Isfahan: an Image of the World

We arrived mid-afternoon in Isfahan. Eve and I dropped our things in our room to begin exploring Isfahan. Our first stop was Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Though today better known as Meidan Emam, Imam’s Square, and formerly Shah Square, the square was first built by Safavid Shah Abbas I the Great with the name Naqsh-e Jahan, which translates to image of the world. Enjoying the garden, sipping tea and coffee in cafes, surveying the imperial Bazaar, and visiting the Masjed-e Shah, the Lotfollah Mosque and Ali Qapu Palace can easily fill two days. Below are some photos of the square’s garden as well as cafes, restaurants and shops.  I will write individual posts for the Shah’s Mosque, the Lotfollah Mosque and Ali Qapu Palace.

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view across the central pool of Naqsh-e Jahan Square with the Lotfollah Mosque dead center
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view across the Naqsh-e Jahan Square with the minarets and dome of the Masjed-e Shah in the distance
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a small courtyard of shops and cafes tucked behind the main stalls of the imperial bazaar
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trendy cafe Roozegar served my favorite iced drink of cinnamon, mint and dogwood
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Roozegar cafe interior
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Roozegar cafe interior
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view into a quite courtyard off the main square at midday
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Abgoosht, better known as dizi. There is an art to eating this stew: you much first drain the broth from the vegetables and meat (as pictured). Then you pound the meat and vegetables. While doing this tear up your bread and let it soak in the broth. Then scoop up bits of the mashed stuff, the broth-soaked bread and top with fresh mint- enjoy!
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grabbing a quick coffee off the square
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enjoying that coffee
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Looking down a line of Safavid period vaults of the imperial bazaar. The bazaar stalls are bursting with a mix of high-end beautiful handicrafts and mass-produced cheap knock-offs.
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exiting the bazaar onto the square
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view of Lotfollah Mosque’s dome from a restaurant balcony
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eating lunch at a more touristy restaurant on the square

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Ali Qapu Palace interior
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Ali Qapu Palace terrace roof
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Ali Qapu Palace interior
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Ali Qapu Palace interior
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Ali Qapu Palace interior
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