1) Naqshe Jahan Square(Shah Square)
Naqshe Jahan (Exemplar of the World) square constructed between 1598 and 1629 and now, it is an important historical site, and one of Iran UNESCO's World Heritage Sites
. It is 160 meters (520 ft) wide by 560 meters (1,840 ft) long. The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era; Shah Mosque (Southside), Ali Qapu (West side), Sheikh Lotfullah Mosque (East side) and Grand Bazaar (North Side). The square is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 Rials banknote. The square is at its best in the late afternoon when the blue-tiled minarets and domes are lit up by the last rays of the sun and the mountains beyond turn red. At that time you can see a foreign tourist who is in their Isfahan tours
. This is the time when local families congregate for a promenade around the perimeter, the fountains are turned on and the light softens, illuminating the truly splendid architecture.
2) Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque
Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque was completed in 1619 after nearly 20 years of work. Today, the mosque stands as a magnificent and detailed public work. Sheikh Lutfollah mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Iranian architecture that was built during the Safavid Empire, standing on the eastern side of Naghshe Jahan Square (Read more about must-see mosques in Iran
). The mosque is more similar in type to a mausoleum than a four-iwan mosque. Architectural historians ascribe this either to the fact that members of the Shah's family had used it for private worship or that it had functioned as a women's sanctuary. To avoid having to walk across the Square to the mosque, Shah Abbas had the architect build a tunnel spanning the piazza from the Ali Qapu Palace to the mosque. Don't forget to see this extraordinary mosque in your tour to Iran
3) Shah Mosque
The Shah Mosque, also known as Royal Mosque or Imam Mosque after Iranian revolution, is a extraordinary mosque in Isfahan
. Its construction began in 1611, and its splendor is mainly due to the beauty of its seven-color mosaic tiles and calligraphic inscriptions. The Masjid-i Shah was Shah 'Abbas's largest architectural monument. The mosque's interior and exterior walls are fully covered with a polychrome, mostly dark blue, glazed tile revetment above a continuous marble dado. Throughout the whole mosque, with the exception of the sanctuary dome and portal iwan, Shah 'Abbas was keen to minimize labor costs and time by introducing a novel technique called "haft-rangi" (seven colors).
4) Jame Mosque
This is one of the oldest mosques still standing in Iran. The Jameh Mosque is the grand, congregational mosque of city. The mosque is the result of continual construction, reconstruction, additions and renovations on the site from around 771 to the end of the 20th century. It has been a Iran UNESCO World Heritage
Site since 2012. The UNESCO proclaims that the double-shelled ribbed domes of the mosque represent an architectural innovation that has been inspired designers throughout the region.
5) Vank Cathedral
The Holy Savior Cathedral, also known the Church of the Saintly Sisters, is a cathedral located in the New Julfa district of Isfahan which host to tourists of Iran tours
. The cathedral was established in 1606, dedicated to the hundreds of thousands of Armenian deportees that were resettled by Shah Abbas I. Inside and outside the church, there are also many inscriptions that invite the readers to pray for the constructor of the church and his descendants. The cathedral consists of a domed sanctuary, much like an Iranian mosque, but with the significant addition of a semi-octagonal apse and raised chancel usually seen in western churches. The interior is covered with fine frescos and gilded carvings and includes a wainscot of rich tile work. The delicately blue and gold painted central dome depicts the Biblical story of the creation of the world and man's expulsion from Eden.
6) Ali Qapu Palace
One of the poplular sites in Isfahan tours
is Ali Qapu. The first part of palace was built in 1597. It was used as a presidential palace. It is forty-eight meters high and there are six floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. In the sixth floor, Music Hall, deep circular niches are found in the walls, having not only aesthetic value, but also acoustic. The name Ali Qapu, (Turko-Persian word for Imperial Gate), was given to this place as it was right at the entrance to the Safavid palaces. Ali Qapu is rich in naturalistic wall paintings. The highly ornamented doors and windows of the palace have almost all been pillaged at times of social anarchy. The palace is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 Rials banknote.
7) Chehel Sotoun
The name, meaning "Forty Columns" in Persian, was inspired by the twenty slender wooden columns supporting the entrance pavilion, which, when reflected in the waters of the fountain, are said to appear to be forty. The Chehel Sotoun Palace is among the 9 Iranian Gardens which are collectively registered as one of the Iran’s 23 registered World Heritage Sites under the name of the Persian Garden. In this palace, Shah Abbas II and his successors would receive dignitaries and ambassadors, either on the terrace or in one of the stately reception halls. The palace has some pre-Islamic architecture specification for example like Persepolis, the palace stands on the platform higher than ground floor.
8) Hasht Behesht Palace
Hasht Behesht, meaning "Eight Paradises" is a Safavid era palace which was built in 1669. Of more than forty mansions which existed in Isfahan during the rule of Safavids, this is the only one left today. Hasht Bihisht' translates as 'Eight Paradises' Built under Shah Sulaiman some twenty years after the Chihil Sotoun, it is quite different in style from the earlier pavilion, although it exhibits the same concern for the interplay of interior and exterior spaces. Nineteenth century engravings reveal that the interior was once covered in tiles and wall paintings that have since been removed. Some of the original mirror mosaic remains on the vault.
9) Siosepol Bridge
The Allahverdi Khan Bridge, popularly known as Si-o-se-pol (bridge of thirty-three pans) is one of the eleven bridges in Isfahan. It is the longest bridge on the Zayanderud. Built between 1599 and 1602, the construction consists of two superimposed rows of 33 arches. There is a larger base plank at the start of the bridge, under which the Zayanderud flows. In different seasons the view of the river from the bridge is quite spectacular. This masterpiece is the grandeur and beauty of Iranian architecture and was a place where many ceremonies used to be held by Safavid Royals.
10) Monare Jonban - Shaking Minarates
The Menar Jonban (Shaking Minarets) is a monument constructed in the 14th century to cover the grave of Amu Abdollah Soqla. The minarets are responsible for the fame of the otherwise architecturally undistinguished shrine. Because of the ratio between the height and width of the minarets and the width of the iwan, if one minaret is shaken, the other will shake in unison. This example of coupled oscillation can be observed from ground level.