Naghsh-e Jahan Square
Isfahan | Old District
Shah Abbas the Great chose Isfahan as the capital of Iran and erected unique and proper buildings in it. In the center of the city there was a square for polo game. In 1020 AH, Shah Abbas issued orders for the construction of similar buildings with uniform structures all around the square in order for the main buildings to be more eye-catching. The construction of the great façade of the Shah Mosque, bazaar, timpani home, and Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque took place at that time. Tourists visiting Iran in Safavid era said a lot about its magnificence and wonders. Pietro Della Valle contends that, “On the other side of the square near the markets, there appears a beautiful symmetrical view of the Shah Mosque, alongside two halls which have been set up on roofed corridors and there every evening two bands with military instruments play music, one in Iranian style and the other Azari.”Space decoration of Naghsh-e Jahan Square complex is so smart. The square stretches from north to south so it gets more sunshine and little shade. The southern wing is allotted to the city’s big mosque and this provides a suitable entrance for the mosque facing the Qibla.
The western wing is allotted to the government house facing the sun. Being located in the northern side, Gheysarieh lies along with and adjacent to the old bazaar of Isfahan, and the eastern side of that which leads to Shiraz-Isfahan road, is given to the foundation of Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque to complete the space elements. Della Valle, who had fallen in love with the beauty of Naghsh-e Jahan Square, claims somewhere else,”
I assure you that this line of symmetrical buildings in the square leaves such a pleasant impression on human beings and appears so beautiful that even Piazza Navona (Navona Square) with its taller and prettier yet disproportionate houses does not match the beauty of Isfahan’s Shah Square. A big stream or to be more exact a small river with its banks runs around the square in a straight line. A perfect cobbled pathway has been made at the same level with the river and borders it on one side where people go for a stroll. On the other side, towards the stalls of the market, there stand numerous beautiful trees of the same height in a line and I am certain when their leaves appear in future and they are adorned with their natural beauty nothing more attractive and pleasant will ever exist to watch. The center of the square is covered with orderly sand so it is always dry and ready for horse racing and horseback riding.”Naghsh-e Jahan Square inspires tourists with praise and wonder more than Chahar Bagh (Four Gardens) and we can notice a great deal of descriptions in travelogues. Naghsh-e Jahan, still with the same beauty and freshness, is one of the most beautiful squares in the world.