Eṣfahān is situated on the north bank of the Zāyandeh River at an elevation of about 5,200 feet (1,600 metres), roughly 210 miles (340 km) south of the capital city of Tehrān. The two roadways and the promenade remain, but the watercourse and fountains have disappeared. Our editors will review what you’ve submitted and determine whether to revise the article. (2016) 1,961,260. Eṣfahān grew prosperous under the Persian Būyid (Buwayhid) dynasty, which rose to power and ruled much of Iran when the temporal authority of the ʿAbbāsid caliphs waned in the 10th century. It then had, he said, 162 mosques, 273 public baths, 1,802 caravansaries, and 48 madrasahs (religious colleges). Dates, Traditions, and History. Isfahan is a visual feast. Many visitors believe Isfahan is the most beautiful city in Iran and one of the most beautiful in the world. (The establishment of the colony has also been attributed to Nebuchadrezzar, but that seems less likely.) A famine ensued in consequence of this, and the inhabitants of Isfahan were reduced to despair. Dictionary.com Unabridged The Great Mosque of Isfahan in Iran is unique in this regard and thus enjoys a special place in the history of Islamic architecture. Take this quiz to test your knowledge! In those days the centre of the city was a square, or rectangle, situated some distance to the north of what would later become the city’s main courtyard, the Maydān-e Shāh. A Persian proverb cited Esfahan nesf-e- jahan ast, meaning Esfahan is half of the world. In addition to being an important regional and provincial capital (of Eṣfahān province), the city is one of the most important architectural centres in the Islamic world. Ring in the new year with a Britannica Membership - Now 30% off. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Pop: 1 547 000 (2005 est), Acid Attacks on Women Spread Terror in Iran, The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 3. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Courtyard of the Masjed-e Shaykh Luṭf Allāh (“Sheikh Loṭfollāh Mosque”), Eṣfahān, Iran. The city’s story begins around 2500 years ago, with the Sassanid empire. During his reign he … Eṣfahān first thrived under the Seljuq Turks (11th–12th century) and then under the Persian Ṣafavid dynasty (16th–18th century). The reason behind this resonant name is that the city is a house to both more than 6,000 big and small historical works and untouched nature. Omissions? Only one tall minaret remains of the original building. It is also home to the world's seventh largest shopping mall, Isfahan City Center. Recovery began during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi (1925–41). No quinces are so fine as those of Isfahan, and no melons have a more delicate flavor. The Shahrestān Bridge, which spans the Zāyandeh River a short distance southeast of the city, dates from the Sāsānian era; the piers are, however, all that remain of the original structure, the upper part having often been rebuilt. 1453. refers to the capture of the Byzantine Empire's capital by the Ottoman Empire. 1882 - Population: 73,634. Shade was provided by rows of trees. This building, decorated with enameled tiles of great brilliance, has been carefully preserved since the 20th century. It has a population of 1,583,609 and is Iran's third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad. Isfahan is a metropolis surrounded by desert and semi-desert districts from east and Zagros Mountains from the west. After a perilous journey they reached Isfahan, and received an honourable welcome from the prince. Bridge built by Allāhverdi Khan over the Zāyandeh River in Eṣfahān, Iran. The Chahār Bāgh runs southward to the Zāyandeh River, which it crosses by means of a fine bridge built by Allāhverdi Khan, one of ʿAbbās’s generals. Eṣfahān never fully recovered from this event. Let us know if you have suggestions to improve this article (requires login). This archway leads into the gardens of the former royal palace, which covers a large area with courts and pavilions, one of which, the Chehel Sotūn (“Forty Columns”), was famous as a veranda and throne room for ʿAbbās.