Isfahan Carpets

In the middle of Iran with the Zagros mountains to the left and the desert to the right, lies the city of Isfahan; Today, it is an important industrial city with a population of 1.2 million inhabitants. For many people Isfahan probably is the main attraction in Iran. Architecturally, the city is a masterwork and one of the finest in the islamic world. The great Imam square with two mosques together with the palaces, the parks and the old bridges creates a mood that lets the visitor feel that this really is the Orient.

History

Isfahan was the capital of the country during the Safavids dynasty (1502-1736). The powerful Shah Abbas (1587-1629) was a great believer of architecture, art and handicrafts. During his time the Emam square were built, looking like a large caravan. In its southern end rises the enormous Emam mosque. It is thought by lots of people to be the finest mosque in the country. On one of the long sides lies the Lotfollah mosque and opposite the Ali Qapo palace. The whole square is surrounded by shops for miniatures, gold, sweets and textiles together with a lot of tea houses. The great bazaar stretches from the northern part of the square a total of 5 kilometres, towards the older parts of the city and the Jame mosque from the 11th century. It is easy for a visitor to realize the meaning in a Persian saying from the 16th century: “Isfahan nesf-e jahan – Isfahan is half the world.”