The magnificent Naqsh -e Jahan Square (Naqsh stands for Image and Jahan for the World), is located at the heart of the city. The complex along with a Bazaar, a Palace and two Mosques listed as UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1979. Due to the great importance and beauty of the place, it is somehow impossible to find a cultural tour to Iran without a visit to this area.
All around the square is a two-story Bazaar which is the biggest close-bazaar in the country. There are also some monuments all around the square, Ali Qapu Palace on the west side, Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque on the east, Shah Mosque on the south side, and Keisaria gate on the northern side of the square.
While there are several gates around the square, Keisaria gate is considered as the main entrance with a great view of the square and all buildings around it.
Ali Qapu Palace which literally means Ali (“imperial” or “great” in Farsi), and Qapu (“gate” in Turkish) originally designed as a vast portal, with forty-eight meters high and six floors. There is a spiral staircase between floors to give access to the upper ones. There is a Music Hall with deep circular niches in walls in the sixth floor.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is a masterpiece of Iranian architecture which was built in the Safavid Dynasty. The construction of the mosque lasts in about two decades and finished in 1619. It was built by the order of Shah Abbas I, to be used as a private mosque for the royal family. Therefore, in contrast to all mosques, it does not have any minaret.
Shah Mosque, which is also known with different names as Masjed-e Jadid-e Abbasi (New Abbasi Mosque), Royal Mosque, or Imam Mosque, was built about 200 years ago during the Safavid dynasty, in the order of Shah Abbas I.
It is known as the masterpieces of Persian architecture in the Islamic era. And the beauty of the mosque is mainly due to the seven-color tiles and calligraphic inscriptions.