Naqsh-e Jahan Square
The iconic square in the city with remarkable historic treasures links 4 outstanding architectural artworks namely Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam Mosque, Bazar-e Keisaria and Ali Qapu Palace. Naqsh-e Jahan Square, which changed its name to Imam Square after Islamic revolution, dates to the Safavid era. Initially recorded as a national heritage site in January 28, 1935, the beautiful square also joined the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. The rectangular plaza, 507 m long and 158 m wide, is indeed a worthy tourist attraction.
Before building the square in the Safavid monarchy, there was a massive garden carrying the same name, Naqsh-e Jahan. It was a quarter for state buildings and royal palaces during the reigns of Timurid and Aq Qoyunlu. In 11th century AH, the place was a venue for performing shows, bonfires, and parades. Also games of polo were played there. Once Qajar came to seat, the square was regrettably overlooked and prior to it the invasion of Ashraf Afghan inflicted some damage to the site. As of the Pahlavi era, the square underwent renovations; a process which has been going on until recently.
Shah Abbas I moved his seat from Qazvin to Isfahan for political reasons where he developed many remarkable structures, some of which are still functioning. After cooperation with Sheikh Bahai, he made a new plan for the city to link up the old and new parts. Many surviving yet flourishing buildings are remained from his time. Inspired by preceding examples like Maidan-e Atiq in Isfahan, Meidan-e Hassan Padeshah in Tabriz, and Meidan-e Ali Qapu in Qazvin, the square represents the brilliance and glory of the Safavid kingdom.
With its special location in the vicinity of great tourist destinations mentioned earlier, there is a lot to do and see here: visiting the palace and mosque and strolling in the maze of Keisaria Bazaar, where you can purchase amazing rugs among other things.Another fun experience is to enjoy your ride in a carriage run by horses. The well-traveled site offers many great scenes for photographs. The square is surrounded by a chain of handicrafts shops which offer the artistic works by artisan Isfahanis from pottery and ceramic, Ghalam Zani (metalwork), miniature, to Khatam Kari (incrustation work) and Mina Kari (enamel working). You can find many gift shops to surprise your beloved ones with exquisite handcrafts.
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