SHAFAQNA – Tehran Times : The UNESCO-registered Imam Square has long been full of life thanks to being a prime destination for both domestic and foreign travelers.
Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. was laid out in the very early 17th century under the reign of the Safavid ruler, Shah Abbas the Great, to signal the importance of Isfahan as a capital of a powerful empire.
It is hemmed on four sides by magnificent buildings: to the east, the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque; to the west, the palace of Ali Qapu; to the north, the portico of Qeyssariyeh; and to the south, the eminent Imam Mosque.
The sizeable open space has changed little since it was built, the only modern additions are some fountains added during the Pahlavi era.
According to UNESCO, the square was at the heart of the Safavid capital’s culture, economy, religion, social power, government, and politics. Its vast sandy esplanade was used for celebrations, promenades, and public executions, for playing polo and for assembling troops.
Imam Square is perhaps at its best in late afternoon when the encircling blue-tiled domes and minarets are lit up by the last rays of the sun while the mountains beyond turn red.
It’s when local families, domestic travelers and foreigners make the entire space a pedestrian zone!
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