The Soul Of ‘Half The World’: Esfahan

by | Apr 11, 2012 | April 2012: Iran, Iran | 2 comments


The next morning we made a bee line to Naqsh E Jahan Square, which the Persians are proud to call it the 2nd largest square in the world (the first being Beijing’s Tianenmen Square). 

The truth, according to Wikipedia, is that this is the world’s 12th largest and Tianenmen Square is the 3rd largest.


Naqsh E Jahan Square just got served

Ranking aside, there is something breathtaking about walking into this square. It’s incredible serenity demands reflection. Iran’s relative lack of tourists prevents the square from becoming like Beijing’s ridiculously overcrowded Tianenmen Square, but its relative normalcy of being a home to numerous shops, bazaars, schooltrips and local businesses contrasts it with becoming like North Korea’s barren Kim Il-Sung Square

Therefore it strikes a perfect balance of both taking your breath away without being too ridiculously out of this world.

Curiosity for us foreigners

Female students wave hi to us


To the south is the famously picturesque Imam Mosque, which architectural layout is unique to all the other mosques in the world. The challenge was to build a mosque in the South, but to also face Mecca, which isn’t south. Hence the Imam Mosque and its four-iwan style, which one iwan at the south, and the main one facing Mecca. Seeing it speaks for itself.


Panorama of the square (click to enlarge)

Imam Mosque just got served

Panorama within the mosque (click to enlarge)

Art class

Look at the top of the dome...notice the peacock?

A closer look


Afterwards we did a bit of shopping and headed to a private family home to take on a Persian cooking lesson. In return, we showed a bit of our Western style cooking: Coca-Cola Chicken. Badass.


Outside the family home where we ate

Coca-Cola Chicken



- At time of posting in Esfahan, it was 26 °C - Humidity: 14% | Wind Speed: 4km/hr | Cloud Cover: broken clouds


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April 2012