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Isfahan ( fa, اصفهان, Esfahān ), from its
ancient designation
ancient designation
''Aspadana'' and later ''Spahan'' in
middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
, rendered in English as ''Ispahan'', is a major city in
Greater Isfahan Region Greater Isfahan Metropolitan Area is a metropolitan region in Isfahan Province Isfahan Province ( fa, استان اصفهان, Ostāne Esfahan), also transliterated as ''Esfahan'', ''Espahan'', ''Isfahan'', or ''Isphahan'', is one of the thirty ...
,
Isfahan Province Isfahan Province ( fa, استان اصفهان, Ostāne Esfahan), also transliteration, transliterated as ''Esfahan'', ''Espahan'', ''Isfahan'', or ''Isphahan'', is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran. It is located in the center of the coun ...

Isfahan Province
,
Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the westernmost subregion A subregion is a part of a larger regio ...

Iran
. It is located south of
Tehran Tehran (; fa, تهران ) is the Capital city, capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the List of largest cities o ...

Tehran
and it is the capital of
Isfahan Province Isfahan Province ( fa, استان اصفهان, Ostāne Esfahan), also transliteration, transliterated as ''Esfahan'', ''Espahan'', ''Isfahan'', or ''Isphahan'', is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran. It is located in the center of the coun ...

Isfahan Province
. Isfahan has a population of approximately 1.9 million, making it the third-largest city in Iran, after
Mashhad Mashhad ( fa, مشهد, Mašhad ), also spelled Mashad or Meshad, is the second-most-populous city in Iran and the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province. It is located in the northeast of the country. It has a population of 3,001,184 (2016 census ...

Mashhad
and
Tehran Tehran (; fa, تهران ) is the Capital city, capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the List of largest cities o ...

Tehran
, and the second-largest metropolitan area. It is located at the intersection of the two principal north-south and east-west routes that traverse Iran. Isfahan flourished between the 9th and 18th centuries under the
Safavid Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian peoples, Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often c ...

Safavid
dynasty, when it became the capital of
Persia Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia. It is bordered to the northwest by Armenia and Azerbaijan, to the north by the Caspian Sea, to the northeast by Tu ...

Persia
for the second time in its history under Shah
Abbas the Great Abbas the Great or Abbas I of Persia ( fa, شاه عباس کبیر; 27 January 157119 January 1629) was the 5th Safavid Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian empires aft ...

Abbas the Great
. The city retains much of its history. 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 Naqsh-e Jahan Square ( fa, میدان نقش جهان ''Maidān-e Naghsh-e Jahān''; trans: "Image of the World Square"), also known as the Saeed Square (میدان سعید), and Shah Square (میدان شاه) prior to 1979, is a square situated ...

Naqsh-e Jahan Square
in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world.
UNESCO The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) (french: Organisation des Nations unies pour l'éducation, la science et la culture) is a specialised agency United Nations Specialized Agencies are autonomous orga ...

UNESCO
has designated it a
World Heritage Site A World Heritage Site is a landmark or area with legal protection by an international convention administered by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). World Heritage Sites are designated by UNESCO for h ...
.


Etymology

''Isfahan'' is derived from
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
. is attested in various Middle Persian seals and inscriptions, including that of the
Zoroastrian Zoroastrianism or Mazdayasna is an Iranian religion and one of the world's oldest continuously-practiced organized faiths, based on the teachings of the Iranian-speaking prophet Zoroaster Zoroaster (, ; el, Ζωροάστρης, ''Zōro ...
magi Magi (; singular magus ; from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. Through the power of the Ro ...
Kartir Kartir (also spelled Karder, Karter and Kerdir; : 𐭪𐭫𐭲𐭩𐭫 ''Kardīr'') was a powerful and influential priest during the reigns of four Sasanian kings in the 3rd-century. His name is cited in the inscriptions of (as well as in the ') ...

Kartir
, and is also the Armenian name of the city (). The present-day name is the Arabicized form of ''Ispahan'' (unlike
Middle Persian Middle Persian or Pahlavi, also known by its endonym Pārsīk or Pārsīg (𐭯𐭠𐭫𐭮𐭩𐭪) in its later form, is a Western Middle Iranian language which became the literary language of the Sasanian Empire. For some time after the Sasan ...
but similar to
Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (disambiguation), the name of several ...

Spanish
,
New Persian New Persian ( fa, فارسی نو), also known as Modern Persian () and Dari (), is the final stage of the Persian language Persian (), also known by its endonym An endonym (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or re ...
does not allow initial consonant clusters such as ''sp''). The region appears with the abbreviation ''GD'' (Southern
Media Media may refer to: Physical means Communication * Media (communication), tools used to deliver information or data ** Advertising media, various media, content, buying and placement for advertising ** Broadcast media, communications deliv ...
) on
Sasanian The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians ( Middle Persian: 𐭠𐭩𐭥𐭠𐭭𐭱𐭲𐭥𐭩 '' Ērānshahr''), and called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian imperial dynasty bef ...
numismatics. In Ptolemy's ''
Geographia The ''Geography'' ( grc-gre, Γεωγραφικὴ Ὑφήγησις, ''Geōgraphikḕ Hyphḗgēsis'',  "Geographical Guidance"), also known by its Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic b ...
'', it appears as (), translating to "place of gathering for the army". It is believed that derives from "the armies", Old Persian plural of , from which derives () 'army' and (, 'soldier', literally 'of the army') in Middle 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 The Paleolithic or Palaeolithic or Palæolithic (), also called the Old Stone Age (from Greek wikt:παλαιός, palaios - old, wikt:λίθος, lithos - stone), is a period in prehistory distinguished by the original development of stone too ...
period.
Archaeologists Archaeology or archeology is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis Analysis is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts in order to gain a better understanding of it. The technique h ...
have recently found
artifactArtifact, or artefact, may refer to: Science and technology *Artifact (error) In natural science Natural science is a branch of science Science (from the Latin word ''scientia'', meaning "knowledge") is a systematic enterprise that ...
s dating back to the Palaeolithic,
Mesolithic The Mesolithic (Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is appro ...

Mesolithic
,
Neolithic The Neolithic period is the final division of the Stone Age The Stone Age was a broad prehistoric Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history Human history, also known as world history, is t ...
,
Bronze Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals (such as aluminum, manganese, nickel or zinc) and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or ...
, and
Iron Age The Iron Age is the final epoch of the three-age division of the prehistory Prehistory, also known as pre-literary history, is the period of human history between the use of the first stone tools by hominins 3.3 million years ago and the ...
s.


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 In statistics Statistics is the discipline that concerns the collection, organization, analysis, interpretation, and presentation of data. In applying statistics to a scientific, industrial, or social problem, it is conventional to begin wi ...
rule, a commercial entrepôt began to show signs of more sedentary urbanism, steadily growing into a noteworthy regional center that benefited from the exceptionally fertile soil on the banks of the
Zayandehrud
Zayandehrud
River in a region called Aspandana or Ispandana. Once
Cyrus the Great Cyrus II of Persia (; peo, wikt:𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁, 𐎤𐎢𐎽𐎢𐏁, translit=Kūruš), commonly known as Cyrus the Great and also called Cyrus the Elder by the Ancient Greece, Greeks, was the founder of the Achaemenid Empire, the Histo ...

Cyrus the Great
had unified Persian and Median lands into the
Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offi ...

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 Babylon was the capital city of the ancient Babylonian empire, which itself is a term referring to either of two separate empires in the Mesopotamian area in antiquity. These two empires achieved regional dominance between the 19th and 15th centu ...

Babylon
, made an edict in 538 BCE, declaring that the Jews in Babylon could return to Jerusalem. Nowadays, some of the freed Jews settled in Isfahan instead of returning to their homeland. The 10th-century Persian historian Ibn al-Faqih wrote: The
ParthiansParthian may be: Historical * A demonym "of Parthia Parthia ( peo, 𐎱𐎼𐎰𐎺 ''Parθava''; xpr, 𐭐𐭓𐭕𐭅 ''Parθaw''; pal, 𐭯𐭫𐭮𐭥𐭡𐭥 ''Pahlaw'') is a historical region located in north-eastern Iran Iran ...

Parthians
, in the period 247 BCE–224 CE, continued the tradition of tolerance after the fall of the
Achaemenids The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, 𐎧𐏁𐏂, translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and offic ...

Achaemenids
, fostering the
Hellenistic The Hellenistic period spans the period of History of the Mediterranean region, Mediterranean history between the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC and the emergence of the Roman Empire, as signified by the Battle of Actium in 31  ...

Hellenistic
dimension within Iranian culture and the political organization introduced by
Alexander the Great Alexander III of Macedon ( grc-gre, Αλέξανδρος}, ; 20/21 July 356 BC – 10/11 June 323 BC), commonly known as Alexander the Great, was a king (''basileus ''Basileus'' ( el, βασιλεύς) is a Greek term and title A title ...

Alexander the Great
's invading armies. Under the Parthians,
Arsacid The Parthian Empire (), also known as the Arsacid Empire (), was a major Iranian Iranian may refer to: * Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ای ...
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
Sassanid The Sasanian () or Sassanid Empire, officially known as the Empire of Iranians (, ''Iran (word), Ērānshahr''), and also called the Neo-Persian Empire by historians, was the last Persian Empire, Persian imperial dynasty before the spread of I ...

Sassanid
s (224 CE–651 CE), presided over massive changes in their realm, instituting sweeping agricultural reform 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 came from seven noble and important Iranian royal 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 the period, many Sassanid princes would study statecraft in the city, and its military role developed rapidly. Its strategic location at the intersection of the ancient roads to
Susa Susa (; Cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from the early Bronze Age until the beginning of the ...

Susa
and
Persepolis Persepolis (; peo, 𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿, ; ) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire The Achaemenid Empire (; peo, , translit=Xšāça, translation=The Empire), also called the First Persian Empire, was an ancient based in foun ...

Persepolis
made it an ideal candidate to house a standing army, ready to march against
Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse Old Norse, Old Nordic, or Old Scandinavian is a stage of development of North Germa ...

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 been mentioned about the origin of Isfahan, in fact little is known of it before the rule of the Sasanian dynasty (c. 224–c. 651 CE). The historical facts suggest that in the late 4th and early 5th centuries, Queen
ShushandukhtShushandukht ( pal, 𐭱𐭩𐭱𐭩𐭭𐭲𐭥𐭤𐭲 ''Šīšīntūḥt''; New Persian: ''Šušanduxt'') was the wife of Yazdegerd I and mother of Bahram V. She was the daughter of a Jewish exilarch, Huna b. Nathan, Huna bar Nathan. She created ...
, the Jewish consort of
Yazdegerd I Yazdegerd I (also spelled Yazdgerd and Yazdgird; pal, 𐭩𐭦𐭣𐭪𐭥𐭲𐭩) was the Sasanian Empire, Sasanian King of Kings () of Iran from 399 to 420. A son of Shapur III (), he succeeded his brother Bahram IV () after the latter's assa ...
(reigned 399–420) settled a colony of Jews in Yahudiyyeh (also spelled Yahudiya), a settlement 3 km northwest 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 . File:سی‌و‌سه‌پل، زاینده رود و خشکسالی.jpg, thumb Zayanderud ( fa, Zāyanderud, script=Latn, from "life giver" and "river"), also spelled as ''Zayandeh-Rood'' or ''Zayanderood'', is the largest river of the Ira ...

Zayanderud
River(colony's establishment also attributed to
Nebuchadrezzar Nebuchadnezzar II (), also Nebuchadrezzar II (Babylonian cuneiform Cuneiform is a Logogram, logo-Syllabary, syllabic writing system, script that was used to write several languages of the Ancient Near East. The script was in active use from ...
though it's less unlikely). 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 both circular in design, a characteristic of Parthian and Sasanian cities. However, this reported Sasanian circular city of Isfahan is not uncovered yet.


Islamic era

File:Vanderaa1725.jpg, Isfahan, capital of the Kingdom of Persia File:Ispahan - Pont Alla - Werdie - Chan - Bruyn Cornelis De - 1725.jpg, Pont Alla from ''Voyage to the Levant'', Guillaume Cavelier, 1714. File: Isfahan to the south side by Eugène Flandin.jpg, Isfahan to the south side, drawing by
Eugène Flandin Jean-Baptiste Eugène Napoléon Flandin (15 August 1809 in Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a ...

Eugène Flandin
File:Ali minaret by Eugène Flandin.jpg, Ali minaret, 1840, drawing by Eugène Flandin File:"Les Russes à Ispahan" by Eugène Damblans in Le Petit Journal, 23 April 1916.jpg, Russian army in Isfahan in the 1890s
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 The Buyid dynasty, or the Buyids ( fa, آل بویه ''Āl-e Būya''; also known as Buwaihids, Bowayhids, Buyahids, or Buyyids), was a Shia Islam, Shia Iranian peoples, Iranian dynasty of Daylamites, Daylamite origin, which mainly ruled over Iraq ...
(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 reign of the Buyid amirs during the tenth century. The Turkish conqueror and founder of the
Seljuq dynasty The Seljuk dynasty, or Seljuks ( ; fa, آل سلجوق ''Al-e Saljuq'', alternatively spelled as Seljuqs or Saljuqs), also known as Seljuk Turks, Seljuk Turkomans "The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turko ...
,
Toghril Beg Abu Talib Muhammad Tughril ibn Mika'il ( fa, ابوطالب محمد تغریل بن میکائیل), better known as Tughril (; also spelled Toghril), was a Turkoman"The defeat in August 1071 of the Byzantine emperor Romanos Diogenes by the Turk ...
, made Isfahan the capital of his domains in the mid-11th century; but it was under his grandson
Malik-Shah I Jalāl al-Dawla Mu'izz al-Dunyā Wa'l-Din Abu'l-Fatḥ ibn Alp Arslān (8 August 1055 – 19 November 1092, full name: fa, معزالدنیا و الدین ملکشاه بن محمد الب ارسلان قسیم امیرالمومنین), better ...

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 Tabriz ( fa, تبریز ; ) is a city in northwestern Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or Southwest Asia, is the w ...

Tabriz
and
Qazvin Qazvin (; fa, قزوین, , also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken ...

Qazvin
. During his visit in 1327,
Ibn Battuta Ibn Battuta (; 24 February 13041368/1369); fully: ; Arabic: was a Berber Berber or Berbers may refer to: Culture * Berbers Berbers or ''Imazighen'' ( ber, translit=Imaziɣen, ⵉⵎⴰⵣⵉⵖⵏ, ⵎⵣⵗⵏ; singular: , ) are an e ...
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 Timur ; chg, ''Aqsaq Temür'', 'Timur the Lame') or as ''Sahib-i-Qiran'' ( 'Lord of the Auspicious Conjunction'), his epithet. ( chg, ''Temür'', 'Iron'; 9 April 133617–19 February 1405), later Timūr Gurkānī ( chg, ''Temür Kür ...

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, and his soldiers killed 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 Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian peoples, Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often ...

Safavid
period (1501–1736). The city's golden age began in 1598 when the Safavid ruler
Abbas I of Persia Abbas the Great or Abbas I of Persia ( fa, شاه عباس کبیر; 27 January 157119 January 1629) was the 5th Safavid dynasty, Safavid Shah (king) of Safavid Iran, Iran, and is generally considered as one of the greatest rulers of Persian histo ...

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 Qazvin (; fa, قزوین, , also Romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the scientific study of language A language is a structured system of communication used by humans, including speech (spoken ...

Qazvin
to the more central Isfahan. He introduced policies to develop Iranian involvement in the Silk Road trade.
Turkish Turkish may refer to: * of or about Turkey Turkey ( tr, Türkiye ), officially the Republic of Turkey, is a country straddling Southeastern Europe and Western Asia. It shares borders with Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), offi ...
,
Armenian Armenian may refer to: * Something of, from, or related to Armenia, a country in the South Caucasus region of Eurasia * Armenians, the national people of Armenia, or people of Armenian descent ** Armenian language, the Indo-European language spoken ...
and
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...

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 Safavid Iran or Safavid Persia (), also referred to as the Safavid Empire, '. was one of the greatest Iranian peoples, Iranian empires after the 7th-century Muslim conquest of Persia, ruled from 1501 to 1736 by the Safavid dynasty. It is often ...

Safavid
glory and prestige after earlier losses to the Ottomans and
Kızılbaş Qizilbash or Kizilbash ( ota, قزيل باش; tr, Kızılbaş, lit=Red head ; az, Qızılbaş, fa, قزلباش, Qezelbāš) were a diverse array of mainly Turkoman (ethnonym), Turkoman Shia Islam, Shia militant groups that flourished in A ...
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 Julfa ( az, Culfa)), formerly Jugha (Armenian language, Armenian: Ջուղա, also transliterated as ''Djugha''), is a city and the capital of the Julfa District of the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan. Julfa is separated by the Ara ...
) were resettled in Isfahan during Abbas' reign.) In Isfahan, he ordered the foundation of a new quarter for these resettled Armenians from Old Julfa, and thus the Armenian Quarter of Isfahan was named
New Julfa New Julfa ( fa, نو جلفا – ''Now Jolfā'', – ''Jolfâ-ye Now''; hy, Նոր Ջուղա – ''Nor Jugha'') is the Armenians, Armenian quarter of Isfahan (city), Isfahan, Iran, located along the south bank of the Zayande River. Established ...
(today one of the largest Armenian quarters in the world). In the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of deportees and migrants from the
Caucasus The Caucasus (), or Caucasia (), is a region spanning Europe and Asia. It is situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and mainly occupied by Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia (country), Georgia, and parts of Southern Russia. It is home to ...
settled in the city. Following an agreement between Shah Abbas I and his
Georgian Georgian may refer to: Common meanings * Anything related to, or originating from Georgia (country) **Georgians, an indigenous Caucasian ethnic group **Georgian language, a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians **Georgian scripts, three scripts ...

Georgian
subject
Teimuraz I of Kakheti Teimuraz I ( ka, თეიმურაზ I) (1589–1661), of the Bagrationi Dynasty, was a Georgian monarch who ruled, with intermissions, as King of Kakheti Kakheti ( ka, კახეთი ''K’akheti''; ) is a region ( mkhare) formed in th ...
("Tahmuras Khan"), whereby the latter submitted to Safavid rule in exchange for being allowed to rule as the region's wāli (governor) and for having his son serve as dāruḡa ("prefect") of Isfahan in perpetuity, the Georgian prince converted to Islam and served as governor. He was accompanied by a troop of soldiers, some of whom were
Georgian Orthodox The Apostolic Autocephalous Orthodox Church of Georgia ( ka, საქართველოს სამოციქულო ავტოკეფალური მართლმადიდებელი ეკლესია, tr), commonly ...
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. So now the city had enclaves of
Georgian Georgian may refer to: Common meanings * Anything related to, or originating from Georgia (country) **Georgians, an indigenous Caucasian ethnic group **Georgian language, a Kartvelian language spoken by Georgians **Georgian scripts, three scripts ...

Georgian
,
CircassianCircassian may refer to: * Pertaining to Circassia, a formerly independent country located in present-day European Russia ** Circassian coast, on the Black Sea * Circassians, also known as Adyghe people ** Circassian beauties, an idealized image of ...

Circassian
, and descent. Engelbert Kaempfer, who dwelt in Safavid Persia in 1684–85, estimated their number at 20,000. During Abbas's reign, Isfahan became very famous in Europe, and many European travellers made an account of their visit to the city, such as
Jean Chardin Jean Chardin (16 November 1643 – 5 January 1713), born Jean-Baptiste Chardin, and also known as Sir John Chardin, was a French jeweller and traveller whose ten-volume book ''The Travels of Sir John Chardin'' is regarded as one of the finest w ...

Jean Chardin
. This 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 a move of the capital to
Mashhad Mashhad ( fa, مشهد, Mašhad ), also spelled Mashad or Meshad, is the second-most-populous city in Iran and the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province. It is located in the northeast of the country. It has a population of 3,001,184 (2016 census ...

Mashhad
and
Shiraz Shiraz (; fa, شیراز, Šîrâz ) is the fifth-most-populous city of Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia, and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran, is a country in Western Asia Western Asia, West Asia, or So ...

Shiraz
during the
Afsharid The Afsharid dynasty ( fa, افشاریان) was an Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a country in Western Asia. It is borde ...
and periods respectively, until it was finally moved to
Tehran Tehran (; fa, تهران ) is the Capital city, capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.7 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the List of largest cities o ...

Tehran
in 1775 by
Agha Mohammad Khan Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar ( fa, آغا محمد خان قاجار, translit=Āghā Mohammad Khān-e Qājār; 14 March 1742 – 17 June 1797), also known by his regnal name of Agha Mohammad Shah (, ), was the founder of the Qajar dynasty The Qajar ...
, the founder of the
Qajar Qajar Iran (), also referred to as Qajar Persia, the Qajar Empire, '. officially the Sublime State of Iran ( fa, دولت علیّه ایران ') and also known then as the Guarded Domains of Iran ( fa, ممالک محروسه ایران '), ...

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 during the reign of
Fath Ali Shah Fatḥ-ʻAli Šâh Qâjâr ( fa, فتحعلى‌شاه قاجار; var. Fathalishah, Fathali Shah, Fath Ali Shah; 25 September 1772 – 23 October 1834) was the second Shah Shah (; fa, شاه, Šāh, pronounced , "king") is a title given to th ...
.


Modern age

File:Isfahan from above.jpg, Street from above File:ETH-BIB-Rundblick von der Schahburg, Isfahan-Persienflug 1924-1925-LBS MH02-02-0159-AL-FL.tif, Isfahan in 1924 File:Foolad Mobarakeh49.jpg, Foolad Mobarakeh Steel Mill File:General map of Isfahan by Pascal Coste.jpg, General map of Isfahan by Pascal Coste In the 20th century, Isfahan was resettled by many people from southern Iran, firstly during the population migrations at the start of the century, and again in the 1980s following the
Iran–Iraq War The Iran–Iraq War), whereas Western sources use that name to refer to the conflict between the American-led coalition and Iraq in 1991., name=, group= ( fa, جنگ ایران و عراق; ar, الحرب الإيرانية العراقية) ...
. During the war, 23,000 were killed by Isfahan and there were 43,000 veterans. Today, Isfahan produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, handicrafts, and traditional foods including sweets. There are experimental reactors as well as facilities for producing nuclear fuel (UCF) within 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.
Mobarakeh Steel Company Mobarakeh Steel Company (MSC, fa, فولاد مبارکه, Foolad Mobarakeh) is an Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of Iran ( fa, جمهوری اسلامی ایران ), is a countr ...
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 Esfahan Steel Company ( fa, شرکت ذوب آهن اصفهان), formerly known as Esfahan Aryamehr Steel Company ( fa, links=no, شرکت ذوب آهن آریامهر) prior to 1979 Revolution, opened in late 1960s, based close to the cities of F ...
was the first manufacturer of constructional steel products in Iran, and it remains the largest such company today. The city has an
international airport An international airport is an airport An airport is an with extended facilities, mostly for commercial air transport. Airports often have facilities to park and maintain aircraft, and a . An airport consists of a , which comprises an ...
and a
metro Metro, short for metropolitan, may refer to: Geography * Metro (city), a city in Indonesia * A metropolitan area A metropolitan area or metro is a region consisting of a densely populated core city, urban core and its less-populated surro ...
line. 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 The International Physics Olympiad (IPhO) is an annual physics competition for high school students. It is one of the International Science Olympiads. The first IPhO was held in Warsaw, Poland in 1967. Each national delegation is made up of at ...
in 2007. 2020 Iran-Qatar Joint Economic Commission met in the city.


Geography

The city is located in the lush plains of the
Zayanderud . File:سی‌و‌سه‌پل، زاینده رود و خشکسالی.jpg, thumb Zayanderud ( fa, Zāyanderud, script=Latn, from "life giver" and "river"), also spelled as ''Zayandeh-Rood'' or ''Zayanderood'', is the largest river of the Ira ...

Zayanderud
River at the foothills of the
Zagros The Zagros Mountains ( fa, کوه‌های زاگرس; ku, چیاکانی زاگرۆس, translit=Çiyayên Zagros;) are a long mountain range in Iran Iran ( fa, ایران ), also called Persia and officially the Islamic Republic of I ...
mountain range. The nearest mountain is Mount Soffeh (Kuh-e Soffeh), just south of the city.


Hydrography

There is an artificial network of canals whose components are called Madi which were built during the rule of Safavid dynasty for water channeling from "Zaayaandeh Roud" river into different parts of the city. Designed by Sheikh Bahaï, an engineer of Shah Abbas, this network has 77 madis on the northern part, and 71 on the southern part of Zayandeh Roud. In 1993, this centuries-old network provided 91% of agricultural water needs, 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. Subsidence rate is dire and decreases by one meter in
aquifer An aquifer is an underground layer of water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital ...

aquifer
level annually. As of 2020 the city had the worst air quality between major Iranian cities.


Flora and fauna

The
Damask rose Image:ItalianSilkDamask.jpg, Italian silk polychrome damasks, 14th century. Damask (; ar, دمشق) is a reversible figured cloth, fabric of silk, wool, linen, cotton, or synthetic fibers, with a pattern formed by weaving. Damasks are woven with ...
cultivar ''Rosa'' 'Ispahan' is named after the city. Isfahan endemic cows went extinct in 2020. Wagtails are often seen in farmlands and parks. * The mole cricket is one of the major pests of plants in the soil, especially grass roots. Sheep and rams are the animal symbol of Isfahan.


Armed forces base

IRGC AF has an airbase in the city and has been taking a cloud seeding contract project through UAVs in Isfahan.
The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force has an airbase named 8th Predator Tactical Fighter Base (TFB.8) which is the home base for Iranian F-14s. Sepah Pasdaran is named "Master of the Era" ("Saheb al zaman" in Arabic and Farsi) after Mahdi.


Climate

Situated at Above mean sea level, above sea level on the eastern side of the Zagros Mountains, Isfahan has a Desert climate, cold desert climate (Köppen climate classification, Köppen ''BWk''). No geological obstacles exist within north of Isfahan, allowing cool winds to blow from this direction. Despite its altitude, Isfahan remains hot during the summer, with maxima typically around 35 °C (95 °F). However, with low humidity and moderate temperatures at night, the climate is quite pleasant. During the winter, days are cool while nights can be very cold. Snow falls an average of 7.8 days each winter. The Zayande River starts in the Zagros Mountains, flowing from the west through the heart of the city, then dissipates in the Gavkhouni wetland. Planting olive trees in the city is economically viable because it is compatible with water shortages.


Demographics

The mean of the first marriage age, for females and males in 2019 was 25 and 30 years respectively.


Culture

Isfahan international convention center is under construction. The Isfahan annual literature prize began in 2004. New Art Paradise built in District 6 in 2019 has the biggest open amphitheatre in the country. Since 2005, November 22 is Isfahan's National Day commemorated with various events. Based on a statue creator's symposium in 2020, the city decided to add 11 permanent art pieces to the city's monuments. Ancient traditions included Tirgan, Sepandārmazgān festivals, and historically, men used to wear Kolah namadi. The Isfahan School of painting flourished during the Safavid era. The Esfahan province annual theatre festival is in this city. Theater performances began in 1919 (1297 AH), and currently, there are 9 active theaters.


Music

Bayat-e Esfahan is one of the melodic pieces of Iranian traditional music. Iranian singer Salar Aghili performed in the city of Isfahan on January 12 and 13, 2018, without the female members of his band due to interference by local officials at the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance.


Technology, ICT and media

Atlas for Isfahan Megacity is an internet service for data and statistics in Farsi made available in 2015. IRIB has a TV network and Radio channel in the city. During the Qajar era, Farhang, the first newspaper publication in the city, was printed for 13 years. Iran Metropolises News Agency (IMNA) formerly called Isfahan Municipality News Agency is based in the city.


Philosophy and Islamic school

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


Dialect

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


Cultural sites

*Hall of Art, Isfahan Main places The city centre consists of an older section revolving around the Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, Jameh Mosque, and the Safavid expansion around
Naqsh-e Jahan Square Naqsh-e Jahan Square ( fa, میدان نقش جهان ''Maidān-e Naghsh-e Jahān''; trans: "Image of the World Square"), also known as the Saeed Square (میدان سعید), and Shah Square (میدان شاه) prior to 1979, is a square situated ...

Naqsh-e Jahan Square
, with nearby places of worship, palaces, and bazaars.


Cemeteries

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


Bazaars

Bazaar of Isfahan & Qeysarie Gate was built in– 17th century.Social hubs were opium houses & coffeehouses clustered around Chahar bagh & Chehel sotun the best-known traditional coffeehouse is qahva-ḵāna-ye Golestān There is also Bazar Honar.


Bridges

The bridges on the Zayanderud river comprise some of the finest architecture in Isfahan. The oldest bridge is the Shahrestan bridge, whose foundations were built by 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 long with 24 arches, and also serves as a sluice gate. Another bridge is the Joubi Bridge, 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, Si-o-Seh Pol or bridge of 33 arches. The building was built during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great by Sheikh Baha'i and connected Isfahan with the Armenian suburbs of New Jolfa. Armenians, Armenian suburb of
New Julfa New Julfa ( fa, نو جلفا – ''Now Jolfā'', – ''Jolfâ-ye Now''; hy, Նոր Ջուղա – ''Nor Jugha'') is the Armenians, Armenian quarter of Isfahan (city), Isfahan, Iran, located along the south bank of the Zayande River. Established ...
. It is by far the longest bridge in Isfahan at . Another notable bridge is the Marnan Bridge.


Churches and cathedrals

Churches in the city are mostly in the New Julfa region. Some of the historically important ones are Bedkhem Church – 1627, St. Georg Church – 17th century, St. Mary Church, Isfahan, St. Mary Church – 17th century, Vank Cathedral – 1664. The oldest one is St. Jakob Church – 1607.


Emamzadehs

* Emamzadeh Ahmad * Emamzadeh Esmaeil, Isfahan * Emamzadeh Haroun-e-Velayat – 16th century * Emamzadeh Jafar, Isfahan, Emamzadeh Jafar * Emamzadeh Shah Zeyd


Gardens and parks

The Pardis Honar Park cost 30 billion toman in District 6 by 2018. Some other zoological gardens and parks (including public & private beach parks, non beach parks) are Birds Garden, Flower Garden of Isfahan, Nazhvan Recreational Complex, Moshtagh, amusement park, and the East Park of Isfahan.


Houses

* Alam's House * Amin's House * Malek Vineyard * Qazvinis' House – 19th century * 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 meters 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.


Mosques

* Agha Nour mosque – 16th century * Hakim Mosque, Isfahan, Hakim Mosque * Ilchi mosque * Jameh Mosque of Isfahan, Jameh Mosque * Jarchi mosque – 1610 * Lonban mosque * Maghsoudbeyk mosque – 1601 * Mohammad Jafar Abadei mosque – 1878 * Rahim Khan mosque – 19th century * Roknolmolk mosque * Seyyed mosque (Isfahan), Seyyed mosque – 19th century * Masjed-e Imam, Shah Mosque – 1629 * Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque – 1618


Museums

* Contemporary Arts Museum Isfahan * Isfahan City Center Museum * Museum of Decorative Arts, Isfahan, Museum of Decorative Arts * Natural History Museum of Isfahan – 15th century


Schools (madresse)

* Chahar Bagh School – early 17th century * Harati * Kassegaran school – 1694 * Madrassa, Madreseye Khajoo * Nimavar school – 1691 * Sadr school – 19th century


Palaces and caravanserais

* Ālī Qāpū, Ali Qapu (The Royal Palace) – early 17th century * Chehel Sotoun (The Palace of Forty Columns) – 1647 * Hasht Behesht, Hasht-Behesht (The Palace of Eight Paradises) – 1669 * Shah Caravanserai * Talar Ashraf (The Palace of Ashraf) – 1650


Squares and streets

* Chaharbagh Boulevard – 1596 * Chaharbagh-e-khajou Boulevard * Kohneh Square, Meydan Kohne (Old Square) * Naghsh-e Jahan Square, Naqsh-e Jahan Square also known as "Shah Square" or "Imam Square" – 1602 *Amadegah *Taleghani street (Shah street)


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


Other sites

* Atashgah of Isfahan, Atashgah – a Zoroastrian agiary, fire temple *
New Julfa New Julfa ( fa, نو جلفا – ''Now Jolfā'', – ''Jolfâ-ye Now''; hy, Նոր Ջուղա – ''Nor Jugha'') is the Armenians, Armenian quarter of Isfahan (city), Isfahan, Iran, located along the south bank of the Zayande River. Established ...
– 1606 * Dovecote#Isfahan`s Ancient Dovecotes, Pigeon Towers that are placed all around the city namely 22 towers inside Gavart, Hase – 17th century *Isfahan Observatory *Asarkhane Shahi


Cuisine

Gosh-e fil and Doogh is a famous city snack. Other traditional breakfasts, desserts and meals include Khoresht mast, Beryani and meat with beans and pumpkin aush. Gaz (candy), Gaz & Poolaki are two popular Iranian candy types originating in Isfahan.


Economy

In 2014, Isfahan province industry, mines and commerce accounted for 35% to 50% (almost $229 billion) of Iranian Gross Domestic Product. Isfahan province's governorate in 2019 said that tourism is number one priority. According to Esfahan province's Administrator for Department of Cooperatives, Labour, and Social Welfare, Iran has cheapest labor workforce anywhere in the world and this low wage attracts foreign investors. Unemployment rate was 15% by 2018. Isfahan University of Technology is one of Iran's most prestigious engineering universities and focuses on science, engineering, and agriculture programs. The labor force shows a continuous growth in the last three decades. There are almost 500,000 people living in slums, including in the northern part and especially eastern sector of the city. Isfahan Fair, a 22 hectare exhibition center aimed at increasing tourism, is under construction. built in 1992 maintains powergrid expansion in the city. As of September 2020, handicrafts of Isfahan Province makes annual $500 million. Municipality has made an internet payment software.


Aquaculture and agriculture

Isfahan city is one of the active cities in this field 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 in 2017 produced 65 million and 500 thousand pieces of ornamental fish in Isfahan province. Opium was produced and exported in Isfahan from 1850 until it became illegal and was an important source of income. Isfahan has a large number of aqueducts, Farmers had to divert water from the river to farms by canal. Niasarm is one of the biggest water canals. From 2012 to 2013 there have been large protests against Isfahan-Yazd water tunnel by farmers, In 2019, eastern city farmers demanded water otherwise they'd sabotage water transfer pipes. Fruits and vegetables central market is where farmers sell their product wholesale buying 10,000 tons farmers product a day.


High tech and heavy industries

The industrialization 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 %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 started its executive activity in 2001 for acting as a medium between government, industry and academia toward a knowledge-based economy. It is also the third-largest medicine manufacturing hub in Iran.


Education and science

Before schools there were maktabkhanehs in the city. In 2019 there were 20 special schools with 5,000 children in the city. The Isfahan University of Medical Sciences was established in 1947 and has almost 9,200 students & interns. The university campus is adjacent to the University of Isfahan. The Isfahan University of Art was established 1977. It was temporarily closed after the Iranian revolution, 1979 revolution, and reopened in 1984 after Iranian Cultural Revolution. The first technical university in Iran, the Isfahan University of Technology was established in the city in 1974. Aside from the seminaries and religious schools, the other public, private major universities of the Isfahan metropolitan area include: Mohajer Technical And Vocational College of Isfahan, Payame Noor University, Islamic Azad University of Isfahan, Islamic Azad University of Najafabad & Islamic Azad University of Majlesi. In total, there are more than 7,329 schools in Isfahan province. There are also more than 50 technical and vocational training centres in the province under the administration of Esfahan TVTO, which provide free, non-formal workforce skills training programs. As of 2020, 90% of workforce skills trainees are women.


Transportation


Ride sharing

Snapp! and Tapsi are two of the carpooling apps in the city. There are 42 bicycle sharing stations and 150 kilometers bicycle pavements built by the city. As a 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.


Airports

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


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) to the north and Shiraz (200 km) to the south. Highways also service satellite cities surrounding the metropolitan area. The Isfahan Eastern Bypass Freeway is under construction. In 2021 a new Automatic vehicle location, AVL system was deployed in the city.


Public transit

Isfahan and Suburbs Bus Company runs transit buses in the city. The East-West BRT Bus Rapid Transit line buses carry up to 120,000 passengers on peak days. The municipality has signed a memorandum with Khatam-al Anbiya Construction Headquarters, 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 nort-south line of a length of 11 km, but two more lines are currently under construction, alongside three suburban rail lines. The city of Isfahan is served by a Isfahan railway station, railway station, with the Islamic Republic of Iran Railways, IRIR running services to Bandarabbas and
Mashhad Mashhad ( fa, مشهد, Mašhad ), also spelled Mashad or Meshad, is the second-most-populous city in Iran and the capital of Razavi Khorasan Province. It is located in the northeast of the country. It has a population of 3,001,184 (2016 census ...

Mashhad
. The first high-speed railway in Iran, the Tehran–Qom–Isfahan High Speed Rail, Tehran-Qom-Isfahan line is currently being constructed and will connect Isfahan to Tehran and Qom.


Notable people

;Music * Jalal Taj Esfahani (1903–1981) * Alireza Eftekhari (1956–), singer * Leila Forouhar (1959–), pop singer * Hassan Kassai (1928–2012), musician * Hassan Shamaizadeh, songwriter and singer * Jalil Shahnaz (1921–2013), tar (drum), tar soloist, a traditional Persian instrument ;Film * Rasul Sadr Ameli (1953–), director *Sara Bahrami (1983–), actor * Homayoun Ershadi (1947–), Hollywood actor and architect * Soraya Esfandiary-Bakhtiari (1956–2001), the former princess of Iran and actress * Bahman Farmanara (1942–), director * Jahangir Forouhar (1916–1997), actor and father of Leila Forouhar (Iranian singer) * Mohamad Ali Keshvarz (1930–2020), actor *Mahdi Pakdel (1980–), actor *Nosratollah Vahdat (1925–2020), actor ;Craftsmen and painters * Mahmoud Farshchian (1930–), painter and miniaturist * Bogdan Saltanov (1630s–1703), Russian icon painter of Isfahanian Armenian origin ;Political figures * Ahmad Amir-Ahmadi (1906–1965), military leader and cabinet minister * Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti (1928–1981), cleric, Chairman of the Council of Revolution of Iran * Nusrat Bhutto, Chairman of Pakistan Peoples Party from 1979–1983; wife of Zulfikar Ali Bhutto; mother of Benazir Bhutto * Hossein Fatemi, PhD (1919–1954), politician; foreign minister in Mohamed Mossadegh's cabinet * Mohammad-Ali Foroughi (1875–1942), a politician and Prime Minister of Iran in the World War II era * Dariush Forouhar (August 1928 – November 1998), a founder and leader of the Hezb-e Mellat-e Iran (Nation of Iran Party) * Hossein Kharrazi, chief of the army in the
Iran–Iraq War The Iran–Iraq War), whereas Western sources use that name to refer to the conflict between the American-led coalition and Iraq in 1991., name=, group= ( fa, جنگ ایران و عراق; ar, الحرب الإيرانية العراقية) ...
* Mohsen Nourbakhsh (1948–2003), economist, Governor of the Central Bank of Iran * Mohammad Javad Zarif (1960–), Minister of Foreign Affairs and former Ambassador of Iran to the United Nations ;Religious figures * Lady Amin, Lady Amin (Banou Amin) (1886–1983), Iran's most outstanding female jurisprudent, theologian and great Muslim mystic (‘arif), a ''Lady Ijtihad, Mujtahideh'' * Amina Bint al-Majlisi, Amina Begum Bint al-Majlisi was a female Safavid Ijtihad, mujtahideh * Ayatollah Mohammad Beheshti (1928–1981), cleric, Chairman of the Council of Revolution of Iran * Allamah al-Majlisi (1616–1698), Safavid cleric, Sheikh ul-Islam in Isfahan * Salman the Persian * Ibn Manda, Muhammad Ibn Manda (d. 1005 / AH 395), Sunni Hanbali scholar of hadith and historian * Abu Nu`aym, Abu Nu'aym Al-Ahbahani Al-Shafi'i (d. 1038 / AH 430), Sunni Shafi'i Scholar * Seyyed Ali Qazi Askar (1954) Iran's supreme leader representative, in Haj ;Sportspeople * Abdolali Changiz, football star of Esteghlal FC in the 1970s * Mansour Ebrahimzadeh, former player for Sepahan FC, former head coach of Zob Ahan FC, Zobahan * Ghasem Haddadifar, captain of Zobahan FC * Arsalan Kazemi, forward for the Oregon Ducks men's basketball team and the Iran national basketball team * Rasoul Korbekandi, goalkeeper of the Iranian National Team * Moharram Navidkia, captain of Sepahan FC * Mohammad Talaei, world champion wrestler * Mahmoud Yavari (1939-), football player, coach of Iranian National Team * Sohrab Moradi (1988-), Olympic weightlifting gold medalist, world record holder of 105 kg category * Milad Beigi (1991-) Olympic taekwando bronze medalist, world champion * Sina Karimian, k-1 cruiserweight kickboxing champion ;Writers and poets * Mohammad-Ali Jamālzādeh Esfahani (1892–1997), author * Hatef Esfehani, Persian Moral poet in the Afsharid Era * Kamal ed-Din Esmail (late 12th century - early 13th century) * Houshang Golshiri (1938–2000), writer and editor * Hamid Mosadegh (1939–1998), poet and lawyer * Mirza Abbas Khan Sheida (1880–1949), poet and publisher * Saib Tabrizi ;Others * Ispahani family, Persian people, Perso-Bangladeshi business family * Abd-ol-Ghaffar Amilakhori, 17th-century noble * Adib Boroumand (1924-), poet, politician, lawyer, and leader of the National Front (Iran), National Front * George Bournoutian, professor, historian, and author * Jesse of Kakheti, king of Kingdom of Kakheti, Kakheti in eastern Georgia (country), Georgia from 1614 to 1615 * Simon II of Kartli, king of Kingdom of Kartli, Kartli in eastern Georgia from 1619 to 1630/1631 * David II of Kakheti, king of Kakheti in eastern Georgia from 1709 to 1722 * Constantine II of Kakheti, king of Kakheti in eastern Georgia from 1722 to 1732 * Nasser David Khalili (1945–), property developer, art collector, and philanthropist * Arthur Pope (1881–1969), American archaeologist, buried near Khaju Bridge * Alexandre de Rhodes (1591–1660), French Jesuit, designer of Vietnamese alphabet, buried in the city's Armenian cemetery


Recreation and tourism

In 2019-2018 some 450,000 foreign nationals visited the city.Some 110 trillion rials (over $2 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials (2020) have been invested in the province’s tourism sector. The central historical area in Isfahan is called Seeosepol. Isfahan is noted for its production of the Isfahan rug, a type of Persian rug typically made of merino wool and silk. Teahouses are supervised and allowed to offer Hookah until 2022. As of 2020 there are almost 300 teahouses with permit. Nazhvan Park hosts a reptile zoo with 40 aquariums. Saadi water park, Nazhvan kids water park. Ancient baths include Jarchi hammam & The Bathhouse of Bahāʾ al-dīn al-ʿĀmilī; a public bath called “Shaykh Bahai hammam, Garmabeh-e-shaykh” in Isfahan which for a long period it was running and providing hot water to public for years without any visible heating system of the day which usually needed tons of wood was built by Baha' al-din al-'Amili. Khosro Agha hammam was demolished by unknown people in 1992. Ali Gholi Agha hammam is another remaining one. Chardin writes that the number of baths in Isfahan in the Safavid era is 273. There is a lot of luxury party gardens & wedding halls.


Religious attractions


Churches

There are many churches and synagogues in this city, with the main part of the churches being in New Julfa, Julfa region. Some of the city's churches date back to the 17th century, the most famous and oldest being the Vank Cathedral, the St. Mary Church, Isfahan, St. Georg Church and St. Nerses Church.


Medical tourism

Isfahan Healthcare city complex, built on a 300 hectare site near the Aqa Babaei Expressway, is intended to boost the city's medical tourism revenues.


Shopping

Hypermarkets
Refah Chain Stores Co., Iran Hyper Star, Isfahan City Center, Isfahan city center, Shahrvand Chain Stores Inc., Kowsar Market & Isfahan Mall.
Cinemas
There are 9 cinemas. Historically cinemas in old Isfahan were entertainment for worker class while the religious people considered cinema to be mostly an impure place and going to the cinema to be haram. Because of the 1979 revolution, many cinemas in Isfahan were burned down. Great filmmakers such as Agnès Varda and Pier Paolo Pasolini shot scenes from their films in Isfahan. Cinema Iran now a ruin was one of the oldest cinemas in the city.


Sports

Isfahan has three association football clubs that play professionally. These are: * Sepahan Isfahan FC * Zob Ahan Isfahan F.C., Zob Ahan Isfahan FC * Giti Pasand Isfahan F.C., Giti Pasand * Polyacryl Esfahan F.C. (historic) Sepahan has won the most league titles among the Iranian clubs (2002–03, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2014–15). Giti Pasand also has a futsal team, Giti Pasand FSC, one of the best teams in Asia. They won the AFC Futsal Club Championship in 2012 and were runners-up in 2013. Basketball clubs include Zob Ahan Isfahan BC, Foolad Mahan Isfahan BC. There is also women's volleyball team Giti Pasand Isfahan VC that plays matches in Iranian Women's Volleyball League. There are Pahlavani zoorkhanehs in the city. Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan (handball) team is one of the teams in the Iranian handball league. Sepahan has a youth women runners that became national champion in 2020.


Civic administration

There is a smart city program, a unified human resources administration system, transport system.


Municipal government

The chairman of the city council is Alireza Nasrisfahani,There is also the Isfahan city leadership council, Leadership council within city council. and the mayor is Ghodratollah Noroozi. Representative for supreme leader and representative for Isfahan in Assembly of Experts is Yousef Tabatabai Nejad. The city's divided into 15 municipal districts.In 2020, Municipality employed 6,250 people with additional 3,000 people in 16 subsidiaries.


Public works

Coloring theme for the city has been Turquoise for a period of time. City waste is processed and recycled in Isfahan Waste Complex. is responsible for piping operation, network installation, preventive maintenance, repairing waterworks, wastewater equipment, supervising wastewater collection and treatment and disposal in the city. Municipality created a document in 2020 outlining future development program for the city.


Human resources and public health

As of June 2020, 65% of the population of Isfahan province has had social security insurance . Isfahan is known as the Multiple sclerosis capital of the world due to the presence of polluting industries. In 2015, with the cut-off of the Zayandehrood River, almost 15% of people suffered from depression.


International relations

The Isfahan municipality created a citizen diplomacy service program to boost Public diplomacy of Iran, foreign relations of the city through connections with sister cities around the world. Russian Federation General Consulate in Isfahan is registered cultural heritage. Chinese have expressed readiness to be the first country that opens consulate in a diplomatic zone in the central city The residence of Afghans in Iran, Afghan nationals is allowed in Esfahan city.There is a plan in the future to create a diplomatic district next to Imam Khamenei international convention center for countries to base their consulates offices in. It is a member of the League of Historical Cities since 1994 and full member of Inter-City Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network.


Twin towns – sister cities

Isfahan is Sister city, twinned with: * Baalbek, Lebanon (2010) * Dakar, Senegal (2009) * Florence, Italy (1998) * Freiburg im Breisgau, Germany (2000) * Havana, Cuba (2001) * Iași, Romania (1999) * Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (1997) * Kuwait City, Kuwait (2000) * Lahore, Pakistan (2004) * Saint Petersburg, Russia (2004) * Yerevan, Armenia (2000) * Xi'an, Shaanxi, China (1989)


Cooperation agreements

Isfahan cooperates with: * Barcelona, Spain (2000) * Gyeongju, South Korea (2013) In addition, the
New Julfa New Julfa ( fa, نو جلفا – ''Now Jolfā'', – ''Jolfâ-ye Now''; hy, Նոր Ջուղա – ''Nor Jugha'') is the Armenians, Armenian quarter of Isfahan (city), Isfahan, Iran, located along the south bank of the Zayande River. Established ...
quarter of Isfahan has friendly relations with: * Issy-les-Moulineaux, France (2018)


See also

* List of the historical structures in the Isfahan province * Islamic City Council of Isfahan * 15861 Ispahan *
New Julfa New Julfa ( fa, نو جلفا – ''Now Jolfā'', – ''Jolfâ-ye Now''; hy, Նոր Ջուղա – ''Nor Jugha'') is the Armenians, Armenian quarter of Isfahan (city), Isfahan, Iran, located along the south bank of the Zayande River. Established ...
* Prix d'Ispahan *Acid attacks on women in Isfahan *Isfahan National Holy Association *Courts of Isfahan * Isfahan Seminary


References


Citations


Works cited

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Further reading

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External links

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treet viewPublic libraries atlas
(Persian)
Digital Library of Isfahan Municipality
Isfahan, {{Subject bar, commons=yes, wikt=yes, n=yes, q=yes, s=yes, b=no, voy=yes, v=yes, d=yes, d-search=Q42053, portal1=Asia, portal2=Geography, portal3=Iran, portal4=Cities Populated places in Isfahan County Cities in Isfahan Province Former capitals of Iran Iranian provincial capitals Achaemenid cities Seleucid colonies Parthian cities Sasanian cities