Imam Square (Esfahan)


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Called Maidan-e Shah (the King's Square) until the downfall of Pahlavi regime, this huge open square measures 510 m long and 165 m wide, with an area of more than eighty thousand square meters, twice as large as Moscow's Red Square. Shah Abbas built the square in 1612 not over the Esfahan of his predecessors, but on virgin ground where there used to be another square called Naqsh-e Jahan (Image of the World), to extend the city and create a new axis for development. One of the largest squares in the world and a majestic example of city planning, it was intended as a polo ground, the Shah's court having a grandstand view from the Ali Qapu. Many of the most interesting sights in Esfahan are clustered around the square, and it is a place you just keep coming back to.


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