Meidan Emam, Esfahan, Iran

Meidan Emam, Esfahan, Iran

Life Swift
Published on September 23, 2023
Meidan Emam, Esfahan, Iran

The Meidan Emam is a public urban square located in the centre of Esfahan. The city lies on the main north-south and east-west routes crossing central Iran. It is one of the largest city squares in the world and also known as Naghsh-e Jahan (“Image of the World”), and formerly as Meidan-e Shah. It is also an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture and is surrounded by important historical buildings. The greatness of this place can be imagined by the fact that it became a part of World Heritage List way back in 1979. The square is the main boost of Iran’s tourism industry.


Median Emam was built by the Safavid shah Abbas I in the early 17th century. It was the heart of the Safavid capital. It was then used for celebrations, promenades, and public executions, for playing polo and for assembling troops. During the Safavid dynasty, the royal square of Esfahan was the preeminent monument of Persian socio-cultural life.


Meidan Emam is not typical of urban ensembles in Iran, where cities are usually tightly laid out without sizeable open spaces. Contrary, it was immensely 560 m long by 160 m wide. The Shah Mosque, also called Emam Mosque, is situated on the south side of this square. Ali Qapu Palace lies to the west side. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square. At the northern side, there is Isfahan Grand Bazaar.The architectural elements that delineate the square, including its arcades of shops, are aesthetically remarkable. They are adorned with a profusion of enamelled ceramic tiles and paintings.


The historical monuments at Meidan Emam, Esfahan has maintained their authenticity. They are same as they were in terms of their forms and design, materials and substance, locations and setting, as well as spirit. Although there are some minor acceptable changes. The surface of the public urban square is now stone paved. Authorities added a pond, lawns and two more entrances to the square. Cultural Heritage experts implement domestic knowledge and technology during any renovation activities in the direction of maintaining the authenticity of the property.

Management and Protection requirements

Meidan Emam, Esfahan is public property. It was registered in the national list of Iranian monuments as item no. 102 on 5 January 1932. National Heritage Protection Law (1930, updated 1998) and the Iranian Law on the Conservation of National Monuments (1982) sets rules and regulations.

Present situation

Eṣfahan is situated on a main north-south highway from Tehrān to Shīrāz and the Persian Gulf. It is linked by road on east and southeast to Yazd, Kermān, and Zāhedān and thus to Pakistan. Eṣfahan is connected to other cities by rail. The city’s rich culture has made it the most attractive tourist destination in Iran. Handicrafts are very famous among tourists. Emam Mosque is the most striking component of the square. Besides these, there are churches, museums and street markets. The city has also become one of the major industrial centre in Iran. It is also an educational hub in the country with different universities being a reason for more people coming to Esfahan.