The most famous Persian description of the city of Isfahan is Isfahan nesf-e Jahan (Isfahan is half the world) , which the Isfahan coined in the 16th century to express the city’s grandeur. Isfahan , chosen and designed capital under Shah Abbas 1 , was reconstituted with so many new mosques , palaces , bridges , avenues and parks that even European travelers wrote rapturously of its beauties. Knight Jean Chardin , a dependable observer according to A. U. Pope , reports that in 1666 Isfahan had 162 mosques , 48 madrasahs (schools) , 182 caravanserais and 173 baths.
Isfahan steelworks started production in 1971 and is planned to double its present output of 1 ,900 ,000 tons in the coming years and make Iran self-sufficient as regards steel production. The Zayandeh-rud river watering gardens and fields with its numerous tributaries along its 360km. course , flows from west to east through the city , and divides off Jolfa and some other suburbs from the main part of the city , but most of the main attractions are to the north of the river
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