Isfahan (Sepahan), the capital of Isfahan province, with the area of 250 square kilometers is situated in the heart of a plateau in Iran. Isfahan's climate is semi-arid and mild and the average temperature in this city is about 16C and the average annual rainfall is about 13 ml. Generally Isfahan is low in water but its agriculture has improved due to the existence of Zayanderud River. Geographically Isfahan is in the center of Iran and with its mild climate and fertile soil and enough water from Zayanderud River, it has always been a very good place to be living in.
Isfahan was first called Ispahan because during the Sasanian Era a nation called Sepahian lived in the fertile plains near a city and then they formed a city and named the city after their nation. In 19 AH Isfahan was conquered by the Islamic Army without a war or any shedding of blood but by contracting a peaceful settlement this land was added to the many lands that were conquered by the Islamic army. In a three hundred era, this city was governed by different governors and in the 4th century AD, during the Ziyarid Dynasty and Buyid Dynasty it was chosen as the capital of their land. In the 5th century, during the Seljuq Dynasty, the capital of this empire became wider and started from Seyhoun River up to Eastern shores of the Mediterranean.
In 789 AD Isfahan was the victim of a brutally looting and massacre by the Timurid Army.
During the Safavid Era, in the 10th century, Isfahan became the center of commerce, culture and industry. In the beginning of the 11th century, 1006 AH, the capital of Shah Abbas's empire moved from Qazvin to Isfahan and this city was the capital of the Safavid dynasty for about a century and a half. That is the reason for Isfahan's fame.
Isfahan has had many names throughout the centuries. The names were as follows: Apadana, Asef Han, Esbahan, Espatna, Espahan, Aspedan, Espinerm Esfahan, Espadaneh, Enzan, Besfahan, Partak, Parti, Partikan, Jee, Dar-al Yahoudi, Resgverji, Sepaneh, Shahrestan, Gaba, Gabian, Nesf-e Jahan (Half the World), Yahoudieh. Also, this city was named Sepahan in Shahnameh poetry book, written by one of the famous Persian poets named Ferdowsi.
Isfahan was chosen as the first cultural capital of Islamic countries in 2005. This city has welcomed many tourists from the Islamic countries and many other visitors from different parts of the world. Isfahan is famous for its handicrafts such as etch, inlay and cashmere. If you are looking for souvenirs from Isfahan, you can buy them around Naqsh-e Jahan Square or at the old Isfahan bazaar.
Isfahan touristic attractions:
Gaz and Poulaki are the most famous sweets among all the sweets made in Isfahan. Biriyani is Isfahan's famous dish which is a dish made of meat and you can buy it anywhere in Isfahan.
Most of Isfahan's historical sites date back to the Safavid Era and they are situated near Zayanderud River.
Ali Qapu, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Shah (Imam) Mosque, Vank Cathedral, Menar Jonban, Chehel Sotoun (forty columns), Hasht Behesht Palace, Allahverdi Khan bridge, Four gardens, Fire temple, Takht-e Foulad Old Cemetery, Isfahan's Historical Bazaar, Naqsh-e Jahan Square, The Bird Garden, Khaju Bridge, Shahrestan Bridge, si-o-seh Pol (thirty-three Bridge) are among the attractions and historical sites in Isfahan.