Thursday, December 5, 2013

Introduction to The city of Isfahan


Isfahan is historically also rendered in English as IspahanSepahan or Hispahan, is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 kilometres (211 miles) south of Tehran. It has a population of 1,583,609 and is Iran's third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad. The Isfahan metropolitan area had a population of 3,430,353 in the 2006 Census, the second most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran. Isfahan is one of the oldest cities in Iran and shows a great mixture of persian and Islamic mixture in such a way that some know Isfahan as the capital of Islamic culture. Isfahan has been the capital city of Iran for many years trough out the history and this gave the opportunity to grow before other cities and keep the cloture in it at the same time. During the age of Safavi Kingdom ruling Iran Isfahan was once again chosen as the capital city, Safavi was one of the most successful Persian kingdoms at its time and their attention to culture art and history made isfahan a different city from any other in the world in a way that some people say "Isfahan is half of the world". The river Zayanderood cuts this city in two part of Balarood and PainRood which means above river and bellow river, despite most cities the welter part of Isfahan is the part below the river which is the south of Isfahan.

Naqsh-e Jahan Square, translation: "Image of the World Square", known as Imam Square, formerly known as Shah Square, is a square situated at the center of Isfahan city, Iran. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. It is 160 meters wide by 508 meters long(an area of 89,600 m2). The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era. The Shah Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side is the Ali QapuPalace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and the northern side opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Today,Namaaz-e Jom'eh (the Muslim Friday prayer) is held in the Shah Mosque.

Horse polo originally comes from Iran and the start of it is from the Sfavid Kingdom, Naghsh e Jahan square used to be ground for kings horse polo and the building of Ali Qapu which is also known as the balcony of Isfahan (at the time that it was built it was on of the tallest building in Isfahan and it has a huge balcony facing the square so the king could watch polo and also check out on how things are going on at the central bazaar of Isfahan, it was also used for watching the game)

The Shah Mosque(Jameh Abbasi Mosque) known as Imam mosque(after the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran) is an excellent example of Islamic architecture of Iran, and regarded as one of the masterpieces of Persian Architecture. The Shah Mosque of Esfahan is one of the everlasting masterpieces of architecture in Iran. It is registered, along with the Naghsh-i Jahan Square, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Its construction began in 1611, and its splendor is mainly due to the beauty of its seven-colour mosaic tiles and calligraphicinscriptions. The mosque is one of the treasures featured on Around the World in 80 Treasures presented by the architecture historian Dan Cruickshank.
The Safavids founded the Shah Mosque as a channel through which they could express themselves with their numerous architectural techniques. The four-iwanformat, finalized by the Seljuq dynasty, and inherited by the Safavids, firmly established the courtyard facade of such mosques, with the towering gateways at every side, as more important than the actual building itself.During Seljuq rule, as Islamic mysticism was on the rise and Persians were looking for a new type of architectural design that emphasized an Iranian identity, the four-iwan arrangement took form. The Persians already had a rich architectural legacy, and the distinct shape of the iwan was actually taken from earlier, Sassanid palace-designs, such as The Palace of Ardashir. Thus, Islamic architecture witnessed the emergence of a new brand that differed from the hypostyle design of the early, Arab mosques, such as the Umayyad Mosque. The four-iwan format typically took the form of a square shaped, central courtyard with large entrances at each side, giving the impression of being gateways to the spiritual world.

The last piece of culture and great history of Isfahan which I am going to Introduce is Siose Pol which is a bridge on the river of Zayanderood and it connects the north and south of Isfahan. For a long time it was trouble getting from one side to the other side of the river due to the wideness of it; Commissioned in 1602 by Shah Abbas I from his chancellor Allahverdi Khan Undiladze, an Iranian ethnic Georgian, it consists of two rows of 33 arches. There is a larger base plank at the start of the bridge where the Zayandeh River flows under it, supporting a tea house. the total length of the bridge is 297 meter and 14 meter wide. This bridge is made 415 years ago and in those days it was one of the most advanced structures and pieces of architecture.

1 comment:

  1. Here's Duke Ellington's song, "Isfahan," which was inspired by a visit: