A city of immense beauty and unforgettable experiences, Isfahan has been dazzling travelers for ages. Perhaps one of the reasons for this is that most westerners appreciate the truly Persian character that the city has retained.
Nesf-e Jahan, Half of the World
Nesf-e Jahan, “Half of the World”, is a popular rhyme with the name of Isfahan and an example of the praise lavished by the inhabitants and poets on their city. At one time – at the close of the 16th and throughout the 17th centuries – this boast was not as exaggerated as it may sound today.
Nonetheless, of all the cities in Iran, Isfahan is the richest in historical and architectural wealth. Robert Byron in the “The Road to Oxiana” rightly remarked that the city’s structures “ranks Isfahan” among those rare places, like Athens or Rome, which are the common refreshment of humanity.”
When they were created, Isfahan’s buildings enjoyed a fabled reputation in all of Europe. They are still more widely known in the West than any other architectural structures in Iran. Fortunately, most of Isfahan’s former glory has survived and is being carefully maintained. There must have been a conspiracy to locate the capital in Tehran with all its dirt and noise and to leave Isfahan for pleasure. It is a city with which it is easy to fall in love. It belongs to those very few cities of which one can sat that the more you behold them, the more they surprised and fascinate you. This is why a visit to Isfahan is never complete.