Isfahan is half of the world

Isfahan or Esfahan (Persian: اصفهان Esfahān, Old Persian: Aspadana, Middle Persian: Spahān), historically also rendered in English as Ispahan or Hispahan, located about ۴١۶ km south of Tehran, is the capital of Esfahan Province and Iran's third largest city (after Tehran and Mashhad). Isfahan city had a population of 1,583,609 and the Isfahan metropolitan area had a population of 3,430,353 in the 2006 Census, the second most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran.

Isfahan is located on the main north-south and east-west routes crossing Iran, and was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history.

Iran map in Safavid Empire

Even today, the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Islamic architecture, with many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. This led to the Persian proverb "'Esfahān, nesf-e jahān" (Isfahan is half of the world).

Naqshe Jahan Square

The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the biggest city squares in the world and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city also has a wide variety of historic monuments ranging from the Sassanid to the Safavid dynasties. Remaining Islamic architectural sites were built from 11th to the 19th century, while older, pre-Islamic monuments date back to 1000 B.C.




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