On the tip of every Isfahan’s tongue is an old Persian proverb: Esfahan (Isfahan) nesf-e jahan – Esfahan is half the world. Once the magnificent capital of Shah Abbas’s Safavid Empire, Esfahan is brimming with historic delights, some of which date back to pre-Islamic Iran.
It is located in center of Iran, known for its Persian architecture, art and history that presents pictures of people in the center of Iran's plateau. This city has been the focal point of art and culture through the Seljuk (11th and 12th century) and Safavid (16th and 17th century) periods until the present day
Esfahan is also the country third-largest city with the population of approximately 2,500,000.Esfahan has very rich industrial potential, the outskirt is home to plenty of heavy industries.
Isfahan is known for a handful of local specialties not found anywhere else. Its local food is one of them. Here are some of very popular traditional dishes of Esfahan:
Beryouni is the most famous local dishes of Esfahan that is prepared by minced mutton and lungs. It is cooked in a small pan with a dash of cinnamon and spices, and served with almond slivers over flatbread.
Another traditional food of Isfahan is the Gheymehrize Nokhodchi which is served with rice or bread. Meat, chickpea, fried onions, dried mint, and some species are the ingredients. Actually these ingredients are mixed together to make small balls and to be put on mixture of tomato paste and the fried onion.
Khoresht-e Mast or Yogurt stew
Sweet and usually eaten as a side dish or dessert, is a bit deceiving. Khoresht-e mâst (yogurt stew) has a pudding-like consistency and is made with yogurt, lamb or chicken, saffron, sugar, and orange zest.
Ash-e-Somagh (Sumac Thick Soup)
A very famous and nutritious Persian soup that is made by meat - flour - rice - sumac - onions and all kinds of vegetables.
Ash-e-Shorba (Shorba Thick Soup)
Shorba ash is another nutritious soup that is highly suitable for vegetarians or vegans. Meat, bean and a different kinds of vegetables are the ingredients.
Kachi is a very tasty dessert which consists of flour, rose water, almonds, and pistachios.
Gaz and Poulaki
Gaz (Persian nougat) and poulaki(coin-shaped caramels in different tastes) are the typical sweets of the city.
Naqshe jahan Square (Image of the world square)
This square is the main tourist spot of Isfahan. This complex consists of with two huge mosques, a unique bazaar with a famous gate and a marvelous palace. It is an amazing masterpiece with outstanding architecture. Most people go there to both enjoy the tranquility of the square and buy some stuffs in bazaar. To have better view, just drink your favorite coffee in a cozy coffee shop that overlooks this historical square.
Si-o-se pol (Bridge of 33 arches)
It is a 297.76 meters bridge with 33 spans. Most people go on picnics along riverside parks around the bridge or start to sing under the bridge specially at night. Actually, it is much beautiful at night.
After seeing many mosques visiting an Armenian church is a pleasant change of pace. this is a church with marvelous wall art and wonderful paintings. It is a good place for those who are photography lovers.
The main entrance to Esfahan’s Grand Bazaar is along the northern edge of Naqsh-e Jahan Square at what’s called the Qeysarieh Portal. The Bazaar is a collection of alleys, caravanserais, and madrasehs, with light-holes punctuating the domed, high ceilings. From touristy knick-knacks to the finest Persian carpets, this bazaar has it all. Don't forget to check out the quaint teashop up the stairs to the left.
This Mosque has undergone numerous remodeling and renovations over the centuries, however it dates back to the 8th century. It is located to the north of the Grand Bazaar, the two Seljuk brick domes are arguably the mosque’s most celebrated aspect, although the entire complex – replete with a glazed tile work and ornate motifs – is a delight to behold.
Along the eastern side of Naqsh-e Jahan Square is the no less inspiring Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. Sheikh Lotfollah is notable for its golden-creamy tile work and complex arabesques, not to mention the imposing central dome mesmerizing from both the inside and out. Unusually lacking in minarets, the mosque was originally intended for private use by members of the royal court, and was designed by Sheikh Bahai during the reign of Shah Abbas.
Meidan Emam, one of the first sites in Iran to be listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Centre in 1979, was built by Shah Abbas in the 17th century. Travelers can easily spend an entire day here marveling at the architectural feats on each side of this square and haggling with business-savvy bazaar stallholders in the two-tiered arcades connecting the monuments. Elsewhere, Chehel Sotoun (“40 pillars”), with its 20 wooden columns that double in number in the reflecting pool, is adorned with frescos depicting battle scenes and royal banquets. This Safavid-era pavilion is nestled in a well-manicured green space, adding it under the umbrella of UNESCO’s Persian gardens. Finally, Jāme’ Mosque, listed in 2012 and one of the oldest mosques in Iran, is praised for its two brick domes and detailed calligraphy.
The weather in Esfahan is moderate and dry which has caused the amount of rain and snow below. It is air-conditioned on April and May, while it is slightly heated by the end of April and the arrival of June. Summers are hot and scorching that continue until early fall but as late as December the cold winter is more felt.
Minakari or Enamel working
When we talk about enameling it reminds us of Isfahan. Mina is a kind of glasslike colored coat. It is the art old decorating, painting, ornamenting and coloring of piece of metal. Actually the metal is colored by a glasslike colored coat which is called mina in Persian. Enameling mostly comes in plates and other decorative objects.
Qalamkari or Cotton painting
Another amazing handicrafts of Isfahan is the traditional textile printing and painting on cotton cloth that is named ghalamkari. It is a sort of handmade block printed art however wooden stamps are also applied into the cloth to create different patterns
As you wind your way through Esfahan’s bazaar towards the sounds of steady banging, artists engaging in metal engraving will come into view. The art of ghalamzani involves skilled craftsmen embossing gold, silver, bronze, and copper to create elaborate designs on trays, plates, vases, and silverware. What could make this souvenir even more memorable is that you might pick up a personalized piece that the artist just finished.
Firooz koobi or Turquoise inlaying
The art of hammering small pieces of turquoise stone on surface of copper, silver, bronze objects and even jewelry.
Gaz (Persian nougat) and poulaki(coin-shaped caramels in different tastes) are the typical sweets of the city. They are good choices to serve with Persian tea or other hot drinks. No traveler leaves Isfahan without these two tasty sweets!
Isfahan City Center
Orkideh Shopping Center
Ali Qapu Shopping Center
Jolfa Shopping Center
Park Shopping Center
Maryam Shopping Mall
Kosar Shopping Complex
Sepahan Shopping Mall
Nozhan Shopping Mall
Mellat Shopping Center
Eftekhar Shopping Mall
Boulvar Shopping Center
Hezar Jarib Shopping Center
Grand bazaar of Esfahan
A historical market located in the northern edge of Naqsh-e Jahan Square in city of Isfahan, also known as the Qeysarriyeh Bazaar. Two of main commercial activities are carpet and handicrafts.
Honar Bazaar(Art Bazaar)
Mahmud Faršciyân; born January 24, 1930) is a master of Persian painting and miniatures. He was born in the city of Isfahan in Iran, and it was here where he learned art, painting, and sculpting. His paintings have been hosted by several museums and exhibitions worldwide. He is the most prominent modernizer of the field of miniatures, an art form which was first established in Ancient Persia and later spread to China and Turkey and other Middle eastern countries.
Hassan Kassai (25 September 1928 – 14 June 2012) was a musician and player of Persian classical music. He played the nay, the traditional reed flute of Persia/Iran.
Sohrab Sepehri ( October 7, 1928 – April 21, 1980) was a notable Iranian poet and a painter. He is considered to be one of the five most famous Iranian poets who have practiced modern poetry alongside Nima Youshij, Ahmad Shamlou, Mehdi Akhavan-Sales, and Forough Farrokhzad.Sepehri's poems have been translated into several languages including; English, French, Spanish, Italian and Lithuanian.
Mir Fendereski or Mir Findiriski (1562–1640) was a Persian philosopher, poet and mystic of the Safavid era. His full name is given as Sayyed Mir Abulqasim Astarabadi , and he is famously known as Fendereski. He lived for a while in Isfahan at the same time as Mir Damad spent a great part of his life in India among yogis and Zoroastrians, and learnt certain things from them. He was patronized by both the Safavid and Mughal courts.The famous Persian philosopher Mulla Sadra also studied under him.
Professor Hossein Ismaili was one of the leading artists in the field of handicrafts who created significant works in the field of pottery during his lifetime. Enameling and paintings of the holy shrine of Imam Hussein , the holy shrine of Hazrat Abbas , the holy shrine of Hazrat Zainab and the holy shrine of Imam Reza are among the exquisite works of this famous artist.
He was born in 1305 in the city of Isfahan, the beating heart of Iranian industrial arts. He was the most prominent artists of metalworking. He also studied the designs of historical monuments for many years. In addition to this research, he gained a lot of knowledge about the treasures of Iranian metalworking art in the Achaemenid, Sassanid, Seljuk and Safavid periods, as well as Lorestan bronze, and came to believe that the designs and motifs of that period are full of mysteries that need its details and elegance. Master Dehnavi's works achieved great success. Numerous exhibitions have been displayed in leaflets in Belgium, Tunisia, Egypt, India, the United Arab Emirates, Oman, Italy, the United Kingdom and Germany, all of which are open to visitors, art connoisseurs and art critics.
Ali Reza Efekhari
Ali Reza Eftekhari (born March 30, 1958) is an Iranian vocalist of Iranian classical and popular music. He is one of the most popular singers in Iran and his works are among the best-selling works of Iranian music. This singer has released more than seventy music albums so far. He is known as the man of a thousand faces of Iranian music.
Hossein Khajeh Amiri
Hossein Khajeh Amiri is a very renowned Iranian singer who is more commonly known as Iraj (born 1 January 1933)
Jalil Shahnaz was one of the greatest maestros of Persian classical music and a virtuoso of the tar.
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz
Mohamad Ali Keshavarz April 15, 1930 – June 14, 2020) was an Iranian cinema and theater actor.Mohammad Ali Keshavarz graduated from Art School for Acting. He started stage acting in 1960 and began film acting with Night of Hunchback (1964, Farrokh Ghaffari). He was one of the most experienced and prominent actors of Iranian cinema. He has also appeared in a few television series.
Asghar Farhadi (born 7 May 1972) is an Iranian film director and screenwriter.Farhadi has received two Oscars for Best Foreign Language Film for his films A Separation (2011) and The Salesman (2016), making him one of the few directors worldwide who have won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film twice. In 2012, he was included on the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.
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