Naghshe Jahan square is a showcase of Safavid Dynasty, which makes it obvious for every visitor who takes a tour to Iran that Isfahan was the capital of Persia not too long ago.
The three main components of power in Persia during Safavid days are present at the square. Bazaar as merchant’s power, mosque as the clergy power, and a palace as the king’s power are gathered in this square.
Around the square sits hundreds of stores selling handicrafts unique to this city.
Two striking mosques face Imam Square. The smaller one, Sheikh Lotfollah was built for the women of Shah’s harem. In your tour to Iran if you have had a precise look at the numerous mosques of the country, you probably have realized that minarets and courtyard are among the main parts of a mosque. But Sheikh Lotfollah’s neither has minarets nor a courtyard because it was not for a public use and the Shah decided to make it special.
Lattice windows, exquisite tile work, and elaborate decorations with the light Turkish blue and dark Persian blue makes the Imam mosques’ atmosphere calming and spiritually healing. Islam forbids images therefor mosques have decorative design and script.
And there is the Shah’s palace on the opposite side of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque. A six story palace named Ali Qapu meaning “The Great Gate”. The king of Persia would sit on the terrace on third floor of Ali Qapu to watch Chowgan (polo), maneuvers, and horse-racing with his special quests. The walls and ceilings of rooms, corridors, and stairways are decorated by stunning paintings of Safavid artists.
Naghshe Jahan Square, a vitrine of the most beautiful artistic works from Safavid era, became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979 and is the highlight of every culture tour to Iran.