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Leap the Noble Edifice of Khaju Bridge, Iran

Not yet published by Marjorie Jane M. Asis, Writer

Country: Iran, Islamic Republic of

The Experience

To say that Khaju Bridge is beautiful would be an understatement. The bridge, which has won the positive reception of tourists since the 17th century was described as one of the world’s great “multifunctional” bridges, thus this bridge made it to the World’s 10 Most Amazing Bridges list in 2008, ranking ninth.

Since it’s an arch bridge, Khaju Bridge does not need cables or any kind of additional support. The arches shift the weight from the bridge deck to the support structure. The force of compression is then pushed outward along the curve of the arch toward the abutments (a part of the structure that bears the weight or pressure of an arch) on each end.

The bridge which was built around the year 1650 by the Persian Safavadking, Shah Abbas II, on the foundations of an older bridge, is perhaps the finest bridge in the province of Isfahan, Iran. The bridge which measures 105 meters long and 14 meters wide has 23 arches stretching across the Zayandeh River linking Khaju quarter on the north bank and the Zoroastrian quarter on the South. The pass way of the bridge which is 7.5 meters wide is made of bricks and stones with 21 larger and 26 smaller inlet and outlet channels.

Although it won’t hurt to visit the Khaju Bridge during the noontime since it provides shady places where one can escape the scorching sun, it is recommended to visit the bridge by late afternoon where one can enjoy a leisure walk as well as the view of the sunset. The bridge is even more spectacular and breathtaking to look at during the night. The scenery will look as if it’s from a painting. Indeed, one should make it as a highlight if on a trip to Iran. Apart from the gorgeous Khaju Bridge, it would also be a nice experience to explore the rest of the city by browsing through the traditional bazaars.
A number of restaurants and bars have also started mushrooming in Isfahan for the tourists’ gastronomical delights.

Originally, Shah Abbas’s goal in building the bridge was to connect the areas of Khaju and Hasan Abad with Takht’e and the road to Shiraz. Fortunately, the people of Isfahan maximized the full potential of the bridge.

The main central aisle of the upper level of the bridge is being used as pathways of horse-led carts, while the vaulted paths on either side of the bridge are being utilized by pedestrians. One can also view original 17th century paintings as well as stunning tile works on the bridge. Aside from that, octagonal pavilions in the center of the bridge (both on down and upstream sides) house an art gallery and teahouses, as well as provide vantage points for the remarkable views. Meanwhile, the lower level of the bridge has become a popular place for relaxing because of its shades.

Interestingly, the bridge also regulates the water flow in the river because of its sluice gates under its archways. If these sluice gates are closed, the water level behind the bridge is raised to aid the irrigation of the gardens along the river upstream of this bridge.



When to Go

Isfahan is considered by the locals as one of the most beautiful cities in the world because of its architecture, tree-lined boulevards and gardens, all three of which can be seen by visiting Khaju Bridge.

Iran features a dry weather characterized by short, cool winters and hot, dry summers. The weather conditions are affected by Iran's location involving the subtropical aridity from the Arabian desert spots along with the subtropical humidity from the eastern Mediterranean location. Around 70 % of the typical rain fall in Iran comes from November until March. January is definitely the most frigid or coldest month, with temperature ranges from 5°C to 10°C and this could be the best time to visit Iran. Just check the weather forecast prior to visitation because rainfall differs from year to year.

While the month of August is considered the hottest month at 20°C to 30°C or more. Indeed, June until August tend to be rainless. Thus, if you are from a tropical or cold country, you might as well avoid the region’s summer season from the months of June to September where humidity in the area is very uncomfortable and will make you feel like you are inside an oven toaster.

Odds n' Ends

One of the popular restaurants in Isfahan is an Armenian restaurant situated at New Julfa, near the Hakim Nizami Street and Gevork Church. One of the specialties of this restaurant is the Chelo Kebab, Iran’s national dish. Other Iranian dishes are usually of high quality and prepared from the freshest of ingredients. On the other hand, tourists should be reminded that liquors are not served in restaurants since it is illegal to be served in Iran.
With concerns to lodging, the Abbasi Hotel is the usual pick of tourists visiting the place. A hotel to dazzle the eye, Abbasi Hotel is a magnificently restored 17th century caravanserai, set around a most beautiful garden. It has a large restaurant, a 24 hour coffee shop and a delightful tea house in the garden. Its foyers and restaurant are exquisitely decorated with frescoes and delicately traced patterns in a style beloved of Iranians. The standard rooms are large and comfortable while the lovely and more expensive suites are furnished in traditional style with rugs and low floor cushions in a more conventional Western style.

Language Guides

Turkish is one of the languages spoken in Iran, Islamic Republic of. If you know of a freely available phrase book or podcast for one of the missing languages, let us know!


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