#961 Esfahan, Iran

Beautiful, romantic, historic Esfahan: even the name sounds beautiful and evokes emotion! If ever there was a city to evoke the essence of Iran and Persian culture, Esfahan is a pretty good place for it. With its hot summers and cool winters, its iconic blue-tiled domes and muqarnas (the sheer quantity of which is an Islamic architecture buff's dream), the fantastic shopping, and its place on silk trade routes of antiquity, it is memorable and atmospheric.
Its Naghsh-e Jahan Square (Imam Square) is one of the biggest public squares in the world, and is faced with buildings each spectacular in their own right. With Ali Qapu Palace, the Grand Bazaar, Madrassas, Mosques, across the river there is even Vank Cathedral, it is a mixture of heritage and culture.
12th C Pol-e Sharestan Bridge of 33 arches.

The Grand Bazaar during the lunch hour siesta.
One mosque off of Iman Square

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