Isfahan is a great city located approximately in the center of today's Iran where the main north-south and east-west roads cross. It is probable that the Isfahan metropolitan area has a population of about 4,000,000, making it the second most populous metropolitan area in Iran after the capital Tehran. Isfahan has a seasonal climate. Summers could be very hot, but not humid, and winters not terribly cold. The total annual precipitation rarely exceeds five inches. A river called “Zayandeh Rood” (life-giving River) runs through Isfahan giving the city and its inhabitants more life! It features numerous tree-lined boulevards and flower gardens, miles of beautiful parks along the “Zayandeh Rood” river.
It is not well known when accurately Isfahan was first well-known as a city. But, it is known that its beginning go back more than 1,500 years. While Isfahan grew considerably from the early 11th through the 18th century, it increased particularly during the Safavid dynasty in the 16th century when it became the capital of the old Persia for the second time. 1300 year-old covered bazaars, bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets make Isfahan as the Capital of Islamic Art and Culture in 2009. Isfahan was once one of the largest cities in the world. Isfahan may be well acknowledged for its beautiful historic Islamic architecture. But the talented artists and citizens continue to create many more works of art from its world famous Persian rugs to handcrafts and other unique products.
Isfahan's Imam Square, previously known as the Naghsh-e Jahan (meaning portrait of the world) Square, is one of the largest city squares in the world. Around the square assemble a number of world-famous marvels of Islamic architecture. The Imam Square is elected and nominated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
No wonder that Isfahan is called nesf-e jahān meaning half of the world. The city attracts hundreds of thousands of visitors from all over Iran and around the world each year.