Isfahan

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Isfahan
اصفهان
Spahān, Aspadana
City
Naghshejahan.jpg
The Allahverdi Khan Bridge in night.jpg
Khaju - Bridge.jpg
Flowers garden Isfahan Aarash (21).jpg
کاخ چهلستون۱ 02.jpg
Shah Mosque Isfahan Aarash (257).jpg
Hasht Behesht 007.jpg
Official seal of Isfahan
Official logo of Isfahan
Nickname(s): 
Nesf-e Jahān (Half of the World)
Isfahan
Isfahan
Isfahan is located in Iran
Isfahan
Isfahan
Isfahan in Iran
Isfahan is located in West and Central Asia
Isfahan
Isfahan
Isfahan (West and Central Asia)
Coordinates: 32°38′41″N 51°40′03″E / 32.64472°N 51.66750°E / 32.64472; 51.66750Coordinates: 32°38′41″N 51°40′03″E / 32.64472°N 51.66750°E / 32.64472; 51.66750
Country Iran
ProvinceIsfahan
CountyIsfahan
DistrictCentral
Government
 • MayorAli Ghasemzadeh
 • City CouncilMohammad Nour Salehi (Chairman)
Area
 • Urban
551 km2 (213 sq mi)
Elevation
1,574 m (5,217 ft)
Population
 (2016 Census)
 • Urban
1,961,260[2]
 • Metro
3,989,070[3]
 • Population Rank in Iran
3rd
Time zoneUTC+3:30 (IRST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+4:30 (IRDT 21 March – 20 September)
Area code(s)031
ClimateBWk[4]
Websiteisfahan.ir

Isfahan (Persian: اصفهان‎, romanizedEsfahān [esfæˈhɒːn] (About this soundlisten)), from its ancient designation Aspadana and later Spahan in middle Persian, rendered in English as Ispahan, is a major city in Iran, Greater Isfahan Region. It is located 406 kilometres (252 miles) south of Tehran and it's the capital of Isfahan Province. Isfahan has a population of approximately 1.5 million,[5] making it the third-largest city in Iran, after Mashhad and Tehran, and the second-largest metropolitan area.[6]

It is located at the intersection of the two principal north–south and east–west routes that traverse Iran. Isfahan flourished between 9th and 18th centuries under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history under Shah Abbas the Great. The city retains much of its history. It is famous for its Perso–Islamic architecture, grand boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, tiled mosques, and minarets. Isfahan also has many historical buildings, monuments, paintings, and artifacts. The fame of Isfahan led to the Persian proverb "Esfahān nesf-e-jahān ast": Isfahan is half (of) the world.[7] The Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world. UNESCO has designated it a World Heritage Site.[8]

Etymology[edit]

Isfahan is derived from Middle Persian Spahān. Spahān is attested in various Middle Persian seals and inscriptions, including that of the Zoroastrian magi Kartir,[9] and is also the Armenian name of the city (Սպահան). The present-day name is the Arabicized form of Ispahan (unlike Middle Persian but similar to Spanish, New Persian does not allow initial consonant clusters such as sp[10]). The region appears with the abbreviation GD (Southern Media) on Sasanian numismatics. In Ptolemy's Geographia, it appears as Aspadana (Ἀσπαδανα), translating to "place of gathering for the army". It is believed that Spahān derives from spādānām "the armies", Old Persian plural of spāda, from which derives spāh (𐭮𐭯𐭠𐭧) 'army' and spahi (سپاهی, 'soldier', literally 'of the army') in Middle Persian. Some of the other ancient names include Jey, Gey, Park, Judea[11][12]

History[edit]

Loyalty


Seljuk Empire 1037–1194
Safavid Iran 1501–1736
Imperial State of Iran 1925–1979
Iran Islamic Republic of Iran 1979-now

Historical population
YearPop.±% p.a.
187060,000—    
189090,000+2.05%
1900100,000+1.06%
192080,000−1.11%
1933100,100+1.74%
1942204,600+8.27%
1956254,700+1.58%
1968444,000+4.74%
1976671,800+5.31%
1986986,800+3.92%
19911,182,735+3.69%
19961,327,283+2.33%
20011,327,283+0.00%
20061,689,392+4.94%
20111,853,293+1.87%
20161,961,260+1.14%
source:[13]

Human habitation of the Isfahan region can be traced back to the Palaeolithic period. Archaeologists have recently found artifacts dating back to the Palaeolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron Ages.

Bronze Age[edit]

What became the city of Isfahan likely emerged and gradually developed over the course of the Elamite civilisation (2700–1600 BCE).

Zoroastrian era[edit]

Under Median rule, a commercial entrepôt began to show signs of more sedentary urbanism, steadily growing into a noteworthy regional center that benefited from the exceptionally fertile soil on the banks of the Zayandehrud River in a region called Aspandana or Ispandana.

An ancient artifact from Isfahan City Center museum

Once Cyrus the Great had unified Persian and Median lands into the Achaemenid Empire, the religiously and ethnically diverse city of Isfahan became an early example of the king's fabled religious tolerance. It was Cyrus who, having just taken Babylon, made an edict in 538 BCE, declaring that the Jews in Babylon could return to Jerusalem.[14] Nowadays, some of the freed Jews settled in Isfahan instead of returning to their homeland. The 10th-century Persian historian Ibn al-Faqih wrote:[15]

When the Jews emigrated from Jerusalem, fleeing from Nebuchadnezzar, they carried with them a sample of the water and soil of Jerusalem. They did not settle down anywhere or in any city without examining the water and the soil of each place. They did all along until they reached the city of Isfahan. There they rested, examined the water and soil, and found that both resembled Jerusalem. Thereupon they settled there, cultivated the soil, raised children and grandchildren, and today the name of this settlement is Yahudia.

The Parthians, in the period 247 BCE–224 CE, continued the tradition of tolerance after the fall of the Achaemenids, fostering the Hellenistic dimension within Iranian culture and the political organisation introduced by Alexander the Great's invading armies. Under the Parthians, Arsacid governors administered the provinces of the nation from Isfahan, and the city's urban development accelerated to accommodate the needs of a capital city.

Isfahan at the end of the 6th century (top), consisting of two separate areas of Sassanid Jay and Jewish Yahudia. In the 11th century (bottom), these two areas are completely merged.

The next empire to rule Persia, the Sassanids (224 CE–651 CE), presided over massive changes in their realm, instituting sweeping agricultural reform and reviving Iranian culture and the Zoroastrian religion. Both the city and region were then called by the name Aspahan or Spahan. The city was governed by a group called the Espoohrans, who came from seven noble and important Iranian royal families. Extant foundations of some Sassanid-era bridges in Isfahan suggest that the Sasanian kings were fond of ambitious urban planning projects. While Isfahan's political importance declined during the period, many Sassanid princes would study statecraft in the city, and its military role developed rapidly. Its strategic location at the intersection of the ancient roads to Susa and Persepolis made it an ideal candidate to house a standing army, ready to march against Constantinople at any moment. The words 'Aspahan' and 'Spahan' are derived from the Pahlavi or Middle Persian meaning 'the place of the army'.[16] Although many theories have been mentioned about the origin of Isfahan, in fact little is known of it before the rule of the Sasanian dynasty (c. 224–c. 651 CE). The historical facts suggest that in the late 4th and early 5th centuries, Queen Shushandukht, the Jewish consort of Yazdegerd I (reigned 399–420) settled a colony of Jews in Yahudiyyeh (also spelled Yahudiya), a settlement 3 km northwest of the Zoroastrian city of Gabae (its Achaemid and Parthian name; Gabai was its Sasanic name, which was shortened to Gay (Arabic 'Jay') that was located on the northern bank of the Zayanderud River(colony's establishment also attributed to Nebuchadrezzar though it's less unlikely).[17] The gradual population decrease of Gay (Jay) and the simultaneous population increase of Yahudiyyeh and its suburbs after the Islamic conquest of Iran resulted in the formation of the nucleus of what was to become the city of Isfahan. The words "Aspadana", "Ispadana", "Spahan" and "Sepahan", all from which the word Isfahan is derived, referred to the region in which the city was located.

Isfahan and Gay were both circular in design, a characteristic of Parthian and Sasanian cities.[18] However, this reported Sasanian circular city of Isfahan is not uncovered yet.[19]

Islamic era[edit]

When the Arabs captured Isfahan in 642, they made it the capital of al-Jibal ("the Mountains") province, an area that covered much of ancient Media. Isfahan grew prosperous under the Persian Buyid (Buwayhid) dynasty, which rose to power and ruled much of Iran when the temporal authority of the Abbasid caliphs waned in the 10th century. The city walls of Isfahan are thought to have been constructed during the reign of the Buyid amirs during the tenth century.[20][21][22] The Turkish conqueror and founder of the Seljuq dynasty, Toghril Beg, made Isfahan the capital of his domains in the mid-11th century; but it was under his grandson Malik-Shah I (r. 1073–92) that the city grew in size and splendour.[23]

After the fall of the Seljuqs (c. 1200), Isfahan temporarily declined and was eclipsed by other Iranian cities such as Tabriz and Qazvin. During his visit in 1327, Ibn Battuta noted that "The city of Isfahan is one of the largest and fairest of cities, but it is now in ruins for the greater part."[24]

In 1387, Isfahan surrendered to the Turko-Mongol warlord Timur. Initially treated with relative mercy, the city revolted against Timur's punitive taxes by killing the tax collectors and some of Timur's soldiers. In retribution, Timur ordered the massacre of the city residents, and his soldiers killed a reported 70,000 citizens. An eye-witness counted more than 28 towers, each constructed of about 1,500 heads.[25]

Isfahan regained its importance during the Safavid period (1501–1736). The city's golden age began in 1598 when the Safavid ruler Shah Abbas I (reigned 1588–1629) made it his capital and rebuilt it into one of the largest and most beautiful cities in the 17th-century world. In 1598 Shah Abbas the Great moved his capital from Qazvin to the more central Isfahan; he named it Ispahān (New Persian) so that it wouldn't be threatened by the Ottomans. This new status ushered in a golden age for the city, with architecture and Persian culture flourishing. In the 16th and 17th centuries, thousands of deportees and migrants from the Caucasus, that Abbas and other Safavid rulers had permitted to emigrate en masse, settled in the city. So now the city had enclaves of Georgian, Circassian, and Daghistani descent.[26] Engelbert Kaempfer, who dwelt in Safavid Persia in 1684–85, estimated their number at 20,000.[26][27] During the Safavid era, the city contained a very large Armenian community as well. As part of Abbas's forced resettlement of peoples from within his empire, he resettled as many as 300,000 Armenians[28][29]) from near the unstable Safavid-Ottoman border, primarily from the very wealthy Armenian town of Jugha (also known as Old Julfa) in mainland Iran.[29] In Isfahan, he ordered the foundation of a new quarter for these resettled Armenians from Old Julfa, and thus the Armenian Quarter of Isfahan was named New Julfa.[28][29] New Julfa was created by Abbas the First as a way to concentrate Armenian financial capital in Iran. He introduced specific policies and gave trading roads a monopoly to Armenians to trade and develop Iranian involvement in the Silk Road trade. Armenians had tremendous experience and were the main trade link between Asia and Europe.[30] Today, the New Jolfa district of Isfahan remains a heavily Armenian-populated district, with Armenian churches and shops, the Vank Cathedral being especially notable for its combination of Armenian Christian and Iranian Islamic elements. It is still one of the oldest and largest Armenian quarters in the world. Following an agreement between Shah Abbas I and his Georgian subject Teimuraz I of Kakheti ("Tahmuras Khan"), whereby the latter submitted to Safavid rule in exchange for being allowed to rule as the region's wāli (governor) and for having his son serve as dāruḡa ("prefect") of Isfahan in perpetuity, the Georgian prince converted to Islam and served as governor.[26] He was accompanied by a troop of soldiers,[26] some of whom were Georgian Orthodox Christians.[26] The royal court in Isfahan had a great number of Georgian ḡolāms (military slaves), as well as Georgian women.[26] Although they spoke both Persian and Turkic, their mother tongue was Georgian.[26] During Abbas's reign, Isfahan became very famous in Europe, and many European travellers made an account of their visit to the city, such as Jean Chardin. This prosperity lasted until it was sacked by Afghan invaders in 1722 during a marked decline in Safavid influence.

Thereafter, Isfahan experienced a decline in importance, culminating in a move of the capital to Mashhad and Shiraz during the Afsharid and Zand periods respectively, until it was finally moved to Tehran in 1775 by Agha Mohammad Khan, the founder of the Qajar dynasty.

In the early years of the 19th century, efforts were made to preserve some of Isfahan's archeologically important buildings. The work was started by Mohammad Hossein Khan during the reign of Fath Ali Shah.[31]

Modern age[edit]

Map all coordinates using: OpenStreetMap 
Download coordinates as: KML

In the 20th century, Isfahan was resettled by a very large number of people from southern Iran, firstly during the population migrations at the start of the century, and again in the 1980s following the Iran–Iraq War. During the war, 23000 were killed by Isfahan and there were 43000 veterans.[32]

Today, Isfahan produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, handicrafts, and traditional foods including sweets. There are nuclear experimental reactors as well as facilities for producing nuclear fuel (UCF) within the environs of the city.[33] Isfahan has one of the largest steel-producing facilities in the region, as well as facilities for producing special alloys. Mobarakeh Steel Company is the biggest steel producer in the whole of the Middle East and Northern Africa, and it is the biggest DRI producer in the world.[34] The Isfahan Steel Company was the first manufacturer of constructional steel products in Iran, and it remains the largest such company today.[35]

The city has an international airport and a metro line.

There are a major oil refinery and a large airforce base outside the city. HESA, Iran's most advanced aircraft manufacturing plant, is located just outside the city.[36][37] Isfahan is also attracting international investment,.[38] Isfahan hosted the International Physics Olympiad in 2007. 2020 Iran-Qatar Joint Economic Commission met in the city.[39]

Geography[edit]

1972 to 2009 abundance percentage of years of drought and wet periods data isfahan atlas

The city is located in the lush plains of the Zayanderud River at the foothills of the Zagros mountain range. The nearest mountain is Mount Soffeh (Kuh-e Soffeh), just south of the city.

Hydrography[edit]

There is an artificial network of canals whose components are called Madi which were built during the rule of Safavid dynasty for water channeling from "Zaayaandeh Roud" river into different parts of the city. Designed by Sheikh Bahaï, an engineer of Shah Abbas, this network has 77 madis on the northern part, and 71 on the southern part of Zayandeh Roud. In 1993, this centuries-old network provided 91% of agricultural water needs, 4% of industrial needs, and 5% of city needs.[40] 70 emergency wells were dug in 2018 to avoid water shortages.[41][42][43]

Ecological issues[edit]

Towns and villages around Isfahan have been hit so hard by drought and water diversion that they have emptied out and people who lived there have moved.[44][45] An anonymous journalist said that what's called drought is more often the mismanagement of water.[46][47][48] Subsidence rate is dire and decreases by one meter in aquifer level annually.[49] As of 2020 the city had the worst air quality between major Iranian cities.[50][51][52][53]

Flora and fauna[edit]

Rosa 'Ispahan'

The Damask rose cultivar Rosa 'Ispahan' is named after the city. Isfahan endemic cows went extinct in 2020.[54] Wagtails are often seen in farmlands and parks.[55]

The mole cricket is one of the major pests of plants in the soil, especially grass roots.[56][57] Sheep and rams are the animal symbol of Isfahan.[58]

Armed forces base[edit]

IRGC AF has an airbase in the city[59][60] and has been taking a cloud seeding contract project through UAVs in Isfahan.[61]
The Islamic Republic of Iran Air Force has an airbase named 8th Predator Tactical Fighter Base (TFB.8) which is the home base for Iranian F-14s.[62][63][64][65] Sepah Pasdaran is named "Master of the Era" ("Saheb al zaman" in Arabic and Farsi) after Mahdi. .[66]

Climate[edit]

Situated at 1,590 metres (5,217 ft) above sea level on the eastern side of the Zagros Mountains, Isfahan has an cold desert climate (Köppen BWk). No geological obstacles exist within 90 kilometres (56 miles) north of Isfahan, allowing cool winds to blow from this direction. Despite its altitude, Isfahan remains hot during the summer, with maxima typically around 35 °C (95 °F). However, with low humidity and moderate temperatures at night, the climate is quite pleasant. During the winter, days are cool while nights can be very cold. Snow falls an average of 7.8 days each winter.[67] The Zayande River starts in the Zagros Mountains, flowing from the west through the heart of the city, then dissipates in the Gavkhouni wetland. Planting olive trees in the city is economically viable because it is compatible with water shortages.[68]

Climate data for Isfahan (1961–1990, extremes 1951–2010)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °C (°F) 20.4
(68.7)
23.4
(74.1)
29.0
(84.2)
32.0
(89.6)
37.6
(99.7)
41.0
(105.8)
43.0
(109.4)
42.0
(107.6)
39.0
(102.2)
33.2
(91.8)
26.8
(80.2)
21.2
(70.2)
43.0
(109.4)
Average high °C (°F) 8.8
(47.8)
11.9
(53.4)
16.8
(62.2)
22.0
(71.6)
28.0
(82.4)
34.1
(93.4)
36.4
(97.5)
35.1
(95.2)
31.2
(88.2)
24.4
(75.9)
16.9
(62.4)
10.8
(51.4)
23.0
(73.4)
Daily mean °C (°F) 2.7
(36.9)
5.5
(41.9)
10.4
(50.7)
15.7
(60.3)
21.3
(70.3)
27.1
(80.8)
29.4
(84.9)
27.9
(82.2)
23.5
(74.3)
16.9
(62.4)
9.9
(49.8)
4.4
(39.9)
16.2
(61.2)
Average low °C (°F) −2.4
(27.7)
−0.2
(31.6)
4.5
(40.1)
9.4
(48.9)
14.2
(57.6)
19.1
(66.4)
21.5
(70.7)
19.8
(67.6)
15.1
(59.2)
9.3
(48.7)
3.6
(38.5)
−0.9
(30.4)
9.4
(48.9)
Record low °C (°F) −19.4
(−2.9)
−12.2
(10.0)
−8
(18)
−4
(25)
4.5
(40.1)
10.0
(50.0)
13.0
(55.4)
11.0
(51.8)
5.0
(41.0)
0.0
(32.0)
−8
(18)
−13
(9)
−19.4
(−2.9)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 17.1
(0.67)
14.1
(0.56)
18.2
(0.72)
19.2
(0.76)
8.8
(0.35)
0.6
(0.02)
0.7
(0.03)
0.2
(0.01)
0.0
(0.0)
4.1
(0.16)
9.9
(0.39)
19.6
(0.77)
112.5
(4.43)
Average precipitation days (≥ 1.0 mm) 4.0 2.9 3.8 3.5 2.0 0.2 0.3 0.1 0.0 0.8 2.2 3.7 23.5
Average snowy days 3.2 1.7 0.7 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 1.9 7.8
Average relative humidity (%) 60 51 43 39 33 23 23 24 26 36 48 57 39
Mean monthly sunshine hours 205.3 213.3 242.1 244.5 301.3 345.4 347.6 331.2 311.6 276.5 226.1 207.6 3,252.5
Source 1: NOAA[69]
Source 2: Iran Meteorological Organization (records)[70][71]

Demographics[edit]

The mean of the first marriage age, for females and males in 2019 was 25 and 30 years respectively.[72][73]

Culture[edit]

Isfahan international convention center is under construction. The Isfahan annual literature prize began in 2004.[74][75] New Art Paradise built in District 6 in 2019 has the biggest open amphitheatre in the country.[76] Since 2005, November 22 is Isfahan's National Day commemorated with various events.[77] Based on a statue creator's symposium in 2020, the city decided to add 11 permanent art pieces to the city's monuments.[78] َAncient traditions included Tirgan, Sepandārmazgān festivals, and historically, men used to wear Kolah namadi.[79][80] The Isfahan School of painting flourished during the Safavid era.[81][82][83] The Esfahan province annual theatre festival is in this city.[84] Theater performances began in 1919 (1297 AH), and currently, there are 9 active theaters.[85][86][87]

Music[edit]

Bayat-e Esfahan is one of the melodic pieces of Iranian traditional music.[clarification needed]

Iranian singer Salar Aghili performed in the city of Isfahan on January 12 and 13, 2018, without the female members of his band due to interference by local officials at the Ministry of Islamic Culture and Guidance.[88]

Technology, ICT and media[edit]

Atlas for Isfahan Megacity is an internet service for data and statistics in Farsi made available in 2015.[89][90][91] IRIB has a TV network and Radio channel in the city.[92] During the Qajar era, Farhang, the first newspaper publication in the city, was printed for 13 years.[93]Iran Metropolises News Agency(IMNA) formerly called Isfahan Municipality News Agency is based in the city.[94]

Philosophy and Islamic school[edit]

Some major philosophers include Mir Damad, known for his concepts of time and nature, as well as founding the School of Isfahan,[95] and Mir Fendereski, who was known for his examination of art and philosophy within a society.[96]

Dialect[edit]

Esfahani is one of the main dialects of Western Persian.[97][98] Jewish districts have a unique dialect.[99]

Cultural sites[edit]

Main places

A handicraft shop
Shah Mosque. Painting by the French architect, Pascal Coste, visiting Persia in 1841
View of Ali Qapu Palace
A carpet shop in Grand Bazaar, Isfahan
Detail of Khaju Bridge

The city centre consists of an older section revolving around the Jameh Mosque, and the Safavid expansion around Naqsh-e Jahan Square, with nearby places of worship, palaces, and bazaars.[100]

Cemeteries[edit]

Bagh-e Rezvan Cemetery is one of the biggest and advanced in the country.[101] Other cemeteries include New Julfa Armenian Cemetery & Takht-e Foulad.

Bazaars[edit]

Bazaar of Isfahan & Qeysarie Gate was built in– 17th century.Social hubs were opium houses & coffeehouses clustered around Chahar bagh & Chehel sotun the best-known traditional coffeehouse is qahva-ḵāna-ye Golestān[102][103][104][105][106][107] There is also Bazar Honar.

Bridges[edit]

Persian pottery from the city Isfahan, 17th century

The bridges on the Zayanderud river comprise some of the finest architecture in Isfahan. The oldest bridge is the Shahrestan bridge, whose foundations were built by the Sasanian Empire (3rd–7th century Sassanid era); it was repaired during the Seljuk period. Further upstream is the Khaju bridge, which was built by Shah Abbas II in 1650. It is 123 metres (404 feet) long with 24 arches, and also serves as a sluice gate.

Another bridge is the Choobi (Joui) bridge, which was originally an aqueduct to supply the palace gardens on the north bank of the river. Further upstream again is the Si-o-Seh Pol or bridge of 33 arches. The building was built during the reign of Shah Abbas the Great by Sheikh Baha'i and connected Isfahan with the Armenian suburbs of New Jolfa. Armenian suburb of New Julfa. It is by far the longest bridge in Isfahan at 295 m (967.85 ft).

Another notable bridge is the Marnan Bridge.

Churches and cathedrals[edit]

Churches in the city are mostly in the New Julfa region. Some of the historically important ones are Bedkhem Church – 1627, St. Georg Church – 17th century, St. Mary Church – 17th century, Vank Cathedral – 1664. The oldest one is St. Jakob Church – 1607.

Emamzadehs[edit]

Gardens and parks[edit]

The Pardis Honar Park cost 30 billion toman in District 6 by 2018.[108] Some other zoological gardens and parks (including public & private beach parks, non beach parks) are Birds Garden, Flower Garden of Isfahan, Nazhvan Recreational Complex, Moshtagh, Shahre royaha [fa] amusement park, and the East Park of Isfahan. [109]

Houses[edit]

Mausoleums and tombs[edit]

Minarets[edit]

Menar Jonban was built in the 14th century. The tomb is an Iwan measuring 10 meters high.[110] Other menars include Ali minaret – 11th century, Bagh-e-Ghoushkhane minaret – 14th century , Chehel Dokhtaran minaret – 12 century, Dardasht minarets – 14th century, Darozziafe minarets – 14th century, and Sarban minaret.

Mosques[edit]

Museums[edit]

Schools (madresse)[edit]

Palaces and caravanserais[edit]

Squares and streets[edit]

A view of Meydan Kohne

Synagogues[edit]

Other sites[edit]

Gavart village pigeon towers

Cuisine[edit]

Gosh-e fil and Doogh is a famous city snack.[121][122] Other traditional breakfasts, desserts and meals include Khoresht mast, Beryani and meat with beans and pumpkin aush.[123][124][125][126][127][128][129] Gaz & Poolaki are two popular Iranian candy types originating in Isfahan.

Economy[edit]

In 2014, Isfahan province industry, mines and commerce accounted for 35% to 50% (almost $229 billion) of Iranian Gross Domestic Product.[130][131] Isfahan province's governorate in 2019 said that tourism is number one priority.[132] According to Esfahan province's Administrator for Department of Cooperatives, Labour, and Social Welfare, Iran has cheapest labor workforce anywhere in the world and this low wage attracts foreign investors. Unemployment rate was 15% by 2018.[133] Isfahan University of Technology is one of the most prestigious engineering universities in Iran and focuses on science, engineering, and agriculture programs.[134] The labor force shows a continuous growth in the last three decades.[135][136] There are almost 500,000 people living in slums, including in the northern part and especially eastern sector of the city.[137] Isfahan Fair, a 22 hectare exhibition center aimed at increasing tourism, is under construction.Esfahan Province Electricity Distribution Company [fa] built in 1992 maintains powergrid expansion in the city.[138][139] As of September 2020, handicrafts of Isfahan Province makes annual $500 million.[140] Municipality has made an internet payment software.[141][142]

Aquaculture and agriculture[edit]

Isfahan city is one of the active cities in this field with the production of 1,300 tons of salmon. More than 28% of the country's ornamental fish is produced in Isfahan province and 780 units are active in the field of ornamental fish production, which in 2017 produced 65 million and 500 thousand pieces of ornamental fish in Isfahan province.[143]

Opium was produced and exported in Isfahan from 1850 until it became illegal and was an important source of income.[144] Isfahan has a large number of aqueducts, Farmers had to divert water from the river to farms by canal.[145] Niasarm is one of the biggest water canals.[146] From 2012 to 2013 there have been large protests against Isfahan-Yazd water tunnel by farmers, In 2019, eastern city farmers demanded water otherwise they'd sabotage water transfer pipes.[147][148] Fruits and vegetables central market is where farmers sell their product wholesale buying 10,000 tons farmers product a day.[149]

High tech and heavy industries[edit]

The industrialization of Isfahan dates from the Pahlavi period as in all of Iran, and was marked by the strong growth at that time of the textile industry; which earned the city the nickname “ Manchester of Persia”.[150][151] There are 9200 industrial units in the city %40 of Iranian textile industry is in Isfahan.[152]

Telecommunication Company of Iran and Mobile Telecommunication Company of Iran provide 4G, 3G, broadband, and VDSL.[153][154]

Isfahan Scientific and Research Town started its executive activity in 2001 for acting as a medium between government, industry and academia toward a knowledge-based economy.[155]

It is also the third-largest medicine manufacturing hub in Iran.[156]

Education and science[edit]

Before schools there were maktabkhanehs in the city.[157][158][159][160] In 2019 there were 20 special schools with 5000 children in the city.[161]

Central Municipal Library of Esfahan

The Isfahan University of Medical Sciences was established in 1947 and has almost 9,200 students & interns. The university campus is adjacent to the University of Isfahan.[162] The Isfahan University of Art was established 1977. It was temporarily closed after the 1979 revolution, and reopened in 1984 after Iranian Cultural Revolution.[163] The first technical university in Iran, the Isfahan University of Technology was established in the city in 1974.[164] Aside from the seminaries and religious schools, the other public, private major universities of the Isfahan metropolitan area include: Mohajer Technical And Vocational College of Isfahan, Payame Noor University, Islamic Azad University of Isfahan, Islamic Azad University of Najafabad & Islamic Azad University of Majlesi. In total, there are more than 7329 schools in the Isfahan province.[165]

There are also more than 50 technical and vocational training centres in the province under the administration of Esfahan TVTO, which provide free, non-formal workforce skills training programs.[166] As of 2020, 90% of workforce skills trainees are women.[167]

Transportation[edit]

Old building of Isfahan city hall
Map of Isfahan's operational BRT lines
Map of Isfahan's operational metro lines

Ride sharing[edit]

Snapp! and Tapsi[168][169] are two of the carpooling apps in the city.[170][171] There are 42 bicycle sharing stations and 150 kilometers bicycle pavements built by the city.[172][173] As a part of Iran's religious laws, women are forbidden to use the public bicycle-sharing network, as decreed by the representative of the Supreme Leader in Isfahan Ayatollah Yousef Tabatabai Nejad and General Attorney Ali Esfahani.[174]

An old master of hand-printed carpets in Isfahan bazaar

Airports[edit]

Isfahan is served by Isfahan International Airport, which in 2019 was the 7th busiest airport in Iran.[175][60]

Roads and freeways[edit]

Over the past decade, Isfahan's internal highway network has been undergoing a major expansion. Much care has been taken to prevent damage to valuable, historical buildings. Modern freeways connect the city to Iran's other major cities, including the capital Tehran (400 km) to the north and Shiraz (200 km) to the south. Highways also service satellite cities surrounding the metropolitan area.[176]

The Isfahan Eastern Bypass Freeway is under construction.

In 2021 a new AVL system was deployed in the city.[177][178][179]

Public transit[edit]

Isfahan and Suburbs Bus Company runs transit buses in the city.East-West BRT Bus Rapid Transit line buses carry 120,000 on peak day.[180]

The municipality has signed a memorandum with Khatam-al Anbiya to construct a tram network in the city.[181]

The Isfahan Metro was opened on 15 October 2015. It currently consists of one nort-south line of a length of 11 km, but two more lines are currently under construction, alongside three suburban rail lines.[182]

The city of Isfahan is served by a railway station, with the IRIR running services to Bandarabbas and Mashhad. The first high-speed railway in Iran, the Tehran-Qom-Isfahan line is currently being constructed and will connected Isfahan to Tehran and Qom.[183]

Notable people[edit]

Music
Film
Craftsmen and painters
Political figures
Religious figures
Sportspeople
Writers and poets
Others

Recreation and tourism[edit]

In 2019-2018 some 450,000 foreign nationals visited the city.Some 110 trillion rials (over $2 billion at the official rate of 42,000 rials(2020) have been invested in the province’s tourism sector.[199]

The central historical area in Isfahan is called Seeosepol.[200]

Isfahan is noted for its production of the Isfahan rug, a type of Persian rug typically made of merino wool and silk.

Teahouses are supervised and allowed to offer Hookah until 2022.[201] As of 2020 there are almost 300 teahouses with permit.[202]

Nazhvan Park hosts a reptile zoo with 40 aquariums.[203] Saadi water park, Nazhvan kids water park[204][citation needed]

Ancient baths include Jarchi hammam & The Bathhouse of Bahāʾ al-dīn al-ʿĀmilī; a public bath called “Garmabeh-e-shaykh” in Isfahan which for a long period it was running and providing hot water to public for years without any visible heating system of the day which usually needed tons of wood was built by Baha' al-din al-'Amili.[205][206][207][208] Khosro Agha hammam was demolished by unknown people in 1992.Ali Gholi Agha hammam is another remaining one.. Chardin writes that the number of baths in Isfahan in the Safavid era is 273.[103]

There is a lot of luxury party gardens & wedding halls.[209][210][211]

Iran - Esfehan - Soffeh view ^ Telecabin station - panoramio

Medical tourism[edit]

Isfahan Healthcare city complex, built on a 300 hectare site near the Aqa Babaei Expressway, is intended to boost the city's medical tourism revenues.[212]

Shopping[edit]

IsfahanCityCenter outside night

Hypermarkets
Refah Chain Stores Co., Iran Hyper Star, Isfahan city center, Shahrvand Chain Stores Inc., Kowsar Market[213] & Isfahan Mall.
Cinemas
There are 9 cinemas.[214] Historically cinemas in old Isfahan were entertainment for worker class while the religious people considered cinema to be mostly an impure place and going to the cinema to be haram. Because of 1979 revolution many cinemas in Isfahan were burned down. Great filmmakers such as Agnès Varda and Pier Paolo Pasolini shot scenes from their films in Isfahan. Cinema Iran now a ruin was one of the oldest cinemas in the city.[215][216][217]

Sports[edit]

Isfahan has three association football clubs that play professionally. These are:

Sepahan has won the most league titles among the Iranian clubs (2002–03, 2009–10, 2010–11, 2011–12 and 2014–15).[218]

Giti Pasand also has a futsal team, Giti Pasand FSC, one of the best teams in Asia. They won the AFC Futsal Club Championship in 2012 and were runners-up in 2013. Basketball clubs include Zob Ahan Isfahan BC, Foolad Mahan Isfahan BC[219] There is also women's volleyball team Giti Pasand Isfahan VC that plays matches in Iranian Women's Volleyball League.[220] There are Pahlavani zoorkhanehs in the city.[221][222] Foolad Mobarakeh Sepahan (handball) team is one of the teams in Iranian handball league. Sepahan has a youth women runners that became national champion in 2020.[223]

Civic administration[edit]

Isfahan city greenspace share atlas data 2020

There is a smart city program, a unified human resources administration system, transport system[224][225].[226][227][228]

Municipal government[edit]

The chairman of the city council is Alireza Nasrisfahani,There is also the Leadership council within city council.[229][230] and the mayor is Ghodratollah Noroozi.[231] Representative for supreme leader and representative for Isfahan in Assembly of Experts is Yousef Tabatabai Nejad.[232] The city's divided into 15 municipal districts.In 2020, Municipality employed 6250 people with additional 3000 people in 16 subsidiaries.[233]

Public works[edit]

Coloring theme for the city has been Turquoise for a period of time.[234]

City waste is processed and recycled in Isfahan Waste Complex.[235]

Esfahan water & wastewater Organization [fa] is responsible for piping operation, network installation, preventive maintenance, repairing waterworks, wastewater equipment, supervising wastewater collection and treatment and disposal in the city.[236][237]

Municipality created a document in 2020 outlining future development program for the city.[238]

Human resources and public health[edit]

As of June 2020, 65% of the population of Isfahan province has had social security insurance .[239] Isfahan is known as the capital of the world Multiple sclerosis disease due to the presence of polluting industries.[240] In 2015, with the cut-off of the Zayandehrood River, almost 15% of people suffered from depression.[241]

International relations[edit]

The Isfahan municipality created a citizen diplomacy service program to boost foreign relations of the city through connections with sister cities around the world.[242][243][244][245]

Russian Federation General Consulate in Isfahan is registered cultural heritage.[246] Chinese have expressed readiness to be the first country that opens consulate in a diplomatic zone in the central city[247] The residence of Afghan nationals is allowed in Esfahan city.There is a plan in the future to create a diplomatic district next to Imam Khamenei international convention center for countries to base their consulates offices in.[181]

It's member of the League of Historical Cities since 1994 and full member of Inter-City Intangible Cultural Cooperation Network.[248][249]

Twin towns – sister cities[edit]

Esfahan Street in Kuala Lumpur, and Kualalampur Avenue in Isfahan

Isfahan is twinned with:[250]

Cooperation agreements[edit]

Isfahan cooperates with:

In addition, the New Julfa quarter of Isfahan has friendly relations with:[253]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

Citations[edit]

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Works cited[edit]

  • Matthee, Rudi (2012). Persia in Crisis: Safavid Decline and the Fall of Isfahan. I.B.Tauris. ISBN 978-1845117450.

Further reading[edit]

  • Yves Bomati; Houchang Nahavandi (2017). Parviz Amouzegar (ed.). Shah Abbas, Emperor of Persia, 1587-1629. Translated by Azizeh Azodi. Los Angeles: Ketab Corporation. ISBN 978-1595845672.
  • Dehghan, Maziar (2014). Management in IRAN. ISBN 978-600-04-1573-0.

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Rey
Capital of Seljuq Empire (Persia)
1051–1118
Succeeded by
Hamadan (Western capital)
Merv (Eastern capital)
Preceded by
Qazvin
Capital of Iran (Persia)
1598–1736
Succeeded by
Mashhad
Preceded by
Qazvin
Capital of Safavid dynasty
1598–1722
Succeeded by
-