The famous half-rhyme Isfahan nesf-e-jahan (Esfahan is half the world) was coined in the 16th century to express the city's grandeur. There's so much to see that you'll probably have to ration your time and concentrate on must-sees such as the Imam Mosque, a magnificent building completely covered in Isfahan's trademark pale blue tiles; This mosque is situated to the south of Naqsh-e-Jahan sq. built in the reign of shah Abbas, tile work and architecture of this Mosque is amazingly superb. Its minarets Are 48 meters high. Naghsh-e-Jahan (world picture) Square, one of the largest town square in the world. The Chehel Sotun Museum & Palace, a marvellous 17th century pavilion and a great place for a picnic; this palace is another building dating back to the Safavid period, built amidst a vast garden covering an area of 67000 sq m. The building has a veranda with 18 pillars and a large pool in front of it. Being mirrored in the still water of the pool, the pillars create a beautiful view. The wall painting in the interior of the building is superlative in their kind. Isfahan is about 400km (250ml) south of Tehran.
This building - now a veritable museum of Persian painting and ceramics-was a pleasure pavilion used for the king's entertainments and receptions. It stands inside a vast royal park, but relatively near the enclosure, and was built by Shah Abbas II round an earlier building erected by Shah Abbas I. An inscription states that the decoration and frescoes were finished in 1647. Only two large historical frescoes date from the later period of the Zand dynasty. Unfortunately, the Chehel Sotun has been badly damaged since then, especially when the Afghans occupied the town and covered the paintings with a thick coat of whitewash. It is now being extensively restored under the aegis of the Institute Italian Per il Medio Oriente. The niches in the centre of the eastern and western walls are completely filled with two battle scenes painted in the Qajar period (18th century). The other four scenes were added earlier, some twenty years after the completion of the building in 1647.
T he palace contains many frescoes and paintings on ceramic. Many of the ceramic panels have been dispersed and are now in the possession of major museums in the west. They depict specific historical scenes such as a reception for an Uzbek King in 1646, when the palace had just been completed; a banquet in honor of the Emir of Bukhara in 1611; the battle of Chalderan against the Ottoman Sultan Selim II in 1514 in which the Persians fought without firearms; the welcome extended to the Mughal Emperor, Humayun who took refuge in Iran in 1544; the battle of Taher-Abad in 1510 where the Safavid Shah Ismail I vanquished and killed the Uzbek King. A more recent painting depicts Nadir Shah's victory against the Indian Army at Karnal in 1739. There are also less historical, but even more aesthetic compositions in the traditional miniature style which celebrate the joy of life and love .
Wall paintings . The walls of the banquet hall are divided into three zones, a dado up to about eye level, the main decorated zone immediately above it, and the upper zone. The most striking decorations in the hall are the large wall paintings in four niches in the upper zone, with scenes of court ceremonial and battle: Shah Ṭahmāsb I (930-84/1524-76) receiving Homāyūn from India; Shah Abbās I with Walī Moḥammad Khan, Uzbek ruler of Turkistan; Shah Abbās II with the Uzbek ambassador; and the victory of Esmāīl I (907-30/1501-24) over the Uzbek Šaybānī Khan. This last painting is the only one of the four in which there is no discernible European influence. In the others such influence is clear from the use of single-point perspective, a receding landscape framed by a window, and plastic modeling of the faces. In these paintings, which were intended to glorify the Safavid rulers, the courtly world and its splendid pageantry, with large retinues, musicians, and dancing girls, predominate, just as they have been described by European travelers.
The paintings fill less than half of the space in the niches in which they are set; below them are wall paintings of an entirely different kind, from the time of Abbās I. They are either ornamental or, like those in rooms P3 and P4 represent animated landscapes (cf. the paintings in the Ālī Qāpū in Isfahan and the palace at Tājābād, ca. 20 km from Naṭanz; Luschey-Schmeisser, 1983, p. 284, figs. 10, 11; idem, 1980, p. 198, figs. 53/2 and 53/4). In contrast, the niches in the center of the eastern and western walls are completely filled with two battle scenes painted in the Qajar period: on the east Nāder Shah’s victory over the Mughal emperor Moḥammad of India (1152/1739) and on the west Shah Esmāīl’s triumph over the Janissary aga at the battle of Čālderān (q.v.; Zander, figs. 44-45).
This painting is the only one of the four in which there is no discernible European influence. During careful restorations sponsored by the Istituto Italiano per il Medio ed Estremo Oriente, Rome (IsMEO), a surprising number of extraordinary wall paintings were discovered in the small flanking rooms, where they had been hidden under a coat of whitewash applied in the Qajar period. Only two niches, in P3 and P4, were decorated with landscapes, flowering trees, birds, and deer, while all the other surfaces in the upper zone of the wall were covered with large and small figural compositions. In room P4 banquet scenes are represented, with Shah Abbās I and his retinue in the open air and in other courtly settings. The compositions and colors reflect those in contemporary miniature paintings, particularly those of Reżā Abbāsī and his school. Similar wall paintings are to be found in the music room of the Ālī Qāpū. In room P3 paintings of scenes from Persian poetry are preserved: Ḵosrow and Šīrīn and Yūsof and Zolayḵā (as at Nāīn; Luschey-Schmeisser, 1969, p. 184, pls. 70-72). Large paintings also cover the walls of the two wooden-columned porticos at the ends of the banqueting hall. Floor-length windows in the northern and southern walls of the banqueting hall open onto these porticos. The wall paintings resemble those in the Ālī Qāpū, with representations of Europeans. Also there are remains of a wall painting in the western ayvān .
Historical Importance There is a throne room in the Chehel Sotoon Palace with beautiful stuccos, frescoes, mirrors and glass studs on them here. Floral decorations are brilliantly colored. There are many ceramics and miniatures in this hall too. Large frescoes depicting history of court life during the Safavid period are carved on the upper part of the wall. You can see different battle scenes and extravagant feasts in these paintings. The lower part of the walls depicts the subtle aspect of art in those times. Miniature paintings on all subjects and in vivid colors can be seen here. There are two smaller rooms also containing various portraits and representations of ancient love stories in Persian literature.
Built by Shah Abbas II, the palace was used for the Shah's entertainment and reception hall and many a dignitary and ambassador visiting the erstwhile ruler were accorded a warm reception right here. The palace and its gardens have been built on a sprawling complex spread over 67,000 square meters. The construction of the palace began during the rule of Shah Abbas I and Shah Abbas II was responsible for several additions to the palace complex and its subsequent completion. The Palace, which was the epicenter of grandeur, elegance and color which marked royal receptions, was badly damaged during the Afghan occupation of Isfahan, and is now a museum of Persian paintings and ceramics. Be it the stone lions at the four corners of the central pool, the shimmering visage of the pool reflecting twenty pillars, the hall of mirrors, gilded ornaments and paintings, beautiful halls and porches or several frescoes and paintings, the palace is a veritable treasure trove for discerning tourists and historians. The paintings in the palace bring to life numerous landmark events in Persian history , notable among these are: 1514: The Battle of Chalderan against the Ottoman Sultan Selim II which was fought without firearms. 1544: Reception for the Mughal Emperor Humayun who sought refuge in Persia. 1611: A royal banquet in honor of Emir of Bukhara. 1739: Nader Sha's triumph over an Indian army. Most of the ceramic panels bore the brunt of Afghan occupation when they were covered with thick layers of whitewash. The palace is being restored with help from the Italian Institute Per il Medio Oriente.
UNESCO WorldHeritage Site, ChehelSotoon (“FortyColumns”) is a pavilionin the middle of a parkbuilt by Shah Abbas IIround an earlier buildingerected by Shah AbbasI. for coronations andthe reception of foreignembassiesCuprins pe listapatrimoniului mondialUNESCO, palatulChehel Sotoon a fostconstruit în timpuldomniei Şahului AbbasII în mijlocul unui parc,pentru a servi ca palatde încoronare, loc dedistracţie şi loc deprimire a ambasadorilorstrăini
The Safavid royal palace used for coronationsand the reception of foreign embassies standsin the center of a large garden. The layout ofthese gardens, with three walks shaded byplane trees, dates from the period of ShahAbbās I (r. 1588-1629). The Čehel Sotūn marksa high point in the development of the type ofPersian palace with columned halls, in whichthe influence of Achaemenid palacearchitecture (see APADĀNA), transmittedthrough popular wooden buildings, is stilldiscernible.Palatul regal destinat încoronărilor şi primiriiambasadorilor streini este amplasat în mijloculunui parc de cca 7 hectare, parc amenajat încădin vremea Şahului Abbas cel Mare(d.1588-1629). Cehel Sotoon marcheazăapogeul dezvoltării acestui tip de palat precedatde portic cu coloane, la care influenţaarhitecturii palatelor ahemenide se vede celmai bine ( vezi Apadana)