TEHRAN – Tourist attractions and historic sites in central Isfahan province have been allowed to reopen to the public as coronavirus lockdown measures are relaxed in the country.
Strict health and social distancing requirements will be carefully observed at these sites, said Hojjatollah Gholami, spokesperson for the provincial headquarters for the fight against the coronavirus, CHTN reported Thursday.
The country closed cultural heritage museums and historic sites as a preventive measure amid fears of a coronavirus outbreak in February.
Steeped in a rich history and culture, Isfahan was once a crossroads of international trade and diplomacy in Iran. Today, it’s one of Iran’s top tourist destinations for good reason. The ancient city is full of many architectural wonders such as unparalleled Islamic buildings, bazaars, museums, Persian gardens and tree-lined boulevards. It is a city for walking, getting lost in its frenzied bazaars, dozing in beautiful gardens and meeting people.
The city has long been nicknamed Nesf-e-Jahan, which translates to “half the world”; that is, seeing that it is relevant to see the whole world. At its peak, it was also one of the largest cities in the region with a population of nearly one million.
Isfahan is famous not only for the abundance of its great historic bridges, but also for its “life-giving river”, the Zayandeh-Rood, which has long given the city an original beauty and fertility. The cool blue tiles of Isfahan’s Islamic buildings and the city’s majestic bridges contrast perfectly with the hot, dry Iranian countryside that surrounds it.
The immense Imam Square, better known as Naghsh-e Jahan Sq. (Literally meaning “Image of the World”), is one of the largest in the world (500m by 160m), and a majestic example of town planning. Built at the start of the 17th century, the UNECO-listed square is dotted with the most interesting sites in Isfahan.
Modern Isfahan is now home to heavy industry, including steel plants and a nuclear facility on its outskirts, however, its inner core wants to be preserved as a priceless gem.
ABU / MG