It seems impossible not to hear the name of this square when you decide to travel to Isfahan. Naqsh-E-Jahan Square (also known as Imam square or Shah square) is one of the most important tourist attractions in Iran and Isfahan and is a great symbol of Safavid dynasty glory which can show you a perfect example of Safavid arts and architecture. By visiting this square not only you can enjoy visiting one of the world’s largest historical squares which is also registered as one of the Unesco world heritage sites, but also you can visit a whole historical collection which contains other monuments like Sheikh Lotf Allah and Shah mosques, Ali Qapu Palace, and Qeysarie portal and you can also enjoy walking through the grand Bazar around this square and besides, you can see and buy different handicrafts from the stores that are all around the square.
About Naqsh-E-Jahan square
Talking about Iran’s historical squares, we can mention some squares like Saheb Abad square in Tabriz, Shah square in Qazvin, Naqsh-E-Jahan, and Kohneh squares in Isfahan, etc. Naqsh-E-Jahan square is the most famous historical square in Iran and its name means the pattern of the world. This square is about 160 meters wide and 505 meters long and there are 200 rooms on 2 floors all around the square and you can see 4 important monuments in all 4 sides of the square. There is Ali Qapu palace at the western side, Sheikh Lotf Allah mosque at the eastern side, Shah mosque at the southern side, and Qeysarie portal at the northern side of this square and all of this help this square look more glorious. Even though it became less prosperous for some time in the Qajar period, but it is still the beating heart of Isfahan. And many people go to visit this big old square. until just a few years ago people were allowed to enter this square by cars but now it is forbidden for cars to enter this square
History of the square
After Shah Abbas (one of the Safavid dynasty kings) chose Isfahan as the capital city of Iran for different reasons, he ordered to start building palaces, gardens, bridges, streets, and else to expand the city area and he ordered to build this square near the old main square that was in the city (Kohneh square). It became the center of Isfahan and many historical events happened in this square. and it attracted people’s attention including Iranians and foreigners and you can see the name of this square in many travelogues like Chardin’s, Tavernier’s, Campfer’s and others.
A public square for all classes of society
The square was very prosperous in the Safavid period. Each side of this square used for different purposes. In addition to business, political and religious affairs, the square was used for many ceremonies, fireworks, military parades, matches like Chovgan (polo), and many other activities and Still, there are two stone polo gates in the square.
A day without men in the square
It’s interesting to know that there were some days that the women of shah abbas harem came with him to see the illuminations and they entered Bazar from the square and passed through the Bazar. But what was different from the other days was that all men should leave the square and Bazar and even their stores and hand their shops over to one of their female relatives and Shah Abbas also ordered to invite all the women of the city, so women wore beautiful and reach clothes and came to Bazar and its interesting to notice that they didn’t let ugly and old women be there.
Visiting Naqsh-E-Jahan square
As we mentioned before this square is in the center of Isfahan and has a great location for the tourists because a large number of Isfahan tourist attractions are gathered near it and you can plan to visit all of them. Naqsh-E-Jahan is always a crowded place and it’s still the beating heart of this city and You don’t need to buy any tickets to enter this square but if you want to visit other monuments around it, you should buy tickets. it can be an interesting experience if you can watch the whole square from Ali Qapu palace porch and there are horse-drawn carriages in the center of the square which you can buy a ticket and take a ride on them in the square.
How much time does it take to visit this square?
It depends on you to decide how much time you want to spend in this square. if you want to visit the monuments around the square too, you should consider the time they open and close for the visitors and also you should know how much time they need to visit. And if you like walking through the grand Bazar and buying handicrafts it takes one or more hours depending on your interests.