Armenian Cathedral - Esfahan Iran
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Panoramic photo by Mark Schuster EXPERT Taken 11:00, 25/09/2008 - Views loading...

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Armenian Cathedral - Esfahan Iran

The World > Asia > Middle East > Iran > Isfahan

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The attendant in the church rang around to get me permission to photograph. I was then told OK but just one photo, which of course for a panographer is an impossibility. None-the-less I complied to the extent that I worked very fast but I with I had been given more time. If ever I go to Esfahan again I will certainly write in advance to get permission to make a photo-shoot inside the church. That's some background to taking the pictures in September 2008. The walls of the church are covered by murals depicting scenes from the bible, all except the very large one which covers the wall above the entrance. It depicts heaven at the top, earth of us mortals in the middle but the lowest is hell and what is going to happen to any who digress. If you want to see that particular mural go to Wikipedia and search Vank.

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Nearby images in Isfahan

map

A: Armenian Cathedral in Esfahan Iran

by Mark Schuster, 40 meters away

The Armenian church in Esfahan was established more than four hundred years ago. It had the support (...

Armenian Cathedral in Esfahan Iran

B: Vank Cathedral

by Ramin Dehdashti, 40 meters away

The courtyard of the Armenian Church Vank in Jolfa, Isfahan, Iran

Vank Cathedral

C: Vank Cathedral

by Ramin Dehdashti, 50 meters away

The entrance of the Armenian Vank Church in Jolfa, Isfahan, Iran

Vank Cathedral

D: vank cathedral

by fati360, 130 meters away

vank cathedral

E: Maryam Cathedral

by Ramin Dehdashti, 240 meters away

The Maryam Cathedral at night in the Armenian Quarter Jolfa, Isfahan, Iran

Maryam Cathedral

F: Church of Bidekhem (Bethlehem) | Isfahan, Iran

by Narek Hartunian, 250 meters away

Armenian Church of Bidekhem (Bethlehem) | Isfahan, Iran

Church of Bidekhem (Bethlehem) | Isfahan, Iran

G: Jolfa, the Armenian Quarter

by Ramin Dehdashti, 620 meters away

A small street in Jolfa, the Armenian Quater in Isfahan

Jolfa, the Armenian Quarter

H: Masoudhakimi

by Fariborz Alagheband, 760 meters away

Masoudhakimi

I: Keshish House Isfahan

by Fariborz Alagheband, 780 meters away

Keshish House Isfahan

J: Sangtarashan Alley

by Ramin Dehdashti, 800 meters away

The Sangtarashan Alley in Jolfa, the Armenian Quarter, Isfahan, Iran

Sangtarashan Alley

This panorama was taken in Isfahan

This is an overview of Isfahan

History and Overview

Isfahan is located in central Iran, equidistant from the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea. It sits on both the east-west and north-south trade routes which traverse the country.

Isfahan has artifacts dating back to the Paleolithic period, and written history going back to ancient Aspandana. At one time Isfahan was among the largest cities in the world.

It has twice been the capital city of Persia -- during the Parthian Empire and again in the sixteenth century Safavid dynasty. It was here that the Safavids declared Shi'a Islam to be the empire's official religion, one of the most important markers in Islamic history.

Modern day Isfahan has one of the largest steel mills in the region, an air force base and a major oil refinery. The art and architecture in Isfahan rival anything else in the world in terms of beauty and intricacy.

Getting There

The airport is found 20km to the north-east of the city; you can reach it by taxi or bus. The airport shuttle bus goes to and from Enghelab-e Eslami Square.

Transportation

It costs about 4500 rials to hire a taxi for an hour, and it's a good idea to grab one if you plan on visiting some of the more distant sights.

The main bus station is about 2km north of Shohoda Square. Here you can get buses to other cities in Iran, like Yazd or Tehran. Once a week a bus goes up to Istanbul.

People and Culture

Iranians are extremely hospitable and a growing number of them speak English, so it is possible to get by on a visit without needing to speak Farsi.

As always, it's a good idea to familiarize yourself with the local customs before visiting a new place. In Iran, for example, it's not polite to blow your nose in company and it is not customary for men and women to shake hands. It is better to err on the side of caution if you are not sure how to avoid offending someone.

The local currency is the rial, however locals speak about prices in tomans (one toman = ten rials). The rial is about 12,000IRR to the Euro as of February 2009 so you can see why they have a term for reducing the number by a factor of ten. US dollars and British pounds are the best currencies to bring with you, and be sure to declare all your currency at customs when you enter the country.

The food in Iran favors fresh vegetables and fruits along with long grain rice, bread and grilled meats. Kebab is the the most common preparation of meat, did you know that came from Iran?

Keep an eye out for Abgoosht, it's a thick lamb stew with lentils and potatos, served with bread in a special container.

Things to do, Recommendations

The Zayande Roud River is a nice place to go for a walk in some open space.

Visit Naghshe Jahan square for the craftsmen's shops displaying amazing handiwork. Make sure you get some Gaz, it's the special candy of Isfahan, delicious!

Before it's too hot in the mid-day, go for a walk at Najvan Park, it offers amazing views and a deep silent atmosphere.

When you're ready to do some shopping there are several malls to pick from. Mojtame Park, Osun and Ali Ghapou malls are all located in Chaharbagh Abbasi Street. These are great for clothes, flowers, electronics etc.

Jewelry time! Honor Gold Bazzar is a very big one-floor shopping mall where you can find all types of yellow and white gold, as well as silver. 18k gold is the standard of Iran.

The Isfahan Old Bazzar is here at the end of the list because we like to save the best for last. This market sells everything you could want and then more. It's very beautiful to visit even if you aren't planning on buying anything, situated in the western wing of Naghshe Jahan Square.

Text by Steve Smith.

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