This city, the capital of Isfahan province is one of the most prominent cities of Iran as regards both industrial activity, and beauty, especially of its historic monuments. Before Islam, Isfahan was the capital of one of the major provinces of the region.Isfahan was captured by the Moslem army in 20 H.G. ( circa 640 A.D.) it was chosen as the capital of Deylaman and Seljuq dynasties in the 10th and 11th centuries. The Mongol army occupied this city and massacred its people in 1241 A.D. later ita was subject to the aggression of Teymour Lang’s (Tamerlane’s) army. Shah Abbas l chose Isfahan as the capital in 1591 A.D. Henceforth the golden period of Isfahan began and it became one of the most prominent cities of Iran. The monuments left from that period have turned this city into Iran’s richest historic center. It has a large number of splendid palaces, grand mosques, caravanserais and bridges, most of which are considered as masterpieces of Moslem Iranian art, and memorials of this period of Isfahan’s history. After the overthrow of the Safavid era, and the captured of Isfahan by Mahmood Afghan, this magnificent civilization fell into decadence. In Qajar era, when the capital was transferred from Isfahan to Tehran, this city did not develop further. However, as a grand treasure in the center of Iran, Isfahan is still a great surce of attraction.
Major Natural Features
Zayandeh Rood, 270 km long, is considered to be the most significant river of Isfahan province. Furthermore, this river plays an effective role on the climatic condition and the humidity of the region, and provides excellent opportunities for recreation. Several historic bridges have been constructed over it. Zayande rood passes through the city of Isfahan and pours into the Gavkhooni swamp. (This swamp covers an area of 476 km2, and is located 167km southeast of Isfahan. Because this region is situated on the borders of a large desert, Gavkhooni swamp enjoys particular significant as regards its influents in the climate of the region, observation of migrating birds, and providing excellent habitant for different types of aquatic creatures. Migrating birds come to this swamp from the north in the cold season, and the south in the warm season.
Niyasar Cave: this cave, situated 30 km northwest of Kashan, is considered to be one of the most remarkable caves made by the human being. This cave was dug in Karkas Mountains about 2000 years ago, and has several halls, wells and rooms. The entrance of this wonderful labyrinthine cave is 3.5 m high and 2.5 m wide. The other major caves of this province are Ghahreman cave, 12 km west of Isfahan, Shahandab cave in Shahreza and Shah Shokr cave on Shahreza-Samirom road.
Verton springs: This is a collection of mineral water springs which lie 43 km from the Isfahan-Yazd road. This region possesses several baths which have been built to use for curing rheumatism.
Fin Garden: This is the perfect example of Iranian royal gardens, which has been left from the region the Shah Abbas l of Safavid Dynasty. Fin Garden is covered with many cypress, and fruit trees and flowers. A large number of streams, whose beds are cover with blue tiles, pass through it. There is a fascinating palace in this garden.
Kolah Ghazi preservation: This preserved area is located 36 km south of Isfahan. It has different species of plants such as the tonsil and fig, and diversified mammal species including the ram, Iranian deer, rabbit, wolf, leopard, fox, hyena…
The historical places
Name: Menar Jonban (The shaking Minaret)
Type: Minaret and tomb
Description: This monument consists of a tomb with two minarets, which were constructed in the Mongol era. When one of these minarets is shaken, the other and some parts of building will also shake.
Type: Church and museum
Description: This church located in the Julfa region of the city, is one of the most skirting churches of the world, for its gilded ceiling and paintings. There is the museum in this church.
Name: Chahar Bagh School (four Gardens school)
Type: Theological school
Description: its magnificent door, decorated with gold and silver, it’s considered as a masterpiece of handicraft.
Name: Chehel Sotoun palace (forty pillars palace)
Description: This palace lies in the center of garden covering 67,000 m2. It has several halls and rooms which are decorated with marble, impressive gilding, exquisite paintings and animal statues.
Name: Imam Square (Naghshe Jahan)
Type: An old square
Description: This Square covers an area of 82,500 m2 and at the time of its construction was one of the grandest squares of the world. It was surrounded by Ali Ghapu Palace, Sheikh Lotfolah Mosque, Gheisariyeh portal and Imam Mosque, each of which is considered as a prominent historic and architectural masterpiece. In the Safavid era, this square was a place for parades, military reviews, polo games and festivals.
Name: Pole Khajoo
Description: The present bridge was built during the reign and by the order of second Shah Abbas of Safavial dynasty on the river Zayandehrood. It is renowned for its magnificent architecture and delightful frescos and tile work. In the middle of this bridge there is a building which the shah used as his resting place on visit to the river on occasion of festivity and celebration.
Name: fin historic complex
Type: garden, palace and museum
Description: This garden is situated 6 km south of Kashan, next to the Fin village, and its irrigation system is very innovative.
Name: Agha Bozorg School
Type: theological school
Description: this school has two high tiled minarets and huge dome which consist of two shells, one resting over the other. This tomb is decorated with ornamental tile works on its surface. The eivan (hallway) of this school are adorned with different kinds of beautiful tile work.
Name: Kashan Bazaar
Type: Bazaar and Historic building
Description: This complex is of great antiquity, and the number of its constituent buildings increased in the Safavi era. It has a remarkable architectural style. Amongst the historic sections of this Bazaar in the Timche (arcade) Aminodole, this is great source of attraction.
Name: Allah Verdi Khan Bridge (thirty-three bridges)
Description: This Bridge, with length of 300 m and width of 14m, is one of the most prominent historic monuments, thanks to its architectural style. It is unique in beauty, stability and grandeur, and is the largest bridge over the Zayandeh Rood River.
Name: Baz Dome
Description: This building is located on the mountain close to Natanz. In spite of its small size, it is very worthy and impressive as regards its architecture and position.
Name: Siyalk Hills
Type: a number of hills as an archeological site
Description: Archeological studies have revealed the remains of a 6,000-year old civilization in these hills. Earthenware, stone and bone tools, clay tablets… are indicators of the Ilam civilization in this region.
Name: Ardestan Jame Mosque
Type: Friday Mosque
Description: This mosque, with its exquisite plaster inscriptions, is one of the memorable monuments that remain from the Seljuq era.
Name: Mashhad Ardahal
Description: This shrine, remaining from Seljuq era, is the tomb of one of Imam Mohmmad bagher’s son. During the Safavid and Qajar eras a large number of paintings and tile works were added to it.
Isfahan: Hasht Behesht Palace(Eight Heaven Palace),house of Boroujerdis, Mahyar Caravanserai, Sin Caravanserai, Shah Sorkh caravanserai(Red well caravanserai), Imamzadeh Ismail, Imamzadeh Jafar, Beytolllahm church, Khaju Bridge, Maran Bridge, Shahshan Tomp, Shah Zeyd’s Tomb, Isfahan Jame Mosque, Hakim Mosque, Sayid Mosque, Sadr school, Soleymaniye School, Forthy Daughters minaret, Sareban minaret, Oshtoor Jan minarets, Goldasteh minaret.
Kashan: Abbas Abad Palace, Fun Kashan BathHouse, Chehel tan Water reservoir, Shahsavaran Imamzadeh, Shahzadeh Abdollah Imamzadeh, Mir Emad Mosque, Vazir Mosque, Babavali School, Soltai School, Abu Lolo’s Tomb, Soltan Mir Ahmad’s Tomb.
Ardestan: Sarhang Abad Palace, Sefid Mosque (White Mosque), Sayid Alsadat Imamzadeh, Sayid Sadegh Water resarvior.
Khansar: khansar Jame Mosque
Naien: Mosala Water reservoir, House of Pirniya, Naien Bazaar, Baba Abdollah Mosque, Naein Mosala
Golpaigan: Saravar Mosque 83 Tan Tomb
Natanz: Afoshteh Bathhouse, Sassanid Fire-Temple, Imamzadeh Abdollah
Samirom: Stone Fire-Temple
Natural science Museum: In this museum stuffed animals are put on display.
Chehel Sotun Museum: This is a treasure of historic and ancient monuments.
Armenian’s Museum: This museum is situated in the Vank church of Isfahan city. Precious handwritten and printed books and painting are kept there.
Kashan natural museum: A large number of articles related to prehistoric, historic and post-Islamic periods and to anthropology, are put on display in this museum.
Naien Museum: Museum of anthropology
Isfahan decorative arts museum: objects and paintings of the Islamic period are displayed in this museum
Isfahan province is considered as one of the major centers for production and export of handicrafts. Its handicrafts have become famous throughout the world. The most essential handicrafts of Isfahan are carpet weaving, tile making, inlaid work, enamel work, miniatures, brocaded silk weaving, crocheting, embroidery, silver work and cloth printing.