A Travellerspoint blog

Esfahan (اصفهان)

The "Jewel" of Iran

We spent a few days seeing the sights of Esfahan, which were pretty numerous. There was, of course, the Imam square (the locals say its the second biggest square in the world, but its acutally the seventh biggest) and the two amazingly beautiful mosques it contains, the Jameh and Imam mosques. The moonlit picture Alex put up was the front of the Imam Mosque.

They were pretty amazing, the Imam mosque in particular, which was a complex of intricately tiled buildings around a central counrtyard. The main prayer hall, under it's double-decker onion dome, which was built for perfect acoustics so the prayer leader could be heard by everyone in the mosque. Some carpet salesman showed us around showing the stone that was told the faithful whether it was midday, and the mosque's well. (A high-school litrature teacher showed us around another (very similar) mosque).

We also strolled down to the river, which had some apparently old bridges that were glued together with egg white, accoding to a rag salesman (after chatting about mobile phones). The bridges looked brand new though, and we didn't manage to see the bridge that was some say is over 3000 year old.

Just accross the river we tried to find Jolfa, the Armenian quarter of Esfahan. All we found was one random Armenian inscription, a really good and expensive coffee cafe (decent coffee is very, very rare), and some "churches" that looke like mosques with a cheap cross stuck on the dome.

On the last day, we saw some Shah's palace (very small), and some "shaking minarets" (didn't shake very much, although for a small fee, the shaker man let us try to shake them too), and an aincient Zoroastrian fire temple (mostly rubble, but still pretty cool).

Other than the sights, we managed to amuse ourselver by walking around the bazaar, chilling in teahouses, drinking juice as well as trying to avoid the creepy cleaner of our hotel.

After all that, we got on a bus to Shiraz, which was long and unremarkable. Apart from that we saw one of the dirtiest toilets in the world at a service station. Nice.

Posted by Nomadics 20:37 Archived in Iran Tagged backpacking

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