Esfahan

Esfahan is often referred to as Iran’s gem, home to the most beautiful Islamic architecture in the world, and is the most popular tourist destination in the country. After a couple of days in Yazd though it was a shock to find myself in a massive, bustling, generally unattractive city. It did grow on me but wasn’t quite the highlight I thought it would be, expectations are a tricky thing.

Iman Square is the centrepiece of Esfahan but warrants it’s own post. Esfahan is also deservedly famous for it’s wonderful 400 year old bridges crossing the Zayandeh River. They’re popular spots at any time, but particularly at sunset and during the evening, when local’s gather to recite poetry and sing songs, but mainly to take endless selfies.

Se-o-Se Pol Bridge with it’s 33 arches is the most iconic and photogenic, particularly at night.

Joui Bridge is smaller and simpler, more notable for having a cafe as part of it.

Khaju Bridge is the most complex (as I found out when I tried to draw it), and also functions as a dam.

The Armenian Quarter is surprisingly modern and chic, full of hipsters at night. It’s also home to Vank Cathedral, unassuming from the outside, but dazzling inside.

The nearby Music Museum is only fifteen months old but already regarded as one of the must visit places, in a city full of them. A private museum, run with clear passion, it contains musical instruments from across Iran. First you’re introduced to the collection by the owners, then as a four piece ensemble they play the most wonders music with them.

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