is located in Chahar Bagh St. ,next to Shahid Rajaee Park and not far from Chelsetun Palace. The building has octagonal shape with four beautiful iwans. The decoration of Hasht Behesht is very artistic. Hasht Behesht was built in 1669.
- Jame Mosque:
Jame Mosque of Esfahan is one of the most important mosques of Iran. It was originally a fire temple and converted to a mosque during the Arab reign. The construction began during Deylamian Dynasty in 4th Century. The Saljuk completed most parts of building. The central part was completed by order of Malekshah of Saljuk Dynasty and was developed in course of time. It’s located in Majlesi St. , Qiam Square.
- Shaking Tower ( Menar Jonban):
Monar Jonban is located six kilometers to the west, on Najaf Abad Road. The whole building in fact is the tomb of Sheikh Abdulla Karladani and was made in 1315. This building is famous because of the vibration of whole structure when one of the minaret is shaken.
Hotels in Isfahan:
There are few four star and five star hotels in Isfahan. In fact we have only two five star hotels in Isfahan .
- Kowsar Hotel is one of the best hotels in Isfahan because of its location. It is next to Zayande Rud and few steps far from Si o se pol. Being in the heart of the city is very near to Naqsh e Jahan Square and Armenian district and shopping centers.
- It has 194 rooms with facilities of safety box and free internet.
Kowsar Hotel has five restaurant. They can serve you a good variety of food.
In Sarv Restaurant persian cuisine and traditional foods of Isfahan is served like Beryan and Khoresht mast.
Zarrin Restaurant is in lobby with continental food and has a beautiful garden view.
The other one is in a lash garden with great taste of international food and last one is next to pool area with barbecued food.
There are some shops in Kowsar Hotel as well, in case you want to get souvenir and handcrafted stuff.
Address of Kowsar Hotel is Mellat Bulvared, Si o se Pol.
- Abbasi Hotel:
Abbasi Hotel is the oldest and one of the biggest hotels in Isfahan and Iran. It is located in Chahar Bagh e Abbasi Road. Abbasi Hotel has 225 rooms with all modern facilities. Abbasi Hotel or Shah Abbas Hotel is the only five star traditional hotel of Isfahan
The architecture of the Abbasi Hotel is typical 18th century architecture of Iran. Abbasi Hotel is all decorated in Safavid style.
Being in historical area has made this hotel a greater place to stay.
The garden restaurant of Abbasi Hotel is one of the most beautiful restaurants in Isfahan. Address of Abbasi Hotel is : Chahar Bagh Abbasi Road, begging of Amadegan St., Isfahan
- Avin Hotel:
Avin Hotel is another four star luxury hotels in Isfahan with 70 rooms. Its facilities are lobby, elevators, coffee shop, safety box, conference hall, health club, free internet and 24 hours reception. Avin Hotel is close to main square of city and Naqsh e Jahan Square. From Avin Hotel to Si o se Pol is14 minutes by car and to Birds Garden about 24 minutes by car. You can reach to international airport within 33 minutes and bus station within 15 minutes. Avin Hotel is located on Hatef St. ,opposite Moshir Alley.
- Piruzi Hotel:
Piruzi Hotel is one of the oldest hotels in Isfahan . It is located in the center of Isfahan and walking distance from Piruzi Hotel to Chelsetun, and Naqsh e Jahan Square. It’s short distance from Piruzi Hotel to Zayande Rud and historical bridges and shopping area. In short around Piruzi Hotel everything you need is available. Piruzi Hotel has 96 rooms. Piruzi Hotel has a large restaurant with spiral staircase where they serve you different types of Persian and continental food. Piruzi Hotel restaurant is cozy and quiet and you can see busy city of Esfahan through the window. Piruzi Hotel is four star hotel.
It’s located in the beginning of Chahar Bagh , Darvaze Dowlat.
Food in Isfahan :
You can enjoy variety of traditional foods in Isfahan :
The most common traditional foods in Isfahan are: Beryani, Khoresht Mast, Kale jush , Gheime Rize. Yakhne torsh, Ash e somagh, ashe mash. Famous Sweets are Gaz and Sohan.
Every year many tourists visit Esfahan that’s why there are many restaurants with traditional and modern foods for tourists.
- Aseman rotating Restaurant:
Aseman Restaurant with beautiful view of Zayande Rud has different types of Persian and European food.
Address of Aseman Restaurant is: apposite Felezi Pol , Motahari St.Hotel Aseman
- Bastani Restaurant :
Bastani Restaurant is a traditional restaurant with a warm atmosphere. They serve you different types of Persian foods. You can sit either on a bed in a Persian style or have table and chair.
Address is next to Imam Mosque, Naqsh e Jahan Square.
- Azam Restaurant:
If you are non vegetarian and interested to taste a very traditional food of Isfahan you can go to Azam Restaurants and taste the original taste of this dish. Address is: next to Post Office, Masjid Road.
- Shahrzad Restaurant
Shahrzad Restaurant is one of the oldest restaurant of Isfahan City. Shahrzad Restaurant is decorated with beautiful Persian style paintings. In shahrzad Restaurant they serve you all types of dishes.
Address is Chahar Bagh Abbasi Road, Abbas Abad st.
- Zava Restaurant:
If you like to know how is the taste of Italian dishes in Isfahan you can choose Zava Restaurant. They make Pasta and Lazania in Zava Restaurant.
Address is Parvaz Lane, Southern Shahid Sedigh, Parvaz Lane
Handicrafts in Esfahan:
Handicrafts make a considerable income in Isfahan . There are more than 195 exportable handicrafts in Isfahan. The most important are carpet, tile, enamel, inlay work, miniature, ceramic, pottery, engraving, wood work, mosaic, calico and gilding.