Where is the Persian Paris and Why is it one of the top tourist destination of Iran?
The Persian Paris is a nickname which conjures up images of stylish tree-lined boulevards studded with stunning architecture, fashion forward thinking and an enticing energy which draws you deeper in to explore.
That’s what awaits in Esfahan, Iran together with a historic bazaar to enjoy the aroma of spices from passionate vendors and Islamic buildings which speak to a deep history. The result is a mysterious and heady mix, and the reason Esfahan is the top destination in Iran.
So, where exactly is the Persian Paris and why is it the top tourist destination? In Part 1 we’ll delve into the mystery of this magical place, and in Part II we’ll break down how to spend your days and nights when visiting Esfahan to experience this beautiful city to the fullest extent.
Esfahan sits just over 400 kilometres south of the capital Tehran and is Iran’s third-largest city. With a population of 2 million people, this gorgeous city was once the Persian capital during the 16th and 17th Centuries under the rule of Shah Abbas the Great, during the Safavid dynasty.
Abbas the Great is considered one of the most important rulers in Persian history, due to mending divides between warring tribes, fortifying borders and establishing a standing (full-time) army for the first time.
Abbas the Great is credited with fostering both the arts and commercial interests and cultivating fruitful relationships with European networks to establish trade relationships.
He also developed carpet weaving as a legitimate artistic and commercial pursuit for both the artist and the empire.
Esfahan Province has a sweet history for producing some of the best nougat in the world. Known as Gaz in Persian, the semi-soft, gently chewy sweet dates back over 450 years and has a labour of love to secure the ingredient which sets is apart from all other sweets.
Traditional Gaz is made using the sap from the wild Tamarisk tree which has a natural sweetener, Angabin, that is both delicious and low in sugar. Some of Esfahan’s best creative and culinary minds discovered that this special low sugar yet sweet sap taken from the Tamarisk tree could be combined with flour, nuts and egg whites to deliver a truly exceptional sweet treat which has became a delicacy and a staple of Iranian kitchens where Gaz is shared over conversation and tea.
In our next edition we’ll go carpet shopping in Esfahan, sip tea with locals and marvel at some of the jewels in the architectural crown of Iran.