|The capital of Esfahan province, and the Persians
call it Nesf-e Jahan (Half The World)
Esfahan is one of the oldest cities of Iran with the 1,001,000
population located 414 km south of Tehran and 481 km north of Shiraz.
This 2500 years old city served as Persia's capital from 1598 to 1722.
|Esfahan was a crossroad of international trade
and diplomacy, and therefore was a kaleidoscope of resident
languages, religions, and customs. The city is known for its
silver filigree and metal work.
This city is renowned not only for the abundance of great
historical monuments, but also for its Life-Giving River, The Zayandeh-Rood,
which has given the city an original beauty and a fertile land.
Esfahan is filled with old gardens and some of the best sights in
|In the Arsacides (Parthians) era, Esfahan was the
center and capital city of a wide province, which was administered
by Arsacide governors. In Sassanids time, Esfahan was governed by
"Espoohrans" or the members of seven noble Iranian families who
had important royal positions, it played a residencial role for
these noble families as well. Moreover, in this period Esfahan was
a military center with strong fortifications. This city was
occupied by Arabs after final defeat of Iranians. After Islam,
Esfahan was under domination of Arabs, like other cities of Iran,
till the early 10th century A.D., and it was paid attention only
by Caliph Mansour. In the reign of Malekshah Saljooghi, Esfahan
was again selected as capital and began another golden age. In
this period, Esfahan was one of the most thriving and important
cities of the world.
This city was conquered by Mongols in 13th century A.D. and they
massacred the people. After the invasions of Mongols and Taymour, as
the result of its suitable geographic situation, Esfahan flourished
again especially in Safavid time, which developed considerably.
|After selection of Esfahan as capital by Shah
Abbas I (1587-1629) who unified Persia it reached to its pinnacle
of briskness. Esfahan had parks, libraries and mosques that amazed
Europeans, who had not seen anything like this at home. The
Persians called it Nisf-e-Jahan, half the world; meaning that to
see it was to see half the world.
Esfahan became one of the world's most elegant
cities. In its heyday it was also one of the largest with a population
of one million; 163 mosques, 48 religious schools, 1801 shops and 263
|Decline of Safavid dynasty by Mahmood Afghan and
conquest of Esfahan a 6 month siege, caused a degeneration period
for this city. In Afsharieh and Zandieh times it flourished again
but during Qajars reign, due to choosing Tehran as capital,
Esfahan began to decline once more.
|Esfahan, regarding its historical and geographic
conditions, was paid attention during Pahlavi time and some
endeavors were made for repair and restoration of historical
monuments. Moreover, Esfahan and the province redeveloped and
During last two decades, Esfahan developed with
a very high rate of acceleration from urban development point of view,
highly observing restoration of historical monuments.
|Today, Esfahan is a major industrial center and
also is one of the important tourism centers of Iran and the