The historic castles and mansions of Isfahan have become national heritage
TEHRAN – A total of 10 aging structures and historic properties, which are scattered throughout Isfahan Province, have recently been inscribed on the National Heritage List.
The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts announced the inscriptions on Saturday in separate letters addressed to the governor general of the central province, CHTN reported.
A selection of six historic residences as well as the fortifications of Sardarb and Iraaj are among the properties added to the prestigious list.
The Kuhpayeh Caravanserai and the historic texture of the ancient village of Iraaj have also been added to the list.
From early history to modern times, defensive walls have often been necessary for cities to survive in an ever-changing world of invasion and conquest.
Fortifications in ancient times were designed primarily to defeat attempts at escalation and for the defense of territory in times of war, and were also used to consolidate the dominance of a region in times of peace.
Uruk in ancient Sumer (Mesopotamia) is one of the oldest known walled cities in the world. The ancient Egyptians also built fortresses on the borders of the Nile Valley to protect themselves from invaders from neighboring territories.
Most of the fortifications of the ancient world were built of mud bricks, often leaving them only mounds of earth for archaeologists today.
Steeped in a rich history and culture, Isfahan was once a crossroads of international trade and diplomacy in Iran. Today, it’s one of Iran’s top tourist destinations for good reason. The ancient city is full of many architectural wonders such as unparalleled Islamic buildings, bazaars, museums, Persian gardens and tree-lined boulevards. It is a city for walking, getting lost in its frenzied bazaars, dozing in beautiful gardens and meeting people.
The city has long been nicknamed Nesf-e-Jahan, which translates to “half the world”; that is, seeing that it is relevant to see the whole world. At its peak, it was also one of the largest cities in the region with a population of nearly one million.
Isfahan is famous not only for the abundance of its great historic bridges, but also for its “life-giving river”, the Zayandeh-Rood, which has long given the city an original beauty and fertility. The cool blue tiles of Isfahan’s Islamic buildings and the city’s majestic bridges contrast perfectly with the hot, dry Iranian countryside that surrounds it.
The immense Imam Square, better known as Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. (Literally meaning “Image of the World”), is one of the largest in the world (500m by 160m), and a majestic example of town planning. Built at the start of the 17th century, the UNESCO-listed square is dotted with the most interesting sites in Isfahan. Modern Isfahan is now home to heavy industry, including steel plants and a nuclear facility on its outskirts, however, its inner core wants to be preserved as a priceless gem.