Tag Archives: Isfahan

Esfahan – Ali Qapu Palace Music Room

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Ali Qapu (Âli Qapı from Ottoman Turkish High Porte) is a grand palace in Isfahan, Iran.

It is forty-eight meters high and there are seven floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. In the sixth floor music room, deep circular niches are found in the walls, having not only aesthetic value, but also acoustic.

The building, another wonderful Safavid edifice, was built by decree of Shah Abbas the Great in the early seventeenth century. It was here that the great monarch used to entertain noble visitors, and foreign ambassadors.

The chancellery was stationed on the first floor. On the sixth, the royal reception and banquets were held. The largest rooms are found on this floor. The stucco decoration of the banquet hall abounds in motif of various vessels and cups. The sixth floor was popularly called (the music room).

Here various ensembles performed music and sang songs. From the upper galleries, the Safavid ruler watched polo, maneuvers and the horse-racing opposite the square of Naqsh-i-Jahan.

Source: Wikipedia | Ali Qapu

Photos: Vank Cathedral in Isfahan

Following the Ottoman war of 1603-1605, Armenians began to arrive in Iran in search of a new life under the Safavid King Shah Abbas I.

Shah Abbas I, who settled tens of thousands of them in the Iranian provinces south of Aras River, also relocated Armenians, who had fled from the Ottoman massacre in Nakhchivan to Iran. […]

The Armenian immigrants settled in Isfahan and populated the city’s New Jolfa district, which was named after their original homeland in today’s Azerbaijan Republic. […]

One of the largest and most beautiful churches of Iran, the cathedral was completed in 1664. It includes a bell-tower, built in 1702, a printing press, founded by Bishop Khachatoor, a library established in 1884, and a museum opened in 1905.  […]

Built in 1871, the museum contains numerous objects related to the history of the cathedral and the Armenian community of Isfahan, including the 1606 edict of Shah Abbas I establishing New Jolfa and prohibiting interference with, or the persecution of, Armenians and their property and affairs in the district. […]

The Vank museum also houses an extensive collection of photographs, maps, and Turkish documents related to the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman kings.

Posts about Christians in Iran: The other Iran | Christians

 

Read the full article at: Payvand News of Iran | Wonders of Iran: Vank Cathedral

Isfahan – Iran’s ethnical diverse Mosaic City host of multiple world heritage sites

A mere hour’s flight south from Tehran, a visit to Isfahan could alone justify a trip to Iran.

It is hard to say whether the city’s immense charm lies in its aquamarine-tiled mosques and elegant gardens and palaces; in its location at the foot of the snow-capped Zagros mountains and along the curve of the Zayandeh river with its fairytale arched bridges; in its unique, majestic urban plaza and its evocative bazaar; or, year-round clear blue skies. Winters here are crisp and cool, summers sizzling, and spring balmy.

Undoubtedly the most elegant city in Iran, Esfahan was the Persian capital for a hundred-year period from 1588, when it flourished under the rule of the arts-loving despot Shah Abbas I. Traditionally a crossroads for international trade and diplomacy, the city has never ceased to wow visitors.

However, Esfahan is more than a living, breathing work of art: it is an industrial supremo, a modern, cosmopolitan city, with a population of over 1.5 million. Ethnically diverse – the Christian and Jewish minority live alongside the Muslims in peace – the streets are alive with the irrepressible vitality of its youthful residents. Whether you strike up a conversation with a local, lose yourself in the winding alleys of the old quarter or relax in one of the city’s cosy teahouses, you too will fall under Esfahan’s spell.

What to do First stop has to be Naqsh-e Jahan Square, in the centre of town. Begun in 1602 and originally used as a polo ground, it’s one of the world’s largest – beating Russia’s Red Square – and is now a UNESCO world heritage site.

The grassy fountain-filled courtyard is the perfect spot for people-watching, a picnic or simply soaking up the splendid monuments that surround it, such as the massive Imam Mosque complex. Adjacent to the Imam Mosque is the more intimate Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque – its intricately tiled dome never fails to mesmerise visitors.

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Ali Qapu Palace, Isfahan, Fars Province

Opposite it, is the Ali Qapu Palace, one time roost of the Safavid rulers, and at the far end is the entrance to the Grand Bazaar. It, like the covered arcade that runs around the square, is your best bet for booty: miniature paintings, decorative tiles, enamel vases and plates, jewellery, carpets, clothes and accessories – from colourful scarves, to fake designer handbags, rupushes, a type of long coat, and hijabs – as well as nuts and sweets. The city is famous for gaz, a type of nougat.

Chehel Sotoon

Chehel Sotun, Isfahan, Fars Province

Drag yourself away, if you can for another opportunity to savour high Persian culture in the form of Chehel Sotun Palace, with its mirror work, pillared hall and landscaped gardens, now filled with gaggles of friendly students. Conveniently, it’s also in the vicinity of the Museum of Contemporary Art, which exhibits works by both local and international artists.

Don’t forget to check out Jolfa, the Armenian quarter, south of the Zayandeh River. It’s dotted with churches, including Vank Cathedral which is famous for its striking religious tableaux. Whatever you do, be sure to take a sunset stroll along the banks of the river to the striking Khaju Bridge, a discreet haunt for courting couples.

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Khaju Bridge, Isfahan, Fars Province

Iranians participating in Earth Hour 2014 throughout Iran

Earth Hour is a worldwide movement for the planet organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF). The event is held worldwide annually encouraging individuals, communities, households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights for one hour, from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. on the last Saturday in March, as a symbol for their commitment to the planet.

Source: Wikipedia