Tree-lined boulevards, Persian gardens, and stunning domes and minarets punctuate Isfahan’s sky, making it feel like a living museum. The third largest city in Iran, Isfahan was once the crossroads of people of many faiths and cultures passing through the Silk Road. A center of commerce for carpet, textile, and silk, Isfahan flourished under past rulers and became one of the world’s greatest cities. Europeans, Turks, Indians, and Chinese traded here, giving it the Persian name of Nesfe Jahan, which means Half of the World.

The Seljuk Turks made this their capital in the 11th century and built the Naghsh-e Jahan Square, a UNESCO-designated World Heritage Site and one of the largest city squares in the world. Here families gather to picnic, children play, and students draw the magical architecture around them- we suggest sipping on a lemon drink called sharbat at one of the many cafes that line the square. The Shah Mosque, on the southern end, is another UNESCO World Heritage Site in Isfahan. Completed in the early 1600s this place of worship has a soaring glazed tiled dome, shining in turquoise with a display of intricate yellow, white, and navy florals.

Isfahan luxury travel reveals a modern and bustling city that has monuments to its grand past at every turn. Christian, Jewish, Zoroastrian, and Muslim sites mingle here. The Vank Cathedral was built by Armenians in the 1600s and is a beautiful melange of Islamic and Christian architecture. The dazzling golden interior dome depicts the Biblical story of creation. Many synagogues dot the city, and locals still come to worship.

Get lost in the romance and wonder of the Kakh-e Chehel Sotun Palace, filled with ceramics, miniature paintings, and frescoes and set among a symmetrical garden with lion fountains. A long pool invites travelers towards the 20 ribbed wooden pillars that lead to a beautiful ceiling of inlay work. Inside, the large fresco of a Sultan atop a white elephant on an Indian battleground and scenes of music and dancing take you into the world of One Thousand and One Nights.

Meander through the bazaars to pick up some brass trinkets or stop to chat with the friendly locals selling their wares among the small alleys and streets of Iran’s hidden jewel. Contact your Ker & Downey luxury travel consultant to plan your own Isfahan luxury travel journey.