Esfahan Things to Do

  • School group huddle
    School group huddle
    by Orchid
  • Marshalling the troops
    Marshalling the troops
    by Orchid
  • C h a a a r g e!!
    C h a a a r g e!!
    by Orchid

Most Recent Things to Do in Esfahan

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    Shop beneath the Vaults

    by Orchid Written Sep 22, 2013

    Eshafan's Grand Bazaar extends almost 2 km between the ancient Jameh mosque and the city's central Naqsh-e Jahan Square. It is said to be the longest vaulted street in the world. From this spine extend numerous secondary markets, caravanserais, baths, warehouses, mosques and schools.

    At the Jameh Mosque terminus, the shops are dedicated clothing to suitable for the pious moslem woman, though as one proceeds southeastward, the dominant merchandise on display are cheap imports from China which have made their way down the modern silk route, and have over time displaced the traditional stalls of the market.

    However, the closer one comes to the main square, more prosperous and elaborate stalls and shops appear, and predominate. Shoes, fine scarfs, gold and perfume souks run off the main vaulted way, until it finally disgorges the travelled through a grand portal to gaze apon the magnificent Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

    The grand portal Grand shops begin to predominate The great brick vaulted street Predominantly Chinese Tat For the pious lady...
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    A Mosque of many styles

    by Orchid Updated Sep 21, 2013

    The Jameh Mosque of Esfahan, the grand congregational mosque of the city provides a condensed history of Islamic architecture withing its many chambers, domes, halls and courtyards.

    There has been a mosque on this site since the 8th century, though these buildings are long gone. The current agglomeration was begun by the Seljuks in the 11th century, and includes the two magnificent brick domes to the north and south, each approached through hallways and colonnades of muscular decorated brick pillars.

    The Central courtyard is faced on each side with lushly tiled iwans (vaulted halls) in a style that has become prevalent throughout the muslim world.

    Entry to the mosque was 10000IR in 2011.

    Outside, the commercial meets the religious and walking southeastwards one can plunge into the Grand Bazaar to reach Imam Square.

    Grand Courtyards with duelling Iwans A place for Ablution Muscular Pillars Under the Dome Messenger of God
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    'Seven Colours' Mosque

    by Orchid Written Sep 21, 2013

    The Shah Mosque, which stands on the southern side of Esfahan's Naghsh-i Jahan Square is easily the grandest in the City. Built in the 17th Century, to supplant the Jameh Mosque as the venue for Friday prayers.

    We strolled into the towering portal, making the turn into the main courtyard which is oriented to face toward Mecca (and thus permitting visitors in the square outside to admire the mosque in proflie, rather than having the dome obscured by the portal)

    The true glory of this mosque is its seven colour tilework and intricate calligraphy. The 'seven colour' tile process permitted faster and cheaper construction. Multicoloured designs are placed on the tile which is then fired. By contrast, the older 'faience' mosaic method required designs to be assembled from tiny, individual pieces of monochromatic tile.

    The main courtyard is of the four iwan style, four tall slender minarets (2 on the portal and 2 on the southern iwan which is the grants access to the grand turquoise tiled dome, rising to the heavens. Madessahs to the east and west, and a winter mosque, complete the complex.

    The mosque was uncrowded on our visit (imagine this in one of the great cathedrals of Europe), so we could take our time gazing at the wonders on show. The brilliant acoustics of the dome (so the imam could be heard throughout, whilst speaking in a subdued voice). Exuberant prep school children showed the feature off to greatest effect singing under the dome. Most folk just stamped on the black stone under the centre of the dome to hear the echoes).

    The show could be enjoyed from the comfort of rolled up carpets, used to cover the marble floors when the mosque was in use for its principal purpose, the worship of Al-Lāt's successor deity.

    Entrance to the msoque is of course, free of charge, even for tourists

    School group huddle Marshalling the troops Exquisite tilework C h a a a r g e!! Admiring the dome
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    Vank Cathedral - Frustrating

    by Orchid Written May 4, 2013

    We made 2 attempts to visit the famous Vank Cathedral, in the Jolfa quarter of Esfahan. On each occasion the cathedral was closed, with no real explanation as to why. We visited on a Saturday and again on a Monday. On our second visit a large tour group was similarly disappointed. Nor were the folk inside the cathedral very communicative.

    So we were unable to view the renowned frescoes in this religious building. We found the Maryam and Bethlehem churches likewise closed.

    Nevertheless, the Armenian quarter was interesting to stroll about. The lane outside the Vank Cathedral has been pedestrianised, so the heavy traffic can be avoided. Glimses are available of the various Armenian Orthodox churches, behind their high concealing walls.

    Latest information suggests that if you do get in, that photography (once forbidden) is now allowed.

    Sorry No entry Vank (Saintly Sisters) Cathedral Interior (Creative Commons)
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    Sunset Singing

    by Orchid Written Apr 24, 2013

    The famous Si-oh-Seh bridge crosses the Zayandeh River on its 33 arches just south of the historic centre. it leads across the river to the Jolfa (Armenian) Quarter, and especially in the evenings is a hive of activity.

    The river was quite dry when we visited in April 2011. It had been avery dry year according to folk we talked to while in the city. But the dryness did not stop tourists from sitting in the remaining Chaykaneh, under the arches at the northern end of the bridge, and shooting the breeze over a fine cup of tea. The gradual decline of the teahouses of the Zayandeh is regretted by all.

    If you cross the bridge and walk back along the piles, you may just see groups of young men singing quietly together in the shadows.

    Chaykaneh Under the Arches Si-oh-Seh at dusk Late Call Subterranean Song
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    Fire worship

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    If you have visited the Shaking Minarets you might like to continue on to the ancient Zoroastrian Fire Temple - the Atashgah (Place of Fire). Little more than a tumbled ruin of mud brick remains now, and the climb up is very steep, but the view from the top makes it worth while - all Isfahan is spread out below you.

    leyle

    Up and up
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    Forty Columns?

    by TheWanderingCamel Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Although the name Chehel Sotoon means 40 Columns, in reality there are only 18 - and 18 more reflected in the pool. That's still only 36, but who's complaining? This palace is a liitle jewel, surrounded by lovely gardens, the main hall filled with large frescoes of royal victories and receptions. Other, smaller paintings in inner rooms are more intimate - scenes of beautiful maidens and handsome princes and other earthly pleasures. Each of the elegant columns on the porch is made from a single tree trunk that originally were veneered with painted wood and decorated with mirror in the style still favoured in Iran.

    A beautiful little palace
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    Vank Church

    by ajackaln Updated Oct 23, 2010

    Vank church was built around 300 years ago by Armenian Christian asylums who had to runaway from Armenia because of massacre of Christians living within the border of Ottoman Empire by Ottoman Khalifas. Iran gave those Armenians asylum and accommodated them in Esfahan which had been the shelter of Babylonian Jews for 2000 years back then. In Iran`s open minded society , Armenians had the right to build their place of worship and prayer hence they built VANK church in the old neighborhood of JOLFA where is home of many Iranian Christians , most of whom are Armenian.

    Vank Church`s museum has all the documents of asylum seekers from Armenia to Iran , their background , their exemption from taxes for 20 years by Iran`s king of the time and etc .

    Wall paintings of the church are just magnificent.

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    Mehr Park

    by ajackaln Updated Oct 23, 2010

    Mehr park is a very newly built park in Esfahan very close to ATASHGAH ( famous Zoroastrian temple in Esfahan ) and Menar Jonban ( a very famous mosque in Esfahan for it`s shaking Minarets) . From Atashgah , you can have a great view of Esfahan and Mehr Park .

    Mehr park was built in 2008 and it`s design is very similar to Japanese gardens.

    Relaxing in this park is very delightful after hiking up and down the hill to reach ATASHGAH.

    A glimpse of ATASHGAH from the park
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    Walking along Zayandeh Roud ( Zayandeh River)

    by ajackaln Updated Oct 23, 2010

    Zayandeh river is at the heart of Esfahan and gives life to agriculture of not just this city but whole Esfahan province . Zayandeh river is so generous that also provides drinking water for desert provinces like Yazad and Qom .

    There are more than 25 brides in the city of Esfahan , all of them are over Zayandeh river and 7 of which are historical. world famous bridges of Khajou and 33 Pol are both over Zayandeh river.

    Zayandeh means Birth giver in Persian .

    Walking along Zayandeh river will refresh your mind and you can enjoy wonderful breeze of Zayandeh river with your loved ones.

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    Esfahan flowers garden 2

    by ajackaln Written Oct 22, 2010

    Esfahan flowers garden is a newly built garden in Esfahan and serves as a tourist spot for the city.

    This beautiful garden was opened in 1997 and has a very wide variety of Iranian flowers plus a beautiful artificial lake is located at the heart of the garden . A must see part of the garden is the mock of Iranian village house which is an absolute beauty.

    mock of Iranian village house artificial lake of the garden mock of Iranian village house mock of Iranian village house
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    Esfahan flowers garden

    by ajackaln Written Oct 22, 2010

    Esfahan flowers garden is a newly built garden in Esfahan and serves as a tourist spot for the city.

    This beautiful garden was opened in 1997 and has a very wide variety of Iranian flowers plus a beautiful artificial lake is located at the heart of the garden . A must see part of the garden is the mock of Iranian village house which is an absolute beauty.

    artificial lake of the garden A sample of flowers in the garden A carpet made of flowers A flower design
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    EXCHANGE MONEY - COMMISSION FREE

    by DAO Updated Dec 9, 2009

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    Bank Melli changes money, at a good rate, commission free. Just go upstairs. This could not be easier. Other exchange places in Esfahan charge fees and/or give worse rates. DO NOT CHANGE MONEY ON THE STREET. The crooked Moneychangers stand right outside this bank and plague Imam Square. They are dishonest criminals. Avoid them completely. I found this bank to be quick and the staff polite.

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    KHAJU BRIDGE

    by DAO Updated May 4, 2009

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    The Kaju Bridge is interesting, not just for its fantastic architecture, but also how it functions. Shah Abbas II built the bridge on the foundations of an older one in about 1650. It has 23 arches, 105 metres (344 feet) long and 14 metres (46 feet) wide. The Khaku Bridge has sluice gates under the impressive archways and these are sometimes closed to raise the water level. This is used for irrigation of the nice gardens along the river upstream from here. It also functions as a weir which means that the downstream side has a series of steps carrying the water to a lower level (pictured). For some reason this attracts men to sit down and dabble their feet in the water.

    It has great views of the river and is a popular pedestrian route across the river.

    THE WEIR
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    JAME MOSQUE

    by DAO Updated Aug 11, 2008

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    The word Jamé derives from the Arabic root word ‘Jam’, meaning a place of gathering. Originally built in 771, it is one of the oldest mosques still standing in Iran. It was mostly burned down and had to be rebuilt in the 11th century. Additions have been added on up until the last century leaving a fantastic wealth of architectural wonders in this large complex. It is still a place of gathering for men for prayer, socialising, rest and maybe even a wash. It is an amazing architectural gem. It is constructed in a 4-Iwan architectural style, which places 3 gates face to face. An Iwan is a vaulted open room/area. This style was copied over the next few centuries across Iran and the Islamic nations in the region. On the southern side of the mosque is the elaborate Qibla Iwan (1300’s) which has the honeycomb like architectural effect known as Muqarnas. Several mosques and other buildings in Eşfahān sport these unique and picturesque cells.

    The mosque is well known for 2 large brick-domed chambers. They were constructed during the rule of the Seljuqs in 1086-87. The southern one was built first and was the largest known dome at the time.

    Just wondering around the complex is a dizzying travel through Islamic architecture. You will find beautiful glazed tiles, minarets, muqarnas and other treasures to discover. This mosque is a great place for photography.

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