Isfahan F/D city tour
ESFAHAN- Persian’s most enchanting city! The magnificent capital of Safavid King Shah Abbas I (1587-1629) on the banks of the Zayandeh Rud River , was often described by the words: “Esfahan nesf-e Jahan” (Esfahan is half the world) and has long attracted travelers from all over the world. It is here where one can really appreciate the true grace and beauty of Persian heritage.
F/D City tour of sightseeing in this amazing city with afternoon dedicated to shopping and free at leisure walking tours : visit Imam Historical Square & Sheikh Lotfollah Mosques . Isfahan Carpet Bazaar and Isfahan River with its exquisite ancient bridges and teahouses .
Built in 1612 as a royal polo ground , and situated in the heart of the Safavid Capital , Imam Square is one of the largest and finest public spaces in the world.
Historically a hive of activity – filled with entertainers , story tellers , preachers and silk route caravans , it has entranced travelers throughout the generations.
The atmospheric bazaar captures the ambiance of ancient Persia. It’s easy to spend many hours strolling here. The pungent scent of exotic spices , clang of coppersmiths at work , cries of merchants selling gold , carpets and handicrafts , all fill the series of long alleys radiating from Imam Square – fantastic!
IMAM MOSQUE & SHEIKLOTFOLLAH MOSQUE:
Built between 1612 and 1638 these majestic structures lavishly adorned with exquisite tile work in hues of blue , turquoise and green , represent the culmination of over 1 ,000 years of Islamic art and architecture.
The former was built as Esfahan ‘s central place of worship and Islamic learning. The latter , named in honor of the great Lebanese Sheik Lotfollah , was the private place of prayer and meditation for Shah Abbas.
No trip to Esfahan is complete without visiting the famous old bridges that cross the Zayandeh River. We take some time here to stroll along the river banks , mingle with the friendly residents and join the local folks for the famous Esfahan tea.
Visiting an out door garden next to Zayande rood with a collection of Iran local Birds.
ALI QAPU PALACE:
Literally called “the sublime gate” in Farsi , this seven storey palace , situated on the western sided of Imam Square , was principally the centre of government during the Safavid Period.
The interior is wonderfully decorated with fine carvings , murals and mosaics and the main balcony gave the Shah and his family a commanding view of the polo matches held in the square and daily life in the city.
FORTY COLUMN PALACE:
There are only twenty elegant columns at the front of Shah Abbas’ royal reception hall actually , but their reflection in the pool gives the inspiration for the name.
Inside the visitor is treated to a superb display of frescoes and paintings , which cover the walls and depict scenes from the 16 & 17th centuries.