Isfahan, Colourful history,
Isfahan is located in west central Iran along both banks of the Zayandeh River. Its origins date back to the Achaemenid era (c. 550–330 b.c.e.), but it did not emerge as an important city until 1150, when Toghril Beg, founder of the Seljuk dynasty, chose it as his capital. The city’s golden age coincided with its status as the capital of the Safavi dynasty (1598–1722). Shah Abbas I (r. 1587–1629) and several of his successors embellished the city with bridges, mosques, madrasehs,and palaces, many of which are extant and are considered among the finest examples of Islamic architecture. In 1722, an army of invading Afghans besieged Isfahan for several months before finally capturing and looting it and deposing the shah. These events ushered in more than two decades of steady economic and political decline interspersed with several brutal massacres of prominent citizens of the city.
Isfahan at the beginning of the nineteenth century was no longer a major city; it had ceased to be Iran’s capital, and its population was only 25 percent of what it had been during the height of Safavi power. Its role as a regional commercial center recovered during the reign of Nasir ed-Din Shah Qajar (1848–1896). In the 1920s entrepreneurs began developing modern factories, especially textile mills, which by the early 1960s employed nearly 20,000 workers and produced one-half of Iran’s total output of textiles. The renewed prosperity stimulated greater and more diversified industrialization, and the city became the center of the country’s steel industry during the 1970s. Isfahan has experienced considerable immigration, growing at an average annual rate of 4 percent during the last seventy years of the twentieth century. In the 1996 census, its population had reached 1,266,000, making it the third-largest city in Iran. The city also remains the country’s premier tourist center, drawing thousands to see such famous Safavi-era architectural landmarks as the Meydan-e Imam, Masjid-e Imam, Masjid-e Shaykh Lotfollah, and the covered bazaar.
- 14 days
- All breakfast and Mid day Refreshment
- Two Doinners
- All Breakfast plus two dinners and Mid-day refreshment
- All transportation
- All entrance fees as indicated in the itinerary
- English speaking tour guide
- 5 and 4 stars hotels
- All transportation with air conditioned bus or minibus