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“Isfahan is Half the World”

  The Isfahan Bible, A Historical Meditation – Of Isfahan in the mid-seventeenth century, French traveler Jean Chardin wrote, “It is the grandest and the most beautiful town in the whole of the east” and its surrounding countryside “incomparable for its beauty and fertility.” Situated on the central Iranian Plain, at the vertex of trade routes, Chardin found the city a bustling hub of commerce and education as populous as London, with broad tree-edged avenues and lanes as agreeable as those in Paris (though they predated Haussmann’s renovation program by two hundred years). The walls of its mosques were lined with porphyry and marble, the chambers of its palaces filled with mirrors, clocks, and cabinets of the finest … [Read more...]