Naghshe Jahan Square – Isfahan
Considered by many an impressive testimony to the significance of cultural life in Great Persia, Meydan e Naghshe Jahan (Naghshe Jahan Square), was built by Shah Abbas I the Great at the beginning of 17th century. The former name of the square was Shah Square which after the Iranian Islamic revolution of 1979 it was changed to Imam Square. However most people still know it as its historical name, Naghshe Jahan, which literally translates to “portrait of the world”.
The square itself is 160m wide and 560 meters long and is surrounded by historical buildings from the era of Safavid Dynasty.
The most famous attractions in the surrounding of the square are: Imam (formerly known as Shah) Mosque (southern side of the square), Ali Ghapou (western side of the square), Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque (eastern side of the square) and Isfahan Grand Bazaar which can be reached through the northern gates of the square. The bazaar is one of the largest and oldest in the Middle East. Some parts of the bazaar date back to more than a thousand years ago.
When Shah Abbas chose Isfahan as the new capital of the country (before that it was Qazvin), he ordered widespread development programs in the city, one of which was Naghshe Jahan Square. Since the official religion of Savafid Dynasty was Islam, the buildings of this era is mostly influenced from Islamic architecture.
Due to its central location, Naghshe Jahan square is considered the focal point of tourist attractions in Isfahan. With countless shops and stalls around the square, it is also the handicrafts-enthusiasts’ heaven! If there is one souvenir to be bought from Iran, it’s a handcrafted art piece called “Khatam”. So if you are there, don’t miss the opportunity of visiting different stalls and watching these traditional handcrafts being created by artists right in front of you.
Below you will find a link to a 360 degree view of the square (hosted on a third party website):