Naqsh-e Jahan Square - Isfahan, Iran
When Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty moved the capital of Persia to Isfahan in 1598, he decided to completely rebuild the city & poured almost all of the country’s artistic & architectural wealth into it, making it the pinnacle of Safavid Persian art & architecture. This led to the Persian proverb, “Esfahan nesf-e jahan - Isfahan is half the world.” The square became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979.
The square was built between 1598-1629. By building it, Shah Abbas managed to gather the main three components of power in Persia in one place making them easier to control: the power of the clergy represented by the Shah Mosque, the power of the merchants represented by the bazaar, & the power of the monarchy & the Shah himself represented by the Ali Qapu Palace where he lived.
The city has retained much of its former glory with its many beautiful mosques, palaces, bridges, gardens, parks, boulevards, bath houses, minarets, bazaars, & the churches & cathedrals in the historic Armenian quarter.
The Shah Mosque built between 1611-1629 is situated on the south side of the square (1,2,3,4,5,6), the Sheikh Lofollah Mosque built between 1603-1619 on the east side (1,2,3,4,5,6), the Ali Qapu Palace built in 1597 on the west (1), & the Keisaria Gate at the north opens up to the Grand Bazaar.