Table of Contents

  • Isfahan x. MONUMENTS (1) A Historical Survey

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

     Isfahan’s monuments developed, in the Islamic era: first, in the early medieval period under the ʿAbbāsid Caliphate and Buyid patronage. Many of the extant monuments of Isfahan, however, date to two periods in history when the city served as the capital of the ruling dynasties of the Great Saljuqs (1040-1194) and the Safavids (1501-1722).

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (2) Palaces

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    European visitors to Safavid Persia, for example, found themselves increasingly bound by Isfahan, where they were able to gain a royal audience or conduct their business with the court and government bureaucracy without having to follow the itinerant monarchs.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (3) Mosques

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    Isfahan is known historically for its large number of mosques. According to Abu Noʿaym of Isfahan, the first large mosque in Isfahan was built during the Caliphate of Imam ʿAli b. Abi Ṭāleb (r. 656-61). The French traveler Jean Chardin counted 162 mosques during his travels to Isfahan in the middle of the 17th century.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (4) Madrasas

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    The earliest extant madrasa in Isfahan is the 1325 Emāmi Madrasa, which is also known as the Madrasa-ye Bābā Qāsem after the name of its first teacher, who is buried in a nearby tomb. As in Persian mosque type, this and most other madrasas in Persia follow the four-ayvān courtyard-centered plan.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (5) Bridges

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

    On the southern edge of the city of Isfahan lies the Zāyandarud River, the unnavigable river that has been the major source of water in the region since the earliest settlements in its environs. Until the transfer of the Safavid capital to Isfahan in the late 16th century, the river was well outside the city walls.

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  • Isfahan x. Monuments (6) Bibliography

    Sussan Babaie with Robert Haug

  • Isfahan xi. SCHOOL OF PAINTING AND CALLIGRAPHY

    Massumeh Farhad

    The “Isfahan” school of painting and calligraphy generally refers to works of art associated with the city from about 1597-98, when it was chosen as the Safavid capital, until the Afghan invasion of 1722. In the second half of the 17th century, many Isfahani artists  began experimenting with Europeanized pictorial concepts, such as modeling and shading—the second phase of the “Isfahan” school of painting.

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  • Isfahan xii. BAZAAR: PLAN AND FUNCTION

    Willem Floor

    The bazaar of Isfahan is one of the best-preserved examples of the kind of large, enclosed, and covered bazaar complex that was typical of most cities in the Muslim world prior to the 20th century. The oldest areas of the present-day bazaar date from the early 17th century; its first stone was laid in 1603.

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  • Isfahan xiii. CRAFTS

    Habib Borjian and EIr

    Isfahan has maintained its position as a major center for traditional crafts in Persia. The crafts of Isfahan encompass textiles, carpets, metalwork, woodwork, ceramics, painting, and inlay works of various kind. The work is carried out in different settings including small industrial and bazaar workshops, in the homes of craftsmen and women, and in rural cottage industries.

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  • Isfahan xiv. MODERN ECONOMY AND INDUSTRIES

    Habib Borjian

    This sub-section is divided into the following parts: (1) Modern Economy of the Province; (2) Industries of Isfahan City.

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