Tourism Information of Alborz

Isfahan province , also transliterated as Esfahan , Espahan , Isfahan , or Isphahan , is one of the thirty-one provinces of Iran . It is located in the center of the country in Iran's Region 2 . Its secretariat is located in the city of Isfahan .



The Isfahan province covers an area of approximately 107,027 square km and is situated in the center of Iran . To its north , stand the Markazi (Central) Province and the provinces of Qom and Semnan . To its south , it is bordered by the provinces of Fars , and Kohgiluyeh and Boyer-Ahmad Province . Aminabad is the most southern city of Isfahan province just 2 km north of the border . To the east , it is bordered by the province of Yazd . To the west , it is bordered by the province of Lurestan and to the southwest by the province of Chahar Mahal and Bakhtiyari .

The city of Isfahan is the provincial capital ; and the counties of this province are as follows : Aran o Bidgol , Ardestan , Esfahan , Lanjan , Shahinshahr and Meymeh , Khomeini Shahr , Khansar , (The Upper) Semirom , Fereydan , Fereydunshahr , Falavarjan , Kashan , Golpayegan , Mobarakeh , Nain , Najaf Abad , Lower Semirom (Dehaghan) , Shahreza , Anarak and Natanz ; 18 townships , 38 counties , 67 cities , and 2470 villages in all . According to the census in the year 2006 , the population of the province was 4,559,256 of which approximately 83.3 percent were urban residents and 16.7 percent resided in the rural areas . The literacy rate was 88.65 percent . In 2011 population of Isfahan grew up to 4,879,312 .

The province experiences a moderate and dry climate on the whole , ranging between 40.6 °C and 10.6 °C on a cold day in the winter season . The average annual temperature has been recorded as 16.7 °C and the annual rainfall on an average has been reported as 116.9 mm . The city of Sepahan (Esfahan) however experiences an excellent climate , with four distinct seasons .

With an elevation of 4040 metres , the Shahankuh is the highest peak in Isfahan Province . This mountain is located about 20 kilometres southwest of the city of Fereydunshahr in the western part of Isfahan Province .


History and culture

Historians have recorded Espahan , Sepahan or Isfahan initially as a defense and military base . The security and protection of the gradually increasing castles and fortifications , thereby , would provide the protection of residents nearby , therefore leading to the growth of large settlements nearby . These historical castles were Atashgah , Sarooyieh , Tabarok , Kohan Dej , and Gard Dej to name a few . The oldest of these is Ghal'eh Sefeed and the grounds at Tamijan from prehistoric times . The historic village of Abyaneh , a nationwide attraction , also has Sassanid ruins and fire temples among other historical relics .

During the 17th and 18th centuries , Isfahan province enjoyed high standards of prosperity as it became the capital of Safavid Persia . While the city of Sepahan (Esfahan) was their seat of monarchy , Kashan was their place of vacation and leisure .

Isfahan province encompasses various sects today . The majority of the people in the province are Persian speakers , but Bakhtiari Lurs , Georgians , Armenians , Qashqais and Persian Jews also reside in the province . The official language of the province is Persian , though different ethnic groups and tribes abide by their own language such as Judeo-Persian , Armenian , Georgian , Qashqai Turkic or Bakhtiari Lurish . Isfahan province is noted for its reputed personalities such as writers , poets and other imminent figures who have been born and brought up or have lived in this territory .


Public Universities

·         Isfahan University of Technology

·         Isfahan University

·         Isfahan University of Medical Sciences

·         Kashan University of Medical Sciences

·         Isfahan University of Art

·         Malek-Ashtar University of Technology

·         University of Kashan


Islamic Azad Universities

Several well-known Islamic Azad University campuses in Iran are located in the province :

·         Islamic Azad University of Falavarjan

·         Islamic Azad University of Meymeh

·         Islamic Azad University of Kashan

·         Islamic Azad University of Majlesi

·         Islamic Azad University of Najafabad

·         Islamic Azad University of Khomeynishahr

·         Islamic Azad University of Isfahan

Vank Cathedral

The Vank Cathedral was one of the first churches to be established in the city's Jolfa district in 1606 by the hundreds of thousands of Armenian deportees that were resettled by Shah Abbas I during the Ottoman War of 1603-1618 . The varying fortunes and independence of this suburb across the Zayanderud and its eclectic mix of European missionaries , mercenaries and travelers can be traced almost chronologically in the cathedral's combination of building styles and contrasts in its external and internal architectural treatment .
Construction is believed to have begun in 1606 by the first arrivals , and completed with major alterations to design between 1655 and 1664 under the supervision of Archbishop David . The cathedral consists of a domed sanctuary , much like a Persian mosque , but with the significant addition of a semi-octagonal apse and raised chancel usually seen in western churches . The cathedral's exteriors are in relatively modern brickwork and are exceptionally plain compared to its elaborately decorated interior .
The interior is covered with fine frescos and gilded carvings and includes a wainscot of rich tile work . The delicately blue and gold painted central dome depicts the Biblical story of creation of the world and man's expulsion from Eden . Pendentives throughout the church are painted with a distinctly Armenian motif of a cherub's head surrounded by folded wings . The ceiling above the entrance is painted with delicate floral motifs in the style of Persian miniature . Two sections , or bands , of murals run around the interior walls : the top section depicts events from the life of Jesus , while the bottom section depicts tortures inflicted upon Armenian martyrs by the Ottoman Empire .
The courtyard contains a large freestanding belfry towering over the graves of both Orthodox and Protestant Christians . A tile work plaque inscribed in Armenian can be seen by the entrance to the cathedral ; graves are also placed along the exterior wall before the entrance , with inscriptions in Armenian . In one corner of the courtyard is a raised area with a memorial to the 1915 Armenian Genocide in Turkey . Across the courtyard and facing the cathedral is a building housing a library and museum ; outside of this building are several carved stones showing scenes from the Bible 

Monar Jonban

The Monar Jonban (Shaking Minarets) , or Menar-e-jomban , is a monument located in Isfahan , in central Iran . Construction began in the 14th century to cover the grave of Amu Abdollah Soqla . Its notable feature is that if one of the minarets is shaken , the other minaret will shake as well .
The iwan (eyv?n) and porch were probably erected shortly after 1316 as a shrine for Amu Abdollah Soqla , a hermit buried here . The brick minarets were constructed later , and are probably of Safavid dynasty era origin (c. 15th-17th centuries) .
The iwan is 10 metres (33 ft) high and 10 metres (33 ft) in width , the minarets are 7 metres (23 ft) taller and are 4 metres (13 ft) in circumference . The roof above the shrine contains some skilled brickwork .
The minarets are responsible for the fame of the otherwise architecturally unremarkable shrine . Because of the ratio between the height and width of the minarets and the width of the iwan , if one minaret is shaken , the other will shake in unison . This example of coupled oscillation can be observed from ground level .
The wooden beams on the upper part of the minarets have been placed there to facilitate the shaking of the minarets , but the presence of wood in the brickwork causes other complications . The repeated shaking has been responsible for considerable structural damage .
Shaking by visitors is in theory restricted to once every twenty minutes . However , particularly during holidays , there is a constant stream of people who experiment with the phenomenon . The damage is locally believed by some to have been incurred during the periods of occupation by British soldiers .
There is another pair of shaking minarets also in Isfahan Province , at Imanshahr , of the earlier Ilkhanid dynasty era . They were built during the time of Öljaitü (1280-1316) . These have lost the upper two thirds of their height . Ahmedabad , India also have one Shaking minar

Ali Qapu

Ali Qapu is a grand palace in Isfahan , Iran . It is located on the western side of the Naqsh e Jahan Square , opposite to Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque , and had been originally designed as a vast portal . It is forty-eight meters high and there are seven floors , each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase . In the sixth floor , Music Hall , deep circular niches are found in the walls , having not only aesthetic value , but also acoustic .
The name Ali Qapu , from Arabic "Ālī" (meaning "imperial" or "great") , and Turkic "Q?pū" (meaning "gate") , was given to this place as it was right at the entrance to the Safavid palaces which stretched from the Naqsh e Jahan Square to the Chahar Baq Boulevard . The building , another wonderful Safavid edifice , was built by decree of Shah Abbas I in the early seventeenth century . It was here that the great monarch used to entertain noble visitors , and foreign ambassadors . Shah Abbas , here for the first time , celebrated the Nowruz (Iranian New Year) of 1006 AH / 1597 C.E .
Ali Qapu is rich in naturalistic wall paintings by Reza Abbasi , the court painter of Shah Abbas I , and his pupils . There are floral , animal , and bird motifs in his works . The highly ornamented doors and windows of the palace have almost all been pillaged at times of social anarchy . Only one window on the third floor has escaped the ravages of time . Ali Qapu was repaired and restored substantially during the reign of Shah Sultan Hussein , the last Safavid ruler , but fell into a dreadful state of dilapidation again during the short reign of invading Afghans . Under the reign of Nasir ol Din Shah e Qajar (1848–96) , the Safavid cornices and floral tiles above the portal were replaced by tiles bearing inscriptions .
Shah Abbas II was enthusiastic about the embellishment and perfection of Ali Qapu . His chief contribution was given to the magnificent hall , the constructures on the third floor . The 18 columns of the hall are covered with mirrors and its ceiling is decorated with great paintings . 
The chancellery was stationed on the first floor . On the sixth , the royal reception and banquets were held . The largest rooms are found on this floor . The stucco decoration of the banquet hall abounds in motif of various vessels and cups . The sixth floor was popularly called the Music Hall . Here various ensembles performed music and sang songs .
From the upper galleries , the Safavid ruler watched Chowgan (polo) , maneuvers and the horse-racing opposite the square of Naqsh e Jahan .
The palace is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 rials banknote .

Hasht Behesht

Hasht Behesht meaning "Eight Paradises" is a Safavid era palace in Isfahan .
It was built in 1669 and is today protected by Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization . Of more than forty mansions which existed in Isfahan during the rule of Safavids , this is the only one left today .


Si-o-seh pol

All?hverdi Khan Bridge , popularly known as Si-o-seh pol is one of the eleven bridges of Isfahan , Iran and the longest bridge on Zayandeh River with the total length of 297.76 metres (976.9 ft) . It is highly ranked as being one of the most famous examples of Safavid bridge design .
It was constructed by the finance and the inspection of Allahverdi Khan Undiladze chancellor of Shah Abbas I , an Iranian ethnic Georgian , it consists of two rows of 33 arches from either sides , left and right . There is a larger base plank at the start of the bridge where the Zayandeh River flows under it , supporting a tea house which nowadays is abandoned due to the shortage of water and the river drought .


Fin Garden

Fin Garden , or Bagh-e Fin , located in Kashan , Iran , is a historical Persian garden . It contains Kashan's Fin Bath , where Amir Kabir , the Qajarid chancellor , was murdered by an assassin sent by King Nasereddin Shah in 1852 . Completed in 1590 , the Fin Garden is the oldest extant garden in Iran .
The origins of the garden may be anterior to the Safavid period ; some sources indicate that the garden has been relocated from another place , but no clear picture of it has been found .
The settlements of the garden in its present form was built under the reign of Abbas I of Persia (1571-1629) , as a traditional bagh near the village of Fin , located a few kilometres southwest of Kashan .
The garden was developed further during the Safavid dynasty , until Abbas II of Persia (1633-1666) . It was highly recognized during the reign of Fat′h Ali Shah Qajar and was considerably expanded .
The garden subsequently suffered from neglect and was damaged several times until , in 1935 , it was listed as a national property of Iran . On 2007 , 8 September , Bagh-e Fin was submitted to the Unesco's Tentative List .
Unesco declared the garden a World Heritage Site on July 18, 2012 .

Imam Square, Isfahan

Isfahan's central square represents a culmination of one thousand years of Islamic architecture. Built at the instigation of the Safavid monarch Shah Abbas lit is a testimony to his ambition and determination both as an effective ruler, whose kingdom could afford such beautification, and as a sophisticated aesthete. At the northern end of the square is the entrance to Isfahan's lively bazaar, and to the east (right of the picture), Shah Abbas' private oratory, the Shaykh Lotfallah Mosque. The square itself was the scene of manoeuvres, processions and games, particularly polo, which would have been viewed by the royal party froni the relatively modest Ali-Qapu palace on the western side of the square Qeft of the picture). In comparison, the scale of the Mosque of the Imam (foreground) gives a clear indication of the relative importance of secular and religious concerns, at least as expressed in architecture. The mosque was begun in 1612 and not completed until 1638, and is a triumph of the subordination of detail to the final effect of the whole entitv. The ornamental developments, religious ideals, usages and meanings that had slowly matured over one thousand years of Islam in Iran came to unification arid fruition in this remarkable building. Shown to good effect here is the ingenious means by which the mosque shifts alignment from the north facing entrance portal conatnined by the layout of the square, to the north-east south-west axis of the mosque itself, a direction required for it to be properly aligned to Mecca. The portal leads to a circular vestibule, a feature drawn from monuments of a much earlier date, which, being circular, has no particular direction. The chamber therefore serves as a pivot on which the axis of the building can be turned, and this is done in such a way as to effect a smooth, almost unnoticeable transition from within. Inside, the mosque is decorated in enamelled tile, inferior in detail to the mosaic faience used in previous centuries, but this unremarkable technique serves to concentrate the mind more on the spectacle of the whole. The ornamentation covers traditional Iranian themes, a reverence for vegetation and a poetic love of flowers, combining in a seemingly unending mass of flowing tendrils and foliage to form a symbolic appeal for fertility, renewal and abundance.