ESFAHAN is located about 340km south of Tehran andis the capital city of Esfahan province and Iran’s thirdlargest city. Esfahan city had a population of 1,583,609and the Esfahan metropolitan area had a population of3,430,353 in the 2006 census, the second mostpopulous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran.ESFAHAN is located on the main north-south and east-west routes crossing Iran, and was once one of thelargest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to1722, particularly in the 16th century under the safaviddynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for thesecond time in its history. Even today, the city retainsmuch of its past glory. It is famous for its IslamicArchitecture , with many beautiful boulevards, coveredbridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. This led tothe Persian proverb esfahan is half of the world. TheNaqshe-Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the biggestcity squares in the world and an outstanding example ofIranian and Islamic architecture. It has been designatedby UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city also hasa wide variety of historic monuments ranging from theSassanid to the Safavid dynasties. Remaining IslamicArchitectural sites were built from 11th to the 19thcentury, while older, pre-Islamic monuments date backto 1000 B.C.
Elamite EmpireEsfahan was part of the Elamite Empire. Under the name of Aspandana, it became one of the principal towns of the mediab dynasty. Subsequently the province became part of the Achaemenid empire After the liberation of Iran from Macedonian occupation by the Arsacids, it became part of Parthian Empire. Esfahan was the centre and capital city of a large province, which was administered by Arsacid governors. In the Sassanid era, Esfahan was governed by "Espoohrans" or the members of seven noble Iranian families who had important royal positions, and served as the residence of these noble families as well. Moreover, in this period Esfahan was a military centre with strong fortifications.Islamic EraEsfahan fell temporarily under the rule of Arabs until the Abbasid era, only being attended to by Al-Mansur. In the 10th century, under the Buwayhid Dynasty, Esfahan regained its importance. In the reign of Malik Shah I of the Seljuk dynasty, Esfahan was again selected as capital and commenced another golden age. In this period, Esfahan was one of the most thriving and important cities of the world. The famous Persian philosopher Avicenna lived and taught there in the 11th century.
In 1387, Esfahan surrendered to the Turko-Mongolwarlord Timur. Initially treated with relative mercy, the cityrevolted against Timurs punitive taxes by killing the taxcollectors and some of Timurs soldiers. Inretribution, Timur ordered the massacre of the cityresidents and his soldiers killed a reported 70,000citizens. An eye-witness counted more than 28towers, each constructed of about 1,500 heads.As the result of its suitable geographic situation, Esfahanflourished again especially during the Safavid Dynast.The Golden Age of Esfahan arrived in the 16th centuryunder Shah Abbas Great(1587–1629), who conquered itand made it the new capital of the Safavid dynasty. Duringthe reign of Shah Abbas I, who unified Persia, Esfahanreached its pinnacle. Esfahan had parks, libraries andmosques that amazed Europeans, who had not seen theirlike on their continent.The Persians called Esfahan, Nesf-e-Jahan (half theworld), meaning that to see it was to see half theworld, and also referring to it as a point where manycultures and nationalities meet and mingled. In itsheyday, Esfahan was one of the largest cities, with apopulation of over half a million; 163 mosques, 48religious schools, 1801 shops and 263 public baths.In 1722, following the defeat of the Safavids in the bottleof Gulnabad, Afghans raided Esfahan after a longsiege, which left much of the city in ruins. Although the
Afghans were a primary cause of Esfahans decline, it canalso be attributed to competition from maritime commercedeveloped by European merchants from such countries asthe Netherlands. Esfahans wealth originated in its role as achief waystation along the trans-Asia trade route (such asthe Silk road). Such land trade dwindled as the cheaper searoutes increased in popularity for transporting commoditiesbetween Asia and Europe.SAFAVID ARCHITECTUREA new age in Iranian Architecture began with the rise of theSafavid dynasty. Economically robust and politicallystable, this period saw a flourishing growth of theologicalsciences. Traditional architecture evolved in its patterns andmethods leaving its impact on the architecture of thefollowing periods.The appearance of new patterns base on geometricalnetworks in the development of cities gave order to openurban spaces, and took into account the conservation ofnatural elements(water and plants) within cities. Theestablishment of distinctive public spaces is one of the mostimportant urban features of the Safavid period, asmanifested for example in Naqshe-Jahan Square, ChaharBagh and the royal gardens of Isfahan.Distinctive monuments like the Sheikh lotfollah(1603), Hasht behesht (Eight Paradise Palace) (1469) andthe Chahar Bagh School(1714) appeared in Isfahan andother cities. This extensive development of architecture wasrooted in Persian culture
and took form in the design ofschools, baths, houses, caravanserai and other urbanspaces such as bazaars and squares. It continued until theend of the Qajar reign.
Environmental identityCharacteristic of naturalenvironment:•Geographic formation•Topography•Climate•Vegetation•Water
Environmental identity •There were more density and accumulation near the river.Characteristic of natural •Mountains have an influence on the shape of the city.environment:•Geographic formation•Topography•Climate•Vegetation•Water
Environmental identity Isfahan is a city which has been formed in accordance with the conditions of the desert in which it is located. Using the south sunlight And Wind direction caused : • Buildings orientation (Ron-e- Esfahan)Characteristic of natural • Alleys orientationenvironment: • Narrow alleys for making•Geographic formation shadows•Topography • Central courtyard•Climate•Vegetation•Water
Environmental identity •Green areas on both sides of the river were used for agriculture in both cities but by the passage of time these areas mostly changed to the part of the city and parks.Characteristic of natural •Axes of the city wereenvironment: emphasized by the•Geographic formation vegetation like a green line•Topography through the desert.•Climate•Vegetation•Water
Environmental identityCharacteristic of natural Zayandehrood river whichenvironment: goes through the Isfahan.•Geographic formation Channels of water which are called Maddi which were•Topography branching out of the river for•Climate agriculture and then for•Vegetation distribution of water to the•Water city.
Environmental identityCharacteristic of man-madeenvironment:•City scale•District scale•Space scale•Unit scale In this form of the city was organic but after Islam they extended through the main ax of the city.
Environmental identity •Forms of the roofs which is from deserts and for functional uses. •Narrow alleys to make shadow. •Using local materials •Introverted spaces •HierarchyCharacteristic of man-madeenvironment:•City scale•District scale•Space scale•Unit scale
Central courtyardEnvironmental identity Private zone Public zoneCharacteristic of man-madeenvironment:•City scale•District scale•Space scale•Unit scale
.Height of buildingsSocial identity .Division of urban spaces Private Houses Semi-Private Baths Semi-Public Mosques, Bazaars Public Squares Streets Governmental gardens .Division of districts based on religions Jolfa District for Armenian citizensSocio-politicsSocio-cultural .Division of bazaarsSocio-economic based on crafts
Social identity •Jame mosque which was the heart of the city.Socio-politics •Division of spaces into private and publicSocio-cultural •Using local artsSocio-economic
Social identity Bazaar as a spinal column of the city wasSocio-politics not only a place for commercial goals but a center of social and political gatherings.Socio-culturalSocio-economic
ISFAHAN AS AN ISLAMIC CITYCharacteristic of Islamic city in Isfahan:•Two period : before safavid( organic dev.) and safavid period that the city wasfounded with regular structure plan•Iranian and specially Islamic culture have affected All urban characteristics ofIsfahan, such as:Form quarter-bazaar-Friday mosque-marketurban spaces streets (the shari accesses and the fina), squaresDivision into quarters ethnic/ religious differencesFriday Mosque and governor’s housesHousing layout community life-intermediate area-domestic life
ISFAHAN AS AN ISLAMIC CITYCharacteristic of Islamic city in Isfahan:•Two period : before safavid( organic dev.) and safavid period that thecity was founded with regular structure plan•Iranian and specially Islamic culture have affected All urbancharacteristics of Isfahan, such as:Form quarter-bazaar-Friday mosque-marketurban spaces streets (the shari accesses and the fina), squaresDivision into quarters ethnic/ religious differencesFriday Mosque and governor’s housesHousing layout community life-intermediate area-domestic life
NAQSH-E JAHAN SQUAREANALYSIS : A DOMINANT URBAN SPACE IN ISFAHAN
NAQSH-E JAHAN SQUARE•This is a historical squarewith rectangular shape.•Naghsh-e-Jahan Squareis a multi functional urbanspace:Educational, religious, civic, commercial
NAQSH-E JAHAN SQUARE•This square has been formed among an organic context, with an indicative disciplinein arrangement of hard and soft surfaces.•The arch shape passing ways which surrounding the square make a strong spacedefinition.
NAQSH-E JAHAN SQUARE•Water fronts, benches, carriages, lights and organizedgreen areas are the urban facilities in this square.•Jume prayer, souvenir and art craft shoppings, publicarts such as street theatres are the activities held inthis area.