Isfahan, Iran

Etymology | History | Bronze Age | Zoroastrian era | Islamic era | Modern age | Geography : Hydrography | Ecological issues | Flora and fauna | Roads and freeways | Bridges | Ride sharing | Mass transit | Transport : Air | Economy | Aquaculture and agriculture | High tech and heavy industries | Military | Recreation and tourism | Medical tourism | Economy : Retail | Cinemas | Sport | Demographics | Religion | Mosques | Imamzadehs (shrine tombs) | Churches and cathedrals | Synagogues | Civic administration | Municipal government | Public works | Human resources and public health | Education and science | Notable schools | Colleges | Notable philosophers | Culture | Cuisine | Culture : Music | News media | Cultural sites | Baths | Bazaars | Cemeteries | Gardens and parks | Historical houses | Mausoleums and tombs | Minarets | Culture : Museums | Palaces and caravanserais | Squares and streets | Other sites | International relations

🇮🇷 Isfahan, (اصفهان‎) is a major city in Iran, Greater Isfahan Region. It is located 406 km south of Tehran and is the capital of Isfahan Province. Isfahan is the third-largest city and the second largest metropolitan area in Iran. Isfahan is an important city, as it is located at the intersection of the two principal north–south and east–west routes that traverse Iran. Isfahan flourished from 1050 to 1722, and particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries under the Safavid dynasty when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history under Shah Abbas the Great. Even today the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Perso–Islamic architecture, grand boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, tiled mosques and minarets. Isfahan also has many historical buildings, monuments, paintings, and artifacts. The fame of Isfahan led to the Persian proverb "Esfahān nesf-e-jahān ast": Isfahan is half (of) the world. The Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world. UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site.

Isfahan, along with Piranshahr and Shush are among the most ancient cities in Iran.


Etymology Isfahan is derived from Middle Persian Spahān, which is attested to by various Middle Persian seals and inscriptions, including that of the Zoroastrian magi Kartir. The present-day name is the Arabicized form of Ispahan (unlike Middle Persian, but similar to Spanish, New Persian does not allow initial consonant clusters such as sp). The region is denoted by the abbreviation GD (Southern Media) on Sasanian coins. In Ptolemy's Geographia, it appears as Aspadana (Ἀσπαδανα), which translates to "place of gathering for the army". It is believed that Spahān derived from spādānām "the armies", the Old Persian plural of spāda, from which is derived spāh 'army' and spahi (سپاهی, 'soldier', literally 'of the army') in Central Persian. Some of the other ancient names include Gey, Jey (old form Zi), Park, and Judea.


History Human habitation of the Isfahan region can be traced back to the Palaeolithic period. Archaeologists have recently found artifacts dating back to the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron ages.


Bronze Age What became the city of Isfahan likely emerged and gradually developed over the course of the Elamite civilisation (2700–1600 BCE).


Zoroastrian era Under Median rule, a commercial entrepôt began to show signs of more sedentary urbanism, steadily growing into a noteworthy regional centre that benefited from the exceptionally fertile soil on the banks of the Zayandehrud River, in a region called Aspandana or Ispandana.

When Cyrus the Great unified Persian and Median lands into the Achaemenid Empire, the religiously and ethnically diverse city of Isfahan became an early example of the king's fabled religious tolerance. It was Cyrus who, having just taken Babylon, made an edict in 538 BCE declaring that Jews in Babylon could return to Jerusalem. Later, some of the freed Jews settled in Isfahan instead of returning to their homeland. The 10th-century Persian historian Ibn al-Faqih wrote: When the Jews emigrated from Jerusalem, fleeing from Nebuchadnezzar, they carried with them a sample of the water and soil of Jerusalem. They did not settle until they reached the city of Isfahan, whose soil and water was deemed to resemble that of Jerusalem. Thereupon they settled there, cultivated the soil, raised children and grandchildren, and today the name of this settlement is Yahudia.

The Parthians (247 BCE – 224 CE), continued the tradition of tolerance after the fall of the Achaemenids, fostering a Hellenistic dimension within Iranian culture and the political organization introduced by Alexander the Great's invading armies. Under the Parthians, Arsacid governors administered the provinces of the nation from Isfahan, and the city's urban development accelerated to accommodate the needs of a capital city.

The next empire to rule Persia, the Sassanids (224–651 CE), presided over massive changes in their realm, instituting sweeping agricultural reforms and reviving Iranian culture and the Zoroastrian religion. Both the city and region were then called by the name Aspahan or Spahan. The city was governed by a group called the Espoohrans, who descended from seven noble Iranian families. Extant foundations of some Sassanid-era bridges in Isfahan suggest that the Sasanian kings were fond of ambitious urban-planning projects. While Isfahan's political importance declined during this period, many Sassanid princes would study statecraft in the city, and its military role increased. Its strategic location at the intersection of the ancient roads to Susa and Persepolis made it an ideal candidate to house a standing army, which would be ready to march against Constantinople at any moment. The words "Aspahan" and "Spahan" are derived from the Pahlavi or Middle Persian meaning 'the place of the army'.

Although many theories have mentioned the origins of Isfahan, little is known of it before the rule of the Sasanian dynasty. The historical facts suggest that, in the late 4th and early 5th centuries, Queen Shushandukht, the Jewish consort of Yazdegerd I (reigned 399–420), settled a colony of Jews in Yahudiyyeh (also spelled Yahudiya), a settlement 3 km (1.9 mi) north-west of the Zoroastrian city of Gabae (its Achaemid and Parthian name; Gabai was its Sasanic name, which was shortened to Gay (Arabic 'Jay') that was located on the northern bank of the Zayanderud River (the colony's establishment was also attributed to Nebuchadrezzar, though that's less likely). The gradual population decrease of Gay (Jay) and the simultaneous population increase of Yahudiyyeh and its suburbs, after the Islamic conquest of Iran, resulted in the formation of the nucleus of what was to become the city of Isfahan. The words "Aspadana", "Ispadana", "Spahan", and "Sepahan", all from which the word Isfahan is derived, referred to the region in which the city was located.

Isfahan and Gay were supposedly both circular in design, which was characteristic of Parthian and Sasanian cities. However, this reported Sasanian circular city of Isfahan has not yet been uncovered.


Islamic era When the Arabs captured Isfahan in 642, they made it the capital of al-Jibal ("the Mountains") province, an area that covered much of ancient Media. Isfahan grew prosperous under the Persian Buyid (Buwayhid) dynasty, which rose to power and ruled much of Iran when the temporal authority of the Abbasid caliphs waned in the 10th century. The city walls of Isfahan are thought to have been constructed during the tenth century. The Turkish conqueror and founder of the Seljuq dynasty, Toghril Beg, made Isfahan the capital of his domains in the mid-11th century; but it was under his grandson Malik-Shah I (r. 1073–92) that the city grew in size and splendour.

After the fall of the Seljuqs (c. 1200), Isfahan temporarily declined and was eclipsed by other Iranian cities, such as Tabriz and Qazvin. During his visit in 1327, Ibn Battuta noted that "The city of Isfahan is one of the largest and fairest of cities, but it is now in ruins for the greater part".

In 1387, Isfahan surrendered to the Turko-Mongol warlord Timur. Initially treated with relative mercy, the city revolted against Timur's punitive taxes by killing the tax collectors and some of Timur's soldiers. In retribution, Timur ordered the massacre of the city residents, his soldiers killing a reported 70,000 citizens. An eye-witness counted more than 28 towers, each constructed of about 1,500 heads.

Isfahan regained its importance during the Safavid period (1501–1736). The city's golden age began in 1598 when the Safavid ruler Abbas I of Persia (reigned 1588–1629) made it his capital and rebuilt it into one of the largest and most beautiful cities in the 17th-century world. In 1598, Abbas I moved his capital from Qazvin to the more central Isfahan. He introduced policies increasing Iranian involvement in the Silk Road trade. Turkish, Armenian, and Persian craftsmen were forcefully resettled in the city to ensure its prosperity. Their contributions to the economic vitality of the revitalized city supported the recovery of Safavid glory and prestige, after earlier losses to the Ottomans and Qizilbash tribes, ushering in a golden age for the city, when architecture and Persian culture flourished.

As part of Abbas's forced resettlement of peoples from within his empire, as many as 300,000 Armenians (primarily from Jugha) were resettled in Isfahan during Abbas' reign.) In Isfahan, he ordered the establishment of a new quarter for these resettled Armenians from Old Julfa, and thus the Armenian Quarter of Isfahan was named New Julfa (today one of the largest Armenian quarters in the world).

In the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of deportees and migrants from the Caucasus settled in the city. Following an agreement between Shah Abbas I and his Georgian subject Teimuraz I of Kakheti ("Tahmuras Khan"), whereby the latter converted to Islam and submitted to Safavid rule in exchange for being allowed to rule as the region's wāli (governor), with his son serving as dāruḡa (prefect) of Isfahan. He was accompanied by a troop of soldiers, some of whom were Georgian Orthodox Christians. The royal court in Isfahan had a great number of Georgian ḡolāms (military slaves), as well as Georgian women. Although they spoke both Persian and Turkic, their mother tongue was Georgian. Now the city had enclaves of those of Georgian, Circassian, and Daghistani descent. Engelbert Kaempfer, who dwelt in Safavid Persia in 1684–85, estimated their number at 20,000.

During Abbas's reign, Isfahan became famous in Europe, and many European travellers, such as Jean Chardin, gave accounts of their visits to the city. The city's prosperity lasted until it was sacked by Afghan invaders in 1722, during a marked decline in Safavid influence. Thereafter, Isfahan experienced a decline in importance, culminating in moving the capital to Mashhad and Shiraz during the Afsharid and Zand periods, respectively, until it was finally moved to Tehran, in 1775, by Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar dynasty.

In the early years of the 19th century, efforts were made to preserve some of Isfahan's archeologically important buildings. The work was started by Mohammad Hossein Khan, during the reign of Fath Ali Shah.


Modern age The city has had four master development programs first one was created in 1971 by German engineering firm that included checkered streets' design. In the 20th century, Isfahan was resettled by many people from southern Iran: especially during the population migrations at the start of the century, and in the 1980s, following the Iran–Iraq War. During the war, 23,000 from Isfahan were killed; and there were 43,000 veterans. In 1921 Telephone office were first created in Shams Abadi street.

Today, Isfahan produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, handicrafts, and traditional foods, including sweets. Isfahan is noted for its production of the Isfahan rug, a type of Persian rug typically made of merino wool and silk. There are nuclear experimental reactors as well as uranium conversion facilities (UCF) for producing nuclear fuel in the environs of the city. Isfahan has one of the largest steel-producing facilities in the region, as well as facilities for producing special alloys. The Mobarakeh Steel Company is the biggest steel producer in the whole of the Middle East and Northern Africa, and it is the biggest DRI producer in the world. The Isfahan Steel Company was the first manufacturer of constructional steel products in Iran, and it remains the largest such company today.

There is a major oil refinery and a large air-force base outside the city. HESA, Iran's most advanced aircraft manufacturing plant, is located just outside the city. Isfahan is also attracting international investment. Isfahan hosted the International Physics Olympiad in 2007. In 2020, the Iran-Qatar Joint Economic Commission met in the city.

In 2023 two hundred Azan playing loudspeakers were planted in the city by the government. The Municipality has created a tourism app Isfahanema.


Geography The city is located on the plain of the Zayandeh Rud (Fertile River) and the foothills of the Zagros mountain range. The nearest mountain is Mount Soffeh (Kuh-e Soffeh), just south of the city.

As of 2023 several public housing projects have been undertaken.


Geography: Hydrography An artificial network of canals, whose components are called madi, were built during the Safavid dynasty for channeling water from Zayandeh Roud river into different parts of the city. Designed by Sheikh Bahaï, an engineer of Shah Abbas, this network has 77 madis in the northern course, and 71 in the southern course of the Zayandeh Rud. In 1993, this centuries-old network provided 91% of agricultural water, 4% of industrial needs, and 5% of city needs. 70 emergency wells were dug in 2018 to avoid water shortages.


Ecological issues Towns and villages around Isfahan have been hit so hard by drought and water diversion that they have emptied out and people who lived there have moved. An anonymous journalist said that what's called drought is more often the mismanagement of water. The subsidence rate is dire, and the aquifer level decreases by one meter annually. As of 2020, the city had the worst air quality between major Iranian cities.


Flora and fauna The Damask rose cultivar Rosa 'Ispahan' is named after the city. • Media related to Rosa Ispahan at Wikimedia Commons

Cows endemic to Isfahan became extinct in 2020.

Wagtails are often seen in farmlands and parks.

The mole cricket is one of the major pests of plants, especially grass roots.

Sheep and rams are symbols of Isfahan.

By 2023, the city's Green space was dying because of water shortage; where trees need 150 liters, only 0.7 liter of gray recycled water was available.

There is a program to plant Celtis australis, oak trees.


Roads and freeways Over the past decade, Isfahan's internal highway network has been undergoing a major expansion. Much care has been taken to prevent damage to valuable, historical buildings. Modern freeways connect the city to Iran's other major cities, including the capital Tehran, 400 km (250 mi) to the north, and Shiraz, 200 km (120 mi) to the south. Highways also service satellite cities surrounding the metropolitan area.

The Isfahan Eastern Bypass Freeway is under construction.

In 2021, a new AVL system was deployed in the city.


Bridges The bridges over the Zayanderud comprise some of the finest architecture in Isfahan. The oldest is the Shahrestan Bridge, whose foundations were built during the Sasanian Empire (3rd–7th century Sassanid era); it was repaired during the Seljuk period. Further upstream is the Khaju Bridge, which Shah Abbas II built in 1650. It is 123 metres (404 feet) long, with 24 arches; and it also serves as a sluice gate.

Another bridge is the Choobi (Joui) Bridge, which was originally an aqueduct to supply the palace gardens on the north bank of the river. Further upstream again is the Si-o-Seh Pol or bridge of 33 arches. It was built during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great by Sheikh Baha'i and connected Isfahan with the Armenian suburb of New Julfa. It is by far the longest bridge in Isfahan at 295 m (967.85 ft).

Another notable bridge is the Marnan Bridge.


Ride sharing Snapp! and Tapsi are two of the carpooling apps in the city. The city has built 42 bicycle-sharing stations and 150 km (93 mi) of paved bicycle paths. As part of Iran's religious laws, women are forbidden to use the public bicycle-sharing network, as decreed by the representative of the Supreme Leader in Isfahan, Ayatollah Yousef Tabatabai Nejad, and General Attorney Ali Esfahani.


Mass transit The Isfahan and Suburbs Bus Company operates transit buses in the city. East-West BRT Bus Rapid Transit Line buses carry up to 120,000 passengers daily.

The municipality has signed a memorandum with Khatam-al Anbiya to construct a tram network in the city.

The Isfahan Metro was opened on 15 October 2015. It currently consists of one north–south line with a length of 20.2 km (12.6 mi), and two more lines are currently under construction, alongside three suburban rail lines.

The city is served by a railway station, with the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways running trains to Bandarabbas and Mashhad. The first high-speed railway in Iran, the Tehran-Qom-Isfahan line is currently being constructed and will connect Isfahan to Tehran and Qom.


Transport: Air Isfahan is served by Isfahan International Airport, which in 2019 was the 7th busiest airport in Iran.


Economy Industry, mines and commerce accounts for %35 to %50 (almost $229 billion) of Iranian Gross Domestic Product but tourism is the number one priority. َAccording to Esfahan province Administrator for Department of Co-operatives, Labour, and Social Welfare, Iran has cheapest labour workforce anywhere in the world and this low wage attracts foreign investors. Isfahan University of Technology is one of the most prestigious engineering universities in Iran and focuses on science, engineering and agriculture programs. Isfahan Fair is a 22 hectare exhibition centre aimed at increasing tourism. Esfahan Province Electricity Distribution Company  maintains power in the city. The handicrafts industry of Isfahan Province makes annual $500 million dollars.


Aquaculture and agriculture Isfahan city is active in aquaculture with the production of 1,300 tons of salmon. More than 28% of the country's ornamental fish is produced in Isfahan province and 780 units are active in the field of ornamental fish production, which produced 65.5 million pieces of ornamental fish in Isfahan province.

Isfahan has a large number of aqueducts, Farmers divert water from the river to farms by canal. Niasarm is one of the biggest water canals. The Fruit and vegetables central market is where farmers sell their products wholesale buying 10,000 tons of produce a day.


High tech and heavy industries The industrialisation of Isfahan dates from the Pahlavi period as in all of Iran, and was marked by the strong growth at that time of the textile industry; which earned the city the nickname “ Manchester of Persia”. There are 9,200 industrial units in the city and %40 of Iranian textile industry is in Isfahan. Telecommunication Company of Iran and Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran provide 4G, 3G, Broadband and VDSL.

Isfahan Scientific and Research Town acts as a medium between government, industry and academia toward a knowledge-based economy. Isfahan is also the third largest medicine manufacturing hub in Iran.


Military The Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps Aerospace Force (IRGC AF) has an airbase in the city and has undertaken a cloud seeding contract project using UAVs in Isfahan. The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force (IRIAF) has an airbase, the 8th Predator Tactical Fighter Base (TFB.8), which is the home base for Iranian F-14s. The local Sepah Pasdaran is named "Master of the Era" ("Sepah saheb al zaman [Fa]" in Arabic and Farsi), after the Mahdi. The Amir Al-Momenin University of Military Sciences and Technology is based in the city.


Recreation and tourism In 2018–2019 some 450,000 foreign nationals visited the city. Some 110 trillion rials (over $2 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials in 2020) have been invested in the province's tourism sector.

Nazhvan Park hosts a reptile zoo with 40 aquariums. There are the Saadi water park and the Nazhvan water park for children.

There are many luxury party gardens and wedding halls.


Medical tourism The Isfahan Healthcare city complex, built on a 300 hectares (740 acres) site near the Aqa Babaei Expressway, is intended to boost the city's medical tourism revenues.


Economy: Retail The city is served by Refah Chain Stores Co., Iran Hyper Star, Isfahan City Center, Shahrvand Chain Stores Inc., Kowsar Market, and the Isfahan Mall.


Cinemas There are nine cinemas. Historically, cinemas in old Isfahan were entertainment for the worker class while religious people considered cinema to be mostly an impure place and going to the cinema to be haram. During the 1979 revolution, many cinemas in Isfahan were burned down. Cinema Iran, now a ruin, was one of the oldest cinemas in the city. Great filmmakers such as Agnès Varda and Pier Paolo Pasolini shot scenes from their films in Isfahan.


Sport Isfahan has three association football clubs that play professionally. These are: • Sepahan S.C. • Zob Ahan Isfahan F.C. • Sanaye Giti Pasand F.C. • Polyacryl Esfahan F.C. (historic)

Sepahan has won the most league football titles among Iranian clubs (2002–03, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2014–15). The Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan handball team plays in the Iranian handball league. Sepahan has a youth women running team that became national champions in 2020.

Giti Pasand has a futsal team, Giti Pasand FSC, which is one of the best in Asia. They won the AFC Futsal Club Championship in 2012 and were runners-up in 2013. Giti Pasand also fields a women's volleyball team, Giti Pasand Isfahan VC, that plays matches in the Iranian Women's Volleyball League.

Basketball clubs include Zob Ahan Isfahan BC and Foolad Mahan Isfahan BC.

There are Pahlevani zoorkhanehs in the city.


Demographics In 2019, the mean age for first marriages was 25 years for females and 30 years for males.

There are almost 500,000 people living in slums, including in the northern part, and especially in the eastern sector of the city.

Esfahani is one of the main dialects of Western Persian. Jewish districts speak a unique dialect.

During the Pahlavi era, a large group of the Kurdish Gulbaghi tribe were moved from the north of Kurdistan province to the city of Isfahan and the cities of Kashan and Naein. Today, the Gulbaghi tribe are mostly assimilated elements in the population of these cities.

While immigrants may reside and work in this city, in 12 surrounding communities they are denied entry.


Religion There are many churches and synagogues in the city, with the churches being for the most part in New Julfa.


Mosques • Agha Nour mosque (16th century) • Hakim Mosque • Ilchi mosque • Jameh Mosque • Jarchi mosque (1610) • Lonban mosque • Maghsoudbeyk mosque (1601) • Mohammad Jafar Abadei mosque (1878) • Rahim Khan mosque (19th century) • Roknolmolk mosque • Seyyed mosque (19th century) • Shah Mosque (1629) – It was damaged in 2022 • Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque (1618)


Imamzadehs (shrine tombs) • Imamzadeh Ahmad • Imamzadeh Esmaeil and Isaiah mausoleum • Imamzadeh Haroun-e-Velayat • Imamzadeh Ja'far • Imamzadeh Shah Zeyd.


Churches and cathedrals Churches are mostly located in the New Julfa region. The oldest is St. Jakob Church (1607). Some other historically important ones are St. Georg Church (17th century), St. Mary Church (1613), Bedkhem Church (1627), and Vank Cathedral (1664).

Pacifique de Provins established a French mission in the city in 1627.


Synagogues • Kenisa-ye Bozorg (Mirakhor's kenisa) • Kenisa-ye Molla Rabbi • Kenisa-ye Sang-bast • Mullah Jacob Synagogue • Mullah Neissan Synagogue • Kenisa-ye Keter David.


Civic administration Isfahan has a smart city program, a unified human resources administration system, and a transport system.

In 2015, the comprehensive atlas of the Isfahan metropolis, an online statistical database in Farsi, was made available, to help in planning.

In 2020, the municipality directly employed 6,250 people with an additional 3,000 people in 16 subsidiary organizations.

There have been four development programs since 1967, In 2020, the municipality created a document outlining future development programs for the city.

The color theme for the city has been turquoise for some time.


Municipal government The mayor is Ghodratollah Noroozi.

The chairman of the city council is Alireza Nasrisfahani. There is also a leadership council within the city council.

The representative of the Supreme Leader of Iran, as well as the representative from Isfahan in the Assembly of Experts, is Yousef Tabatabai Nejad.

The city is divided into 15 municipal districts.


Public works City waste is processed and recycled at the Isfahan Waste Complex.

The Isfahan Water and Sewage Company [fa] is responsible for piping water, waterworks installation and repair, maintaining sewage equipment, supervising sewage collection, and treatment and disposal of sewage in the city.

Twenty five fire departments provide service. Twenty private security armed service contractors exist.


Human resources and public health As of June 2020, 65% of the population of Isfahan province has social security insurance.

Isfahan is known as the Multiple sclerosis capital of the world due to the presence of polluting industries.

In 2015, almost 15% of the people suffered from depression, from being cut off from the Zayandeh River, due to severe drought. Males empowerment /rehab centre of isfahan opened 2023 and a female support addiction center.


Education and science The first elementary schools in the city were maktabkhanehs. In World War II, Polish children sought refuge in the city; eight primary and technical trade schools were established. Between 1942 and 1945, approximately 2,000 children passed through, with Isfahan briefly gaining the nickname "City of Polish Children". In 2019, there were 20 schools for trainables attended by 5,000 children.


Notable schools • Chahar Bagh School (early 17th century) • Harati • Kassegaran school (1694) • Khajoo Madrasa • Nimavar School (1691) • Sadr Madrasa (19th century)

In total, there are more than 7,329 schools in Isfahan province.


Colleges In 1947, the Isfahan University of Medical Sciences was established; it now has almost 9,200 students and interns. In 1973, the American School of Isfahan was built; it closed during the 1978–79 revolution. In 1974, the first technical university in Iran, the Isfahan University of Technology, was established in the city. It focuses on science, engineering, and agriculture programs. In 1977, the Isfahan University of Art was established. It was temporarily closed after the 1979 revolution, and was reopened in 1984, after the Iranian Cultural Revolution.

Aside from seminaries and religious schools, the other public, private major universities of the Isfahan metropolitan area include: the Mohajer Technical And Vocational College of Isfahan, Payame Noor University, the Islamic Azad University of Isfahan, the Islamic Azad University of Najafabad, and the Islamic Azad University of Majlesi.

There are also more than 50 technical and vocational training centres in the province, under the administration of the Isfahan Technical and Vocational Training Organization (TVTO), that provide free, non-formal, workforce-skills training programs. As of 2020, 90% of workforce-skills trainees are women.


Notable philosophers Major philosophers include Mir Damad, known for his concepts of time and nature, as well as for founding the School of Isfahan, and Mir Fendereski, who was known for his examination of art and philosophy within a society.


Culture Ancient traditions included Tirgan, Sepandārmazgān festivals, and historically, men used to wear the Kolah namadi.

The Isfahan School of painting flourished during the Safavid era.

The annual Isfahan province theatre festival takes place in the city. Theater performances began in 1919 (1297 AH), and currently there are 9 active theaters.

The awarding of an Isfahan annual literature prize began in 2004.

Since 2005, November 22 is Isfahan's National Day, commemorated with various events.

New Art Paradise, built in District 6 in 2019, has the biggest open-air amphitheatre in the country.

Based on a statue creators' symposium in 2020, the city decided to add 11 permanent art pieces to the city's monuments.

The Isfahan international convention centre is under construction.


Cuisine Gosh-e fil and Doogh are famous local snacks. Other traditional breakfasts, desserts, and meals include Khoresht mast, Beryani, and meat with beans and pumpkin aush. Gaz & Poolaki are two popular Iranian candies types that originated in Isfahan.

Teahouses are supervised and allowed to offer Hookah until 2022. As of 2020, there are almost 300 teahouses with permits.


Culture: Music The Bayat-e Esfahan is one of the modes used in Iranian traditional music.

On 12 and 13 January 2018, the Iranian singer Salar Aghili performed in the city without the female members of his band, due to interference by local officials at the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance.


News media During the Qajar era, Farhang, the first newspaper publication in the city, was printed for 13 years. Iran's Metropolises News Agency (IMNA), formerly called the Isfahan Municipality News Agency, is based in the city.

The state-controlled Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting system (IRIB) has a TV network and radio channel in the city.


Cultural sites The city centre consists of an older section centered around the Jameh Mosque, and the Safavid expansion around Naqsh-e Jahan Square, with nearby palaces, bazaars, and places of worship, which is called Seeosepol.


Baths Ancient baths include the Jarchi hammam and the bathhouse of Bahāʾ al-dīn al-ʿĀmilī; a public bath called "Garmabeh-e-shaykh" in Isfahan, which for many years was running and providing hot water to the public without any visible heating system which would usually need tons of wood, was built by Baha' al-din al-'Amili. The Khosro Agha hammam was demolished by unknown persons in 1992. The Ali Gholi Agha hammam is another remaining bathhouse. Chardin writes that the number of baths in Isfahan in the Safavid era was 273.


Bazaars The Grand Bazaar, Isfahan, and its entrance, the Qeysarie Gate, were built in the 17th century. Social hubs were opium dens and coffeehouses clustered around the Chahar bagh and the Chehel Sotoun. The best-known traditional coffeehouse is Qahva-ḵāna-ye Golestān. There is also the Honar Bazaar.


Cemeteries The Bagh-e Rezvan Cemetery is one of the biggest and most advanced in the country. Other cemeteries include the New Julfa Armenian Cemetery and the Takht-e Foulad.


Gardens and parks The Pardis Honar Park, in District 6, has cost 30 billion toman as of 2018. Some other zoological gardens and parks (including public and private beach parks, and non-beach parks) are: Birds Garden, Flower Garden of Isfahan, Nazhvan Recreational Complex, Moshtagh, Shahre royaha [fa] amusement park, and the East Park of Isfahan.


Historical houses • Alam's House • Amin's House • Malek Vineyard • Qazvinis' House • Sheykh ol-Eslam's House • Constitution House of Isfahan.


Mausoleums and tombs • Al-Rashid Mausoleum (12th century) • Baba Ghassem Mausoleum (14th century) • Mausoleum of Safavid Princes • Nizam al-Mulk Tomb (11th century) • Saeb Mausoleum • Shahshahan mausoleum (15th century) • Soltan Bakht Agha Mausoleum (14th century).


Minarets Menar Jonban was built in the 14th century. The tomb is an Iwan measuring 10 metres (33 ft) high. Other menars include Ali minaret (11th century), Bagh-e-Ghoushkhane minaret (14th century), Chehel Dokhtaran minaret (12 century), Dardasht minarets (14th century), Darozziafe minarets (14th century), and Sarban minaret.


Culture: Museums • Museum of Contemporary Art (17th-century building) • Isfahan City Center museum (mall established 2012) • Museum of Decorative Arts (1995) • Natural History Museum of Isfahan (1988, 15th-century building).


Palaces and caravanserais • Ali Qapu (Imperial Palace, early 17th century) • Chehel Sotoun (Palace of Forty Columns, 1647) • Hasht Behesht (Palace of Eight Paradises, 1669) • Talar-e-Ashraf (Palace of Ashraf) (1650) • Shah Caravanserai.


Squares and streets • Chaharbagh Boulevard (1596) • Chaharbagh-e-khajou Boulevard • Meydan Kohne (Old Square) • Naqsh-e Jahan Square also known as Shah Square or Imam Square (1602) • Amadegah • Taleghani Street (Shah Street).


Other sites • Atashgah – a Zoroastrian fire temple • New Julfa (1606) • Pigeon Towers that are placed all around the city namely 22 towers inside Gavart, Hase – 17th century • Isfahan Observatory • Asarkhane Shahi.


International relations Since 1994, Isfahan has been a member of the League of Historical Cities and a full member of Inter-City Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network.

The Chinese have expressed readiness to be the first country that opens a consulate in a diplomatic zone in the central city.

Isfahan allows Afghan nationals to reside in the city. In 2019, prior to a census, it was predicted there would be 250,000 undocumented Afghanis.

There is a plan to create a diplomatic district next to the Imam Khamenei international convention centre where foreign countries would locate their consulates.

The building housing the General Consulate of the Russian Federation in Isfahan is a registered cultural heritage site.

The Isfahan municipality created a citizen diplomacy service program to boost establishing connections with sister cities around the world.

Isfahan, Iran 

Isfahan was ranked #1149 by the Nomad List which evaluates and ranks remote work hubs by cost, internet, fun and safety. Isfahan has a population of over 1,961,260 people. Isfahan also forms the centre of the wider Isfahan Province which has a population of over 3,989,070 people.

To set up a UBI Lab for Isfahan see: Twitter:

Isfahan is a member of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network for Craft and Folk Art see:

Twin Towns, Sister Cities Isfahan has links with:

🇱🇧 Baalbek, Lebanon 🇪🇸 Barcelona, Spain 🇸🇳 Dakar, Senegal 🇮🇹 Florence, Italy 🇩🇪 Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany 🇰🇷 Gyeongju, South Korea 🇨🇺 Havana, Cuba 🇷🇴 Iași, Romania 🇫🇷 Issy-les-Moulineaux, France 🇲🇾 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia 🇰🇼 Kuwait City, Kuwait 🇵🇰 Lahore, Pakistan 🇵🇹 Porto, Portugal 🇷🇺 Saint Petersburg, Russia 🇺🇿 Samarkand, Uzbekistan 🇨🇳 Xi'an, China 🇦🇲 Yerevan, Armenia
Text Atribution: Wikipedia Text under CC-BY-SA license | Nomad

Antipodal to Isfahan is: -128.333,-32.633

Locations Near: Isfahan 51.6667,32.6333

🇮🇷 Esfahan 51.679,32.651 d: 2.3  

🇮🇷 Dowlatābād 51.683,32.783 d: 16.8  

🇮🇷 Mahallat 50.45,33.9 d: 180.6  

🇮🇷 Yasuj 51.567,30.667 d: 218.9  

🇮🇷 Qom 50.879,34.655 d: 236.3  

🇮🇷 Arak 49.683,34.083 d: 244.8  

🇮🇷 Nūrābād 51.533,30.1 d: 282  

🇮🇷 Yazd 54.333,31.867 d: 264.9  

🇮🇷 Qarchak 51.583,35.417 d: 309.6  

🇮🇷 Shushtar 48.85,32.033 d: 272.9  

Antipodal to: Isfahan -128.333,-32.633

🇵🇫 Papeete -149.566,-17.537 d: 17306.5  

🇦🇸 Pago Pago -170.701,-14.279 d: 15277.1  

🇼🇸 Apia -171.76,-13.833 d: 15154.3  

🇹🇴 Nuku'alofa -175.216,-21.136 d: 15233.4  

🇵🇪 Sechura -80.817,-5.55 d: 14253.9  

🇵🇪 Talara -81.267,-4.567 d: 14225.5  

🇵🇪 Chiclayo -79.844,-6.764 d: 14250  

🇵🇪 Piura -80.633,-5.2 d: 14214  

🇵🇪 Chimbote -78.583,-9.067 d: 14286.9  

🇵🇪 Trujillo -79.034,-8.103 d: 14265.6  

Bing Map

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