A tour of Esfahan

Essay by hamed7 June 2004

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Esfahan. The most beautiful city in Iran, perhaps even the most beautiful city in the world. We were here for three days and we still have the idea we have only seen a few of the sights of this marvelous city.

At our first day, we started with a visit of the Friday Mosque. This mosque is like a museum of Islamic Architecture over a thousand years.

From the coming of Islam to Iran, every dynasty has added new constructions to the mosque, without destroying the older things. The oldest part was originally a Zoroastrian fire temple.

Some people say the Friday Mosque is the most interesting building in all of Iran. Yes, the Imam Mosque is more beautiful, but this combination of different styles of architecture makes it unique in the world.

We made enough photographs to give this mosque its own page, but we decided to keep it down to two pictures on this page.

Our first day in Esfahan was a Friday. On this day of the week, most of the sights of Esfahan are closed, except (curiously enough) the Friday Mosque, the Shaky Minarets where it was too crowded to enjoy the shaking, the Zoroastrian fire temple, the Christian churches in the Jolfa district and the bridges across the river.

So, this enumeration of open-things-on-a-friday describes about what we saw the first day.

There are about 13 churches in Esfahan's Jolfa district. This district is where many Christians, most of them Armenians, live. The most famous church is the Vank Cathedral, which is not only a church but also a museum. Anyway, the Vank was closed after all, so we went to see another one called the Miriam-church.

Before the Arabs invaded Iran, there were many fire temples in Esfahan. The Arabs destroyed them all,