Isfahan: the splendid blue city

heritage - not-to-be-missed
Isfahan: the splendid blue city

The “Blue City” holds many architectural gems of breathtaking aesthetics. Discover this surreally beautiful place, as in a waking dream.

With its dome of blue tiles that stands out in the sky and its arcades of shops, the perfect symmetry of the 512-metre-long Imam Square (or Naghsh-e Jahan), is truly astounding. Occupying the entire south side of the square, the mosque of the Shah—otherwise known as ‘Imam Mosque'—has four minarets, two turned towards Mecca and two standing on either side of the monumental portal in response to the Queysarieh door at the entrance of the bazaar. See also the Ali Qāpu Palace and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, both of which are also on this incredible square.

Make your way afterwards into the alleys of the bazaar to do some shopping. If you are reluctant to bargain, set your sights on state shops with fixed prices; the products are of excellent quality. Then head to the Chehel Sotoun (“Forty Columns”) Palace, where half of the columns are actually reflections in a pool, and take a stroll on the 298-metre-long “Thirty-Three Arches” bridge (Si-o-se Pol). Take time to sit in a teahouse to enjoy the view. Do not miss a tour around the Armenian neighbourhood of Jolfa to admire Vank Cathedral, also known as the Holy Saviour Cathedral of Isfahan.