29 January 2017

Impressions and Images of Iran: Maidān-e Naqsh-e Jahān & Kakh-e Ālī Qāpū in Isfahan

This is Isfahan's front yard. Isfahan's showpiece, the Naqsh-e Jahān Square is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of Isfahan's big attractions. This square was constructed between 1598 and 1629, and has several important sites lining it. The north side has the entrance to Isfahan's bazaar, the eastern side is where the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is located, the western side has the Ālī Qāpū Palace, and the southern side is where the entrance of the Shah Mosque is. This rectangular piece of land is indeed where things happen; families hang out here with a picnic, couples date, and groups of kids play.

It's hard to capture the whole thing, when the whole thing is so big. So first let me show photos segment by segment. The picture above show the entrance to the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, which as I mentioned before, it's one of the most amazing things I have seen.

The two pictures above on the other hand show the Ālī Qāpū Palace; I will show some more photos of the interior later, just scroll down.

The remaining pictures above show various angles of the square. There are plenty of things that happen here, even tourists can ride these horse and buggy rides which would take you around the square for a few rounds. Some of the photos above were taken from the balcony of the Ālī Qāpū Palace, which I must say, provides a very good panorama.

The Ālī Qāpū Palace is more a pavilion than a palace; it doesn't have many rooms the way European palaces are, and this building has the balcony has the most prominent feature. In fact, as the photos above show, the interior isn't as impressive as one would expect for a building that is called a palace.

There is one amazing room, however, and that is the Music Hall, situated at the very top of the building. This room features plaster walls that are designed to highlight the acoustics of the room. In fact, when I visited, there was a group of men performing using traditional Iranian musical instruments, and I must say that I was impressed with what I have heard.

So this sums up my visit to Isfahan. After three nights, there were plenty of things I have seen, and I must say I was very much impressed. But it was time to move, and so after spending three nights in Isfahan, I checked out of my hotel, took a cab, and headed to the bus station to go to another city. Stay tuned, I am heading deeper into the desert.

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