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Geography and History

Covering an area of 105,937 square kilometers, isfahan province is located in the central part of Iran. according to the latest divisions of the country, Isfahan province includes 17 townships which are: Isfahan, Ardestan, Barkhar and Maymeh, Khomaini-Shahr, khansar, Semirom, Shahreza (Ghomsheh), Faridan, Freydoon-Shahr, Falavarjan, Kashan, Golpayehgan, Lanjan, Mobarakeh, Na’een, Nadjafabad and Natanz. Isfahan, being the capital city of the province, is the most populated city of the province.The population of the province in 1996 was 3,223,255 of which 74.3% were urban dwellers and 25.7% were living in rural areas. Locating in the central part of Iran plateau, Isfahan province, due to its vastness, consists of several mountainous and plain areas. These are: Ardestan mountainous area; north-east and east mountainous area which Natanz city is located on its slope; western mountainous area encompassing Faridan and Freydoon-Shahr townships; and plain area which has come into existence from alluviums of Zayandeh Rood river and includes south-east of Isfahan.
Regarding the above natural and topographical situation, the climate of the province is changeable as well. although the province generally enjoys a dry and temperate climate, but it can be classified as three climatic regions depending on the distance with western mountainous area and desert (Kavir) plain in the east and south-east. These climatic regions are: arid, including Na’een, Biabanak and Anarak to the north of Ardestan; semi-arid consisting Isfahan township; and semi-humid and cold encompassing west and south-west of the province.
According to the reports of Meteorological Organization, maximum temperature of Isfahan is 40.6C. deyree minimum temperature is 10.6(C and average annual temperature is 16.7C.deyree. The annual freezing days of the province are 76 days ad average annual precipitation is 116.9mm.
As the result of geographical conditions of Isfahan province, eco-tourism attractions of it is less than that of other provinces like Gilan, Mazandaran and Azarbaijan. But some certain parts of Isfahan enjoy valuable eco-tourism potentials both from local and national points of view. having more than 12 forest parks and protected areas, several springs and waterfalls, luxuriant and fresh orchards, pleasant summer resorts and vcreates suitable conditions for leisure time of native people as well as tourists. The largest river in the central plateau of Iran called Zayandeh Rood, passing through this province, creates many impressive sights. there are recreational facilities both on Zayandeh Rood where flowing through Isfahan and near the large dam constructed across the river, 117 km. south of the city.
The most important tourist attractions of Isfahan province are various and significant historical and architectural monuments specially in Isfahan city which mostly belong to Saljoughi and Safavid periods. Most of these historical monuments have international value reflecting their antiquity and hsitorical ups and downs in this territory. Among these monuments, it can be pointed out to some of them like Ali-Qapoo edifice, Chehel-Sotoon palace, Siosehpol (33 arches) bridge, Khajoo bridge, Shahrestan bridge, Menar Jonban (shaking minaret), Isfahan and Kashan Bazaars, Imam (Naghsh-e-Jahan) square, Boroujerdis’ house and tens of other historical and architectural valuable sites scattered all around the province each of them are unique and eye-catching as far as art and beauty are concerned.
The other tourism potentials of the province are religious sites and buildings with their own antiquity scattered throughout the province annually attracting so many pilgrims and tourists who have spiritual ties with them. Moreover, some of these sites, as invaluable and important memorials of the past, reflect great national, cultural and religious heritage of residents of this region in different historical periods. Among them Jame’ mosque, Imam mosque, Sheik Lotfollah mosque, Chahar-Bagh school, and tens of Imamzadeh, shrines and tombs of luminaries can be pointed out.
Isfahan province, since a very long time ago, had been the residence of different peoples including Aryans, Semitic, Turks, Armenians and Georgians who were under the influence of Iranian culture. Cultural interactions of these people resulted in widespread rituals and traditions throughout the province including various ceremonies, mourning, celebrations, music, local dances andvIn, spite of this, existing tribes and nomads in the region including Ghashghai, Bakhtiari, Boyirahmedi, and Semirom, have retained major parts of their own native culture and are hung up on them. Thus, this phenomenon is one of the important attractions for visitors who are not acquainted with tribal life style and other social characteristics of them.

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