At the north side of Zayandeh River lays the historic part and the center of Esfahan, which is not limited only to the famous bridges over the river however become dry by the will of man. Around the officially called Naqsh-e Jahan Square, or more often called Imam Square or Shah Square, which itself attracts many visitors there are the main points of tourist attraction: Masjed-e Shah (Imam Mosque), Masjed-e Sheikh Loftollah, Ali Qapu Palace and the Bazar-e Bozorg.
The Imam Square, classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is the second largest square in the world, just after Tiananmen Square in Beijing; rectangular in shape is divided into several lawns decorated with shrubs and flowers. At the center is a tank where water fountains create more than a visual effect, a pleasant sound of running water, which always gives freshness to this space exposed to the merciless sun.
As the whole area is banned to traffic, attracts many people, especially in the evening, that find here a nice and quiet place for picnics with family or groups of women in animated chatting, eating sunflower seeds (an national “addiction”), while nearby children play with each other and adolescent play free style bicycle manoeuvres.
Galleries, now dedicated to shopping and restaurants focused on tourists demand, spread in large numbers around the entire rectangle forming the Imam Square, with the gigantic and imposing Masjed-e Shah Mosque (Imam Mosque) located at the south side of the square and the Bazar-e Bozorg, the old Esfahan bazaar whose entrance is located at the top north, almost unnoticed by the number of gift shops that occupy the galleries.
However most of the buildings of the Bazar-e Bozorg were built in the early 17th century, with ceilings composed by a succession of vaults, built in brick, occupying a huge area with an intricate maze of streets that ends in caranvaserais and patios make the navigation difficult.
But by the size and variety of products, of this bazaar attracts traders from various parts of Iran and neighbouring countries, identifying the way to wear the Kurds, Pakistanis and Afghans.
In the extreme southeast of the Imam Square is the B-Hassan Abad Alley, a narrow and long street, with some covered areas, along which succeed shops and workshops dedicated to manufacturing and selling local crafts, by which the province of Esfahan is famous: bronze, enamel, inlaid, jewelry, textiles…
Masjed-e Shah (Masjed-e Imam): 150.000 rials
Masjed-e Sheikh Loftollah: 100.000 rials
Ali Qapu Palace: 150.000 rials
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Within the city of Isfahan the distance between the most popular tourist sites, from the Imam Square (officially called Naqsh-e Jahan Square) to the Zayandeh River bridges are reasonable to be made on foot, requiring yet more than two days in the city to quietly enjoy the place.