?Why Isfahan is attracting for tourists
Isfahan is located in a semi-desert region near the Zayandeh Rud River. Isfahan is considered as a popular tourist destination and a major cultural and economic center of Iran. Here we will talk about the reasons which make Isfahan as an attractive city in Iran.
This bridge is a unique masterpiece of the reign of Shah Abbas I. It was constructed under the supervision and expense of Allah Verdi Khan, one of his famous commanders. This bridge is approximately 300 m. in length and 14 m. in width and is the longest bridge on the Zayandeh Rud River which was constructed in 1005 A.H. The Armenians used to hold special festivities near this bridge in the Safavid period. Julfa Armenians held “Khaj-Shouyan” ceremony around this bridge. This bridge is one of the masterpieces in bridge construction in Iran and the world.
Khaju Bridge (Shahi Bridge)
This bridge took its foundation in the late Timurid period, and was constructed according to what it is currently in 1060 AH, under the orders of Shah Abbas II. There is a structure in the center of the bridge, known as the Beglarbegi construction which is still standing with painting decorations on the top. The same was used as a temporary residence for the royal family. The name of this bridge is a distorted version of the word 'Khajeh' which was a title for great personalities in the Safavid era.
This bridge is one of the oldest bridges on the Zayandeh Rud River. Its current structure remains from Sassani era but it dates back to Archamenian era. It has been renovated in later periods of Deilamian and Saljoghian. Located in the old district of Jay, it has a spectacular architecture. Shahrestan Bridge is one the ancient bridges located about 4 km east of Isfahan. It is possible to pass the bridge from two sides: One, from Moshtagh and Sarooyeh streets and Ashraf hillside, the other from Dalan Behesht. There are woods and gardens and summer flats on both sides of the bridge.
Marnan Bridge which has originally named "Marbin", adopted from Avesta word "Mehrbin". It has known as Marnan during the last 15 centuries of Islamic history of Iran. This bridge is located on the western extreme of Isfahan. The current shape of the bridge with decoration of the Safavid structure is still firmed, but repaired repeatedly.
Pol-e-Joui or Choobi (Joui Bridge)
This bridge is narrow in width and 147 m. in length. It was constructed in the reign of Shah Abbas II in 1065 A.H. The bridge was not used by ordinary people. It only connected the royal gardens on the northern and southern banks of the river. Besides, it was used by the Safavid kings, their courtiers, noble families and guests who wanted to meet Shah Abbas II (in the magnificent buildings of this garden which are not remained today).
Imam Square (Naqsh-e Jahan)
Before Isfahan was selected as Capital by the Safavid dynasty, a square called Naqsh-e Jahan (Image of the world) existed in the vicinity of Imam square. During the reign of Shah Abbas the Great, this square was enlarged to almost its present dimensions and the most famous historic buildings of Isfahan were constructed around this square. This square has an area of more than 85 thousand square. During the reign of Shah Abbas I and his successors, this square was an area where festivities, polo, dramatics and military parades took place. Two stone gates of the polo are embedded in the north and south of this square. The length of this great square is 500 meters from north to south, and its width about 150 meters from east to west. Most of the foreign tourists believe that Imam square is one of the greatest squares in the world. Naqsh-e Jahan Square has witnessed many historical memories of Iran during the past four centuries. Memories of the life of Shah Abbas the Great and his successors until the end of the Safavid era is associated with this great historical square.
The Chehel Sutun (Forty Columns) Palace
The Chehel Sotune Palace and its garden cover an area of approximately 67,000 sq. m. This palace was constructed during the reign of Shah Abbas I and a building was established in the middle of this garden. Shah Abbas II was also responsible for additions to this palace. The reflection of the twenty pillars of the hall in the pool opposite the palace brings about a conception of forty pillars. But infact the number of “Forty” represents the quantity and multitude in Iran and the reason for which the mentioned building is called Chehel Sotun is the great number of the pillars in this palace.
The Vank Church is one of the most famous churches in the Jolfa vicinity of Isfahan. The construction of this church commenced in the reign of Shah Abbas II in 1065 A.H and was completed in 1074 A.H. The interior of the church is richly decorated with painting decorations, interesting tile works and beautiful oil paintings of Jesus Christ’s life. Except for the religious paintings revealing an Italian and Netherlands touch, the type of its architecture and all the other decorations of this church are Iranian.
Manar Jonban (the swinging minaret)
This structure comprises of a mausoleum and two minarets, constructed on the tomb of 'Amoo Abdollah' a reputed personality of the 8th century A.H. The construction of Manar Jonban is based on Mongol architecture and there are tile works remained of that era. The two minarets were added later in an unknown date, but probably at the end of the Safavid era. It is extremely interesting to note that on shaking one minaret, not only does the other move, but that the structure itself sways.
Atashgah (Fire Temple)
The Atashgah of Isfahan, the top of which is made of thick and hard brick, is a Sassanid-era archaeological complex located on a hill of the same name about eight kilometers west of Isfahan. According to the historians, the Atashgah was one of the most famous fire temples in Isfahan. Although it is difficult to determine the date of the final structure, what is certain is not newer than the Sassanid period. On a low mountain about twenty kilometers west of Isfahan and in the lovely plain named Qorb overlooking the Zayandeh Rud River, remains of an old building are still left which dates back to probably the Parthian era or Sassanid period