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Eurasia   >   Iran


Isfahan is a city in central Iran, south of Tehran and is the capital of Isfahan Province. The Persians call it Nesf-e Jahan, meaning "Half of The World". Due to its beautiful hand-painted tiling and magnificent public square, it is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. An ancient town and capital of Persia from 1598 to 1722, it was long noted for its fine carpets and silver filigree. Today, textile and steel mills take their place. Its architecture, tree-lined boulevards and relaxed pace make it one of the highlights of Iran.

The city is 430 km south of Tehran at the foothills of the Zagros mountain range, and enjoys a temperate climate and regular seasons. Isfahan sits on the main north–south and east–west routes crossing Iran.

Much of the splendor of the city, including most of its finest monuments, date back to the Safavid era, when the city was the imperial capital of Iran.

The city has an Armenian quarter called New Jolfa established by Shah Abbas I in the 1600s. The district is named after the town of Julfa, still existing along the Aras river, from where Armenians were forcefully relocated during the development of Isfahan. They were allocated land south of the Zayandeh river, and built a prosperous community thanks to international trade networks. Today the quarter still has many Armenian churches and institutions.

- Wikivoyage

Image by Mesut Kaya

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