The Persians Call it Nesf-e-Jahan (Half The World)
August 10, 2006 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Esfahan is home to the Blue Mosque and other buildings with their unique blue tiles which are beautifully shown in photographs by flickr's horizon. Esfahan is a world heritage site and is home to many examples of traditional Persian Architecture which is made up of eight traditional forms which taken together form the foundation on which it was based in the same way that music was once based on a finite number of notes.
posted by adamvasco (19 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
Screen saver city!

This is beautiful. Thanks for posting.
posted by barjo at 7:58 AM on August 10, 2006

Check out this program to generate your ows Islamic star patterns (though not as cool as the ones in these amazing photos).
posted by Runkst at 7:59 AM on August 10, 2006

Don't care about all this, GI's will do their great job as Gengis did some times ago
posted by zouhair at 8:19 AM on August 10, 2006

Great post adamvasco, thanks.
posted by doctor_negative at 8:37 AM on August 10, 2006

Exquisite, sublime.
posted by bullitt 5 at 9:01 AM on August 10, 2006

Did you mean "Nakhshe-Jahan"? Map-of-the-World? I think that's what the big bazaar is called.
posted by BuddhaInABucket at 9:18 AM on August 10, 2006

Oh, my first thought was this Blue Mosque, which is also pretty gorgeous.
posted by twsf at 9:19 AM on August 10, 2006

Home also to Iran's nuclear ambitions.
posted by stonedcoldsober at 10:04 AM on August 10, 2006

Nice stuff. Previous Isfahan-related post; my recommendation of a great book on the city can be found in that thread.
posted by languagehat at 10:43 AM on August 10, 2006

Don't forget a great piece of music [track 3] written by Duke Ellington after visiting the city.
posted by zadermatermorts at 3:00 PM on August 10, 2006

i believe the composer is billy strayhorn.
posted by aiq at 3:47 PM on August 10, 2006

Great post, thanks.

Was in Esfahan back in 2000 & the place is mind-blowing. One aspect that never ceased to amaze was the way that the architecture could be so grand & impressive from a distance, yet as you got closer, more and more detail would emerge - every square centimetre of these buildings is covered in beautiful, intricate detail - not unlike the blue mosque in Istanbul (linked by twsf) or, unsurprisingly, the Taj Mahal.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:47 PM on August 10, 2006

The enormous mosque at the end of the square in the first link is actually the Imam Mosque (or sometimes Shah Mosque). I think the Blue Mosque was a much smaller, but no less intricate, one on the longer eastern side of the square. Plenty of shots of the Imam Mosque here, plus more.
posted by UbuRoivas at 6:33 PM on August 10, 2006

adamvasco, Fascinating info about the 8 forms of Persian architecture. Cool to know about geometric music! On that great site (except the front page with the embedded music) there is very interesting information about the rectilinear interlaced lattices used in Islamic geometric art. An interesting essay: Titus Burckhardt: "Art of Islam Language and Meaning" and another called Sacred Geometry.

When I travelled across Iran in 1975 there were a number of Westerners who made a living teaching English there. The job of choice was working at Bell Helicopter in Isfahan. Googling that topic now I came across an intriguing post by an American who was working for Bell at that time.

Isfahan is well known for its carpets.
posted by nickyskye at 7:15 PM on August 10, 2006

Home also to Iran's nuclear ambitions.

Then don't get too attached to it.
posted by homunculus at 7:31 PM on August 10, 2006

The thought of the US attacking Esfahan fills me with the same kind of disgust as the Taliban shelling the Buddhas of Bamiyan. Maybe the vandals sacking Rome would be a better analogy. If the US lasted another thousand years, I would be very surprised if it could come up with a single piece of architecture with the grace, serenity & beauty of those awe-inspiring Persian edifices.


PS - singling out the US only as the potential aggressor; the same comment would apply equally to any modern western nation.
posted by UbuRoivas at 9:04 PM on August 10, 2006

Say, I've got an Isfahan carpet.
To see some Islamic art and architectural elements in the US, visit Shangri La in Honolulu. Amazing Persian tiles.
posted by obloquy at 9:15 PM on August 10, 2006

I see only seven Traditional Forms of Persian Architecture. Am I missing something"
posted by namret at 5:40 PM on August 11, 2006

(Other than a question mark.)
posted by namret at 5:41 PM on August 11, 2006

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