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Introduction to Naqsh-e Jahan square

Naqsh-e Jahan square is located in Isfahan city the capital of Isfahan province and like many other Isfahan historical sites, Naqsh-e Jahan square history starts with a Safavid king (Shah Abbas I the great whom built this masterpiece). In the Safavid era, the capital of Persia changed from Qazvin to Isfahan, therefore many monuments were built in Isfahan by the order of Safavid kings but as a UNESCO world heritage site, this one shines amongst them.

Naqsh-e Jahan square changed its name to Shah Square and Imam Square During time and revolutions but most of us still call this outstanding universal value, Naqsh-e Jahan square.

To the right of Naqsh-e Jahan square stands Sheikh lotfollah mosque and to the left of it Ali Qapu palace. At the southern part of it stands the Shah mosque and at the northern part of it Isfahan Grand Bazaar.

Let’s get to know each of them a little bit deeper.

Naqsh-e Jahan Square

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Shah mosque

Shah Mosque or as it is called after Islamic Revolution Imam mosque is the apex of Naqsh-e Jahan square. Shah Abbas I the Great built this mosque for common people.

Every Friday you can still see many Isfahanians (citizens of Isfahan) gather under the largest dome of this city to do Their Friday payers.

Shah mosque

Ali Qapu palace

Ali Qapu palace covers land from Naqsh-e Jahan square to Chahar bagh (four gardens) boulevard. This palace was on six floors and the Safavid king watched horse riding and racings in Naqsh-e Jahan square from the balcony of the sixth floor.

The name Ali Qapu consists of two parts Ali and Qapu. Ali is an Arabic word meaning very important or superior and Qapu is a Turkish phrase meaning royal entrance so Ali Qapu stands for “very important royal entrance”.

Another interesting fact about Ali Qapu palace is that Shah Abbas I the great celebrated his first Nowrooz (Iranian new year ceremony) there.


Sheikh lotfollah mosque

Unlike the Shah mosque, Sheikh lotfollah mosque was built for royal commanders and common people weren't allowed to go inside. Due to its private usage, the Sheikh lotfollah mosque has no minarets and is indeed smaller in comparison to the Shah mosque but the Sheikh lotfollah mosque tile work is much better and more stunning.

Sheikh lotfollah mosque was built before other sites of Naqsh-e Jahan square.

Sheikh lutfollah mosque

Isfahan Grand Bazaar

Although Isfahan Grand Bazaar was built in the Safavid era some blocks of it age back to the Seljuk era, it is the best place to buy traditional colorful souvenirs and try Gooshfil with Doogh.

Ali Qapu palace

What to buy in Naqsh-e Jahan square

Isfahan has the best handicraft products and the best and cheapest place to buy them is in Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Some of these products are Minakari, Persian Carpets, Khatam, Ghalamkari, and Ghalamzani.

For foodies, Isfahan Grand bazaar offers Gaz, Sohan, Poolaki, and the best of them Gooshfil with doogh.

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What are the nearest visiting sites?

Well if you even spend a month it would be less to visit all the beauties of this Unesco World Heritage site but if you feel like you have more time you Can Visit Khaju Bridge and Si O Se Pol standing on Zayandeh Rood River and enjoy the live music usually played there with a glass of drink.

Naqsh-e Jahan square opening hours

Naqsh-e Jahan square is open all the time but Shah and Sheikh lotfollah mosque are only open from 9 to 12:30 in the morning and 2 to 4:30 in the afternoon (closed during noon for praying).

Ali Qapu palace is open every day from 9 to 4:30 but sometimes the sixth floor is closed so ask about it from Iran tour operators before reserving your Iran tour.

How much are the entrance fees?

Naqsh-e Jahan square and Isfahan grand Bazaar are free to visit but for Sheikh lotfollah mosque, Ali Qapu Palace, and Shah mosque you need to pay 200,000 Rilas each. 

If you are interested in visiting Iran on tours. Gapa Tour Company offers many different Iran tour Packages and even Iran Tours for Canadian citizens.

Hope this article helped you but if you need to know more just contact us.