Visiting Half of the World
Isfahan (Sepahan), the capital of Isfahan province, with the area of 250 square kilometers is situated in the heart of a plateau in Iran. Isfahan's climate is semi-arid and mild and the average temperature in this city is about 16C and the average annual rainfall is about 13 ml. Generally Isfahan is low in water but its agriculture has improved due to the existence of Zayanderud River. Geographically Isfahan is in the center of Iran and with its mild climate and fertile soil and enough water from Zayanderud River, it has always been a very good place to be living in.
Isfahan was first called Ispahan because during the Sasanian Era a nation called Sepahian lived in the fertile plains near a city and then they formed a city and named the city after their nation. In 19 AH Isfahan was conquered by the Islamic Army without a war or any shedding of blood but by contracting a peaceful settlement this land was added to the many lands that were conquered by the Islamic army. In a three hundred era, this city was governed by different governors and in the 4th century AD, during the Ziyarid Dynasty and Buyid Dynasty it was chosen as the capital of their land. In the 5th century, during the Seljuq Dynasty, the capital of this empire became wider and started from Seyhoun River up to Eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
In 789 AD Isfahan was the victim of a brutally looting and massacre by the Timurid Army.
During the Safavid Era, in the 10th century, Isfahan became the center of commerce, culture and industry. In the beginning of the 11th century, 1006 AH, the capital of Shah Abbas's empire moved from Qazvin to Isfahan and this city was the capital of the Safavid dynasty for about a century and a half. That is the reason for Isfahan's fame.
Isfahan has had many names throughout the centuries. The names were as follows: Apadana, Asef Han, Esbahan, Espatna, Espahan, Aspedan, Espinerm Esfahan, Espadaneh, Enzan, Besfahan, Partak, Parti, Partikan, Jee, Dar-al Yahoudi, Resgverji, Sepaneh, Shahrestan, Gaba, Gabian, Nesf-e Jahan (Half the World), Yahoudieh. Also, this city was named Sepahan in Shahnameh poetry book, written by one of the famous Persian poets named Ferdowsi.
Isfahan was chosen as the first cultural capital of Islamic countries in 2005. This city has welcomed many tourists from the Islamic countries and many other visitors from different parts of the world. Isfahan is famous for its handicrafts such as etch, inlay and cashmere. If you are looking for souvenirs from Isfahan, you can buy them around Naqsh-e Jahan Square or at the old Isfahan bazaar.
Isfahan is known as the cultural capital of Muslim world, haft of the world and the thurquoise gem of the world. Isfahan is an ancient city in the center of Iran. It is the third overpopulated city of this country. After Mashhad, Isfahan is the second touristic city, and after Tehran, it is the second industrial city of Iran. Geographically, from the west the city leads to Khomeyni city and Najafabad, from the south it is limited by mount Soffeh and Sepahan city, from the north it leads to Shahinshahr and from the east it leads to Sagzi. Isfahan is a four-season city; it has mild cool Spring and Autumn, hot Summer and cold Winter. From 1050 until 1722 B.C. especially in the sixteenth century when Isfahan was the capital of Iran for the second time, the city became affluent. Isfahan is still a glorious city. In Iranian culture, the city is known as the half of the world because of its beautiful Islamic architecture, great boulevards, roofed bridges, palaces, mosques and unique minarets.