Traveling to Isfahan, the Capital of Islamic Art and Culture
Honeymoon is undoubtedly one of the best times in your life, and that would be even much better when your first trip is to a warm and quiet city, full of design and architecture, art, color and light, playing and dancing through the space.
Take along with the Iran Viva team to walk around the streets of Isfahan, the cradle of rich culture, art, history, and architecture, and be prepared for an exciting tour to Isfahan.
The city was known as Apadana, Asfahan, Asbahan in the past. Isfahan, the third most populous city in Iran, is a memorial from the brilliant era of the Sassanid architecture.
The Sassanids established the first religious government in which the Zoroastrian priests played a prominent role. For this reason, many fire temples were constructed throughout Iran, including the city of Isfahan. Nowadays one of the reasons for traveling to Isfahan is visiting these fire temples.
One of the tour programs that brings tourists from around the world to the city of Isfahan is visiting the original Iranian architecture, glittering in every corner of the city; the architecture known in the world as the art of Isfahan.
We invite you to a different trip to this city, a journey with the one you love!
Travel with your beloved ones to the city of Isfahan and take a romantic walk in the spring weather of the city. Only walking around such a brilliant city calms the two lovers’ souls.
One of the oldest structures in this city is the Jang Bridge or Jay Bridge (Pol-e-Jay). Jay Bridge is the oldest bridge on the Zāyandarud River and even one of the oldest bridges in Iran. Only the bridges in Dezful and Shushtar are considered as old as this bridge. The Jay Bridge was made of bricks and clay and was originally built in the Sassanid era. Jay Jami Mosque is located near the bridge, and it would be quite amusing to see this beautiful Mosque.
After the Sassanian era, we will reach the golden age of the Seljuq, and you should not forget visiting the most popular places of this time in this outstanding city. The Rahrovan minaret and Gaz Caravanserai are precious monuments from the Seljuq period.
After a while on the trip, it is time to spend a pleasant evening in a dusk sunset, in a Caravanserai named Gaz.
In this Caravanserai, the warm breeze from the land of our predecessors takes us on a short voyage to the desert trading.
Gaz Caravanserai is located in the village of Bukhvar, Gaz, in northern Isfahan.
This minaret is located in the sunny fields of Isfahan and in the northeast of the village of Rahrovan. This minaret with a height of over 30 meters is based on a short, square and brick single foundation in two floors. This monument is also a memorial from the Seljuq period. In the past, when traveling was not in its current form, the building was used to guide the caravans and people around, with an illuminating light on the top of the minaret.
The word minaret means the place of light.
Menar-Jomban (The Shaking Minarets)
A magnificent excursion in the city of Isfahan, in a pleasant morning, will be completed with a visit to the historical monument of Menar-Jomban.
A simple and adobe, yet wonderful and mysterious structure. What is worthy of the reputation of this building and makes all the tourists who come to Isfahan to visit it is the shaking of one minaret at the same time when the other is shaken. This strange notable feature attracts a large number of curious and enthusiastic tourists to Menar-Jomban. This minaret is founded where a holy man, named Uncle Abdullah Karlodani, was buried at that time. The history of the construction of the minaret is not clear, but it is mentioned on the tombstone in 1316 AD.
One of the most enjoyable things to do on honeymoon is shopping, especially shopping for your love, which dramatically increases your love and compassion. So we have interesting suggestions and ideas for you in the extraordinary and beautiful city of Isfahan.
The Safavid period in Iran is one of the outstanding historical epochs. Since the integrity of the regions and areas and the maturation of Islamic-Iranian civilization was during this period.
There are so numerous structures in Iran built during the 221-year-old Safavid kingdom that we cannot mention all of them in this article, but we introduce you the most prominent places where you can visit and enjoy with your partner, and make love memories.
This beautiful bazaar, built in 1620, is an indoor archway full of unique architectures and designs from the Safavid era. An impressive market in which not only goods are sold, but also some valuable goods are produced. This market is one of the most attractive old bazaars in the world and the destination of tourists visiting this beautiful city. The glitter of copper containers, the merchant cloths and the splendid handicrafts are all the reasons that make this bazaar a must-visit place.
One of the attractions of this bazaar that brightens everybody up is the designs and patterns of the carpets. A large part of the bazaar is dedicated to the carpet business. The carpets are the culmination art of the women and girls of this land.
If you are interested in jewelry making in Iran, Iran Viva’s team suggests you visit the Art Market of Isfahan.
Honar Gold Bazaar
A bazaar that fully reflects the glory of the Safavid era. This bazaar was built in 1704. The early name of this bazaar was the Shah’s Mother’s Caravanserai Bazaar and it is located next to the Shah’s Mother’s Caravanserai, now known as the Abbasi Hotel. We can hardly see foreign tourists who are not excited after traveling to Isfahan and visiting this glamorous bazaar. One of the suggestions by the Iran Viva team to all the tourists is visiting this bazaar, since along with the visual beauty of the bazaar, you can buy very beautiful jewelries that are handmade by the artists of this land and continue your romantic journey more romantically and give your partner beautiful feelings with a beautiful gift from Isfahan.
Abbasi Hotel, the Best Accommodation in Isfahan
Accommodation is actually a part of the charm of honeymoon vacation. In this section, we are going to introduce you one of the most gorgeous hotels in the Middle East. The Abbasi Hotel, with the early name of Shah’s Mother’s Caravanserai, is one of the most beautiful and attractive places in Isfahan, where you are highly recommended to visit. Every corner of this beautiful hotel is filled with the beauty of the architecture and art of the Safavid era. The beauty of this place is so fascinating that the tourists spend at least a few hours at this hotel.
Regarding the history of this Caravanserai, it can be stated that Shah Sultan Hussein Safavid’s mother donated it and some of her assets for charity.
Chehel Sotoon palace, a Familiar Name for Tourists
You may think why they call it Chehel Sotoon Palace (40 pillar palace)? Just take a look into the water to find your answer.
The palace, completed in 1647, has twenty pillars, and due to the reflection of these twenty pillars in the large mansion’s pool, it has become well known for forty pillars.
The miniature painting drawn on the façade of the palace is about the scenes of war and the kings’ reception, which represents the successful period of Iranian art in Isfahan. This beautiful palace, built at the time of Shah Abbas II, the seventh king of the Safavid monarchy, was used for celebrations and to welcome guests from all over the world.
The expansion of the palace began in the same period, when the Mirror Hall, the Eighteen-pillar Hall, the two North and South rooms in the Mirror Hall and some other sections were added. Do not miss the pleasure of watching the paintings in this beautiful palace.
The paintings in this building refer to the events of that time, including paintings referring to the hospitality of Shah Abbas I, Shah Abbas II and Shah Tahmasb towards the Turkestan rulers and the Indian King, as well as the war between Shah Isma’il I and Uzbakan.
The porch of this beautiful palace consists of two parts, one of which has 18 wooden pillars, and the other has 4 pillars in the middle, on the stone bases. These four stone bases are carved into the lion’s head.
The water fountain from the lions’ mouths and its flowing into the marble pond in the center of the hall adds to the elegance of the building.
Having been as the Safavid visitors in the honeymoon and passed through the Sassanid and Seljuk periods, you will have a profound thought about the lineage.
How has your historical honeymoon gone so far? How did you like it?
Stay with us to make it more romantic.
You are a visitor in Isfahan in a pleasant evening and you need to refresh your mind. Iran Viva team suggests you to visit Naqsh-e Jahan Square, a square full of art.
Naqsh-e Jahan Square, the Manifestation of Iranian Architecture and Art
To have a more delightful trip with your love, you need to go to Naqsh-e Jahan Square.
Your tour to Isfahan will not be complete without visiting the Naqsh-e Jahan Square. You may have seen this square in most of the pictures on your trip to Isfahan. Naqsh-e Jahan Square is the symbol of the city of Isfahan and if you only want to visit one of the places of interest in Isfahan, we recommend you this square.
Riding a carriage in this square can be really appealing to the people who enjoy being with their beloved ones.
There are four extraordinary monuments around the square: Ali Qapu mansion, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam Mosque, and the entrance of the Qeysarie bazaar. These places are the most remarkable and beautiful structures in the city and tours to Isfahan make no sense without including this square in them.
The square used to be used as a polo (Chogan) field in the middle and there are two stone goal posts at each end. In this square, the delicate wind from the age of art blows you away.
Ali Qapu mansion
This mansion is located on the western side of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, opposite to the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and is a 36-meter-high six-storey building. After transferring the capital from Qazvin to Isfahan, ordered by Shah Ismail Safavi in 1644, this building was established to serve as the center of government. In fact, this mansion was the entrance to the Safavid Royal Court. This building can definitely be considered as one of the manifestations of the architecture in Isfahan.
The construction of this building lasted 70 to 100 years, during which time various kings took the lead of the Safavid monarchy.
Due to its special architecture, the Ali Qapu mansion has a different view from each side, i.e. you can see 2 storeys from the front, 5 storeys from the back and 3 storeys from the sides, totally 6 storeys.
The Ali Qapu mansion has been the entrance to most of the palaces in the area of Naqsh-e Jahan Square. There is a large hall with carving designs and stucco decorations on the sixth floor of the Ali Qapu Palace. This part is also known as the “Sound Room” or “Music Hall” due to its sound absorption and smooth sound reproduction capabilities.
This building was constructed in six stages in each of which a section was added to the original building and the result is the building we can see today.
The building was constructed as the entrance to other buildings of the square. The name Ali Qapu means the lofty gate.
The third, fourth and a part of fifth floors were added for representing the importance of the seat of government and expanding of the capital.
The Last Floor and the Music Room was built.
A porch was added.
Eighteen columns of the porch were built based on the created space in the fourth stage, the main staircase or Pellekan-e-Shahi was established and the water system was built and completed.
The Artistic plaster carving designs and elaborate miniature paintings, all and all make the Ali Qapu mansion a spectacular place for a pleasant evening stay.
One of the most beautiful Islamic mosques is constructed in Isfahan, in Naqsh-e Jahan Square. The mosque is also known as the Soltani mosque, Jami Abbasi Mosque and Imam Mosque.
Shah or Imam Mosque in Isfahan is one of the most prominent artworks of Persian architecture. The mosque was founded in 1611 by the architect ″Ostad Ali Akbar Isfahani″, ordered by the great Shah Abbas on the twenty-fourth anniversary of his reign. Shah Abbas built this building for his ancestor, Shah Tahmasb Safavi, to rest his soul in peace, by his cleanest property. The journey to Isfahan makes sense by visiting this beautiful, artistically built mosque.
The porch height is 27 meters and the minarets are 33 meters high. A part of this building is called “Jolokhan”, which is a separate building and is a space for inviting the outside crowd to enter the mosque.
This building represents some of Iranian architectural masterpieces. Masterpieces like a place to show the real noon in Isfahan or the strange entrance of this building. The well-known Iranian scientist, Sheikh Bahayi, identified that the real noon is shown in this local mosque every day, all the year round. The mosque’s entry is also made in such a way that we do not notice the change of angle and direction of the entry when crossing the entry.
Another characteristic of the mosque is the height of the inner dome that is 52 meters and the minarets that are 48 meters. The building has two symmetrical eastern and western seminaries (Shabestan). The eastern seminary is bigger but simpler, and the western one is smaller and decorated with seven-colored mosaic tiles. The mihrab in this part is one of the most beautiful and most exceptional ones in the city of Isfahan.
There are two schools in southwest and southeast part of the mosque, known as Sulaimaniyah and Naseri.
This building is filled with so much beauty and wonders that it is not possible to cover all of it in this article, so we better cut it short here and let you have fun with your life partner. It would be a pleasure for your soul to watch these bluish-green tiles, the dome-shaped view and its spiritual atmosphere.
That would be a good idea, anyway, to have enough information about this building before traveling and visiting the city of beauty.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Another beautiful and famous monument in Naqsh-e Jahan Square is Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. This mosque is located on the east side of the Square, opposite the Ali Qapu mansion. It took 18 years to be built, in other words, it was built during the years 1602 to 1619, ordered by Shah Abbas, and the architect was “Ostad Mohammad Reza Isfahani”, the son of “Ostad Hussein Bana Isfahani”, a famous architect of that period.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque was built to honor the mosque Imam, Sheikh Lotfollah ibn Abdul Karim ibn Ibrahim ibn Ali ibn Abdul-al, or Sheikh Lotfollah Jabal Ameli known as Sheikh Lotfollah Messi. Sheikh Lotfollah was one of the revered Lebanese scholars.
The Safavid kings invited great scholars from different parts of the world in order to promote Shi’a in Iran, , among which Sheikh Hussein ibn Abdul Samad Harithi, the father of Sheikh Baha’i and Sheikh Lotfollah, were also invited. Then the mosque was built for him.
Since the mosque was not mentioned in the itineraries of this period, it can be considered that this mosque was used by the Safavid kings, their courtiers and noble families, and the public were not allowed to enter this place.
It is said that there is an underground way in the mosque for the meeting between Shah and Sheikh Lotfollah that is blocked today.
The Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is architecturally different from other mosques, for example, there is no minaret or Shabestan in this mosque.
There are different opinions about the mosque from different famous people around the world, some of which are as follows:
Louis A. Kahn, the world’s famous architect, on a trip to this city and a visit to Sheikh Lotfollah mosque, said:
“I can only picture such a magnificent piece of art in a fantasy world with an ink of gold and silver.”
It is also cited in the book “A survey of Persian art” by Professor Arthur Pope:
“This building can be hardly considered a work done by human hands.”
The “peacock” ceiling at the centre of the interior side of the dome is one of the architectural masterpieces of the mosque. When the light comes in through the hole in the high arch at the entrance to the mosque, the image of the peacock tail can be seen completely. Another masterpiece of this building is the direction of Qibla.
The mosque has a double door each of which is made of solid plane tree wood, which is still well kept after 400 years.
For more information about Isfahan and planning your Isfahan tour, do not miss the next article.
Need more information about Isfahan for tourists traveling to Iran , please read this article.