Chogan has been popular among the kings and Iranian grandee in the past and its name as an aristocratic sport is derived from that. Chogan, known also as polo, is a sporting team game with horses and a version of the modern polo game.  It was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity in 2017. For the first time, Chogan was played during Achaemenians in Iran. As Achaemenians extended their borders to far and vast geographical spots, this ancient Iranian game found its way to other countries too. Chogan as one of the amusing activities between kings, rulers and wealthy people.


Kar Namag Ardashir Pabakan, is a middle Persian prose tale written in Sassanid Era. It narrates the story of Ardeshir I, the founder of this dynasty. It’s the first written document that mentions Chogan as an Iranian game. The theme of Chogan has been used widely in different areas of art and literature. For example, it’s been mentioned in the poems of Ferdowsi, Rudaki, Nezami, Sa’di, Hafez, and other great Persian poets. It has been also the theme in many valuable Persian miniatures and the designs on the potteries.


Chogan was played differently back then. Horse riding was more of a military and warfare practice. Therefore, this entertainment included horses’ military style marching and riding war horses. As the time went by, Chogan changed to the present day style. Polo firstly just had a recreational function in order to show the Iranian military horses talent. Chogan is a strategic game that requires physical readiness and skill for both riders and horses, just like a miniature battle. In the past, it was a play where the Persian riders exhibited their skills in riding, fighting, and playing as well as the fighting skills, speed, and agility of their horses. The horses of Chogan are called polo ponies. Since horse riding was a military practice in the past, Persians believed the horse that can do well in Chogan, can do well in the war too.


Today, in Chogan, ponies are full sized horses used for this traditional Iranian game. In Persian, they are referred to simply as Chogan horses. They should be equipped with safety gears to be ready for the races. They are supposed to have special leg wraps to be protected against the mallets. The line attached to the curb bit must be adjusted in a comfortable and free, so that ponies can be easily levered.

Naqshe Jahan Square

Naqshe Jahan is a public urban square in the center of Esfahan. It is one of the largest city squares in the world and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. Built by the Safavid shah Abbas I in the early 17th century, the square is bordered by two-story arcades and anchored on each side by four magnificent buildings: to the east, the Sheykh Lotfollah Mosque; to the west, the pavilion of Ali Qapu; to the north, the portico of Qeysariyeh; and to the south, the celebrated Royal Mosque. All of the architectural elements that delineate the square, including its arcades of shops, are aesthetically remarkable and adorned.

Naqshe Jahan Square

The Naqshe Jahan was at the heart of the Safavid capital’s culture, economy, religion, social power, government, and politics. Its vast sandy esplanade was used for celebrations, promenades, and public executions, for playing polo and for assembling troops. The arcades on all sides of the square housed hundreds of shops; above the portico to the large Qeysariyeh bazaar a balcony accommodated musicians giving public concerts; Ali Qapu was connected from behind to the throne room, where the shah occasionally received ambassadors. In short, the royal square of Esfahan was the preeminent monument of Persian socio-cultural life during the Safavid dynasty.

Naqshe Jahan Square

Throughout the history, the square has been used for performing all kinds of festivals, parades, and ceremonies such as; national, governmental and popular ceremonies. Also this is a square just about perfect for a game of polo. The stone goal posts still exist in north and south ends of Naqshe Jahan Square. Polo and horse riding are two of the ancient Persian sports mixed together, played not only for leisure, but also as a display of bravery of men in wars. The royal household would watch the games from the balcony of Ali Qapu Palace. Apart from this, some executions took place in Naqshe Jahan Square. For the present, Naqshe Jahan Square or Imam Square is still used for performing ceremonies and parades on special occasions. There are Traditional shops all around the square for you to explore. Also, Carriage rides are a wonderful way to experience the beauty of the Naqshe Jahan Square.

Naqshe Jahan Square

Shah Abbas II was enthusiastic about the embellishment and perfection of Ali Qapu. His chief contribution was given to the magnificent hall, constructed on the third floor. The 18 columns of the hall are covered with mirrors and its ceiling is decorated with great paintings. The Ali Qapu has multiple connotations, but generally connotes entrance or supreme gate to the complex of palaces and public buildings of the Safavid Government.

Naqshe Jahan Square

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

Isfahan is a city in central Iran and is the capital of Esfahan Province. The Persians call it “Nesf-e-Jahan”, meaning “Half the World”.  It is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world due to its beautiful hand-painted tiling and magnificent public square. There are top 10 popular attractions of Isfahan below.

1- Naqsh-e jahan square

Naqsh-e Jahan Square is the main tourist spot of Isfahan, one of the UNESCO World Heritage Site. It has a length of 512 meters and 160 meters width containing Sheykh Lotfollah and Shah Mosques, Ali Qapu Palace and Qeysariyeh Mall.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

2- Siosepol Bridge

Siosepol or Allah Verdi Khan Bridge has 33 spans from which it gets its name with the longest span of 5.6 meters, crosses Zayandeh Rud River. The bridge has a length of 300 meters and 14 meters width.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

3- Khaju Bridge

This bridge was built to work for different purposes. As a bridge connected the old Isfahan to villages located on the southern side and also connected Isfahan to Shiraz road. It was built as a wonderful recreational place. It is about 132 meters long and 12 meters wide.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

4- Chehel Sotun

Chehel Sotoun (also Chehel Sotoon) is a pavilion in the middle of a park at the far end of a long pool, in Isfahan built by Shah Abbas II to be used for the Shah’s entertainment and receptions.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

5- Monar Jonban

Monar Jonban is considered as one of the most popular monuments of Isfahan for its wonderful architecture. The main distinguished feature of this monument is that by shaking strongly one minaret, the other minaret starts shaking with the same frequency.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

6- The Great Mosque of Isfahan

Great Mosque of Isfahan in Iran is unique in this regard and thus enjoys a special place in the history of Islamic architecture. Its present configuration is the sum of building and decorating activities carried out from the 8th through the 20th centuries.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

7- Vank Cathedral

The Vank Cathedral is a masterpiece of architecture. Construction of this cathedral started at the time of Shah Abbas the second. Vank Cathedral architecture is a combination of Iranian and Armenian architecture.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

8- Isfahan Music Museum

The Isfahan Music Museum is the first private one of its kind in Iran. The Museum was founded by two passionate Iranian musicians of the traditional music, Mehrdad Jeihooni and Shahriar Shokrani.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

9- Nazhvan Park

Nazhvan Forest Park is the largest garden of Isfahan which has multiple recreational facilities like an aquarium, Birds garden, butterflies museum and so on. It has an area of 12000 hectares.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

10- Mount Soffeh

Mount Soffeh is 2257 meters above the sea level in southern part of Isfahan. There were some castles on the mountain for defending purposes, some last vestiges of them have still remained. Mount Soffeh and its surrounding hills have been converted to Soffeh Mountain Park which covers at least 100 hectares.

Top 10 tourist attractions of Isfahan

Persian Tile Work

The history of tile manufacturing and decorating goes back to the prehistoric period and has an important position among the various decorative arts in Iranian architecture. Iran has the most beautiful tile work in the world. Over the centuries, glazed bricks and tiles have been used to decorate palaces, mosques, monuments, mausoleums, official buildings, schools, and shops.

Persian Tile Work

The importance of tile work in Persian architecture arises from two important factors; first the need to weatherproof the simple clay bricks used in construction, and second, the need to ornament the buildings. Tiles were used to decorate monuments from early ages in Iran.

Persian Tile Work

Evidence of brick work, stucco carving and tile panels from the last 14 centuries have provided much evidence of creative and imaginative nature of Persian Artisans. They placed their art in the service of religious architecture. This religious inspiration found its highest expression in ornate inscriptions, which decorated so many works during these centuries. Mosaic patterns were the first step in the evolution of tile decoration. Imaginative and creative artisans put together mosaic patterns using bits of colored stone and brick and created patterns of triangles, semi-circles and circles in harmony with the structures they were placed on. These patterns later evolved into design of natural subjects, such as plants, trees, animals and human beings.

Persian Tile Work

The art of tile working blossomed in the Islamic period of Iran. It became the most important decorative feature of religious buildings. In Safavid era, artists used Naskh and Thulth scripts. Works of famous calligraphers, such as Alireza Abbasi, Mohammad Saleh Isfahani, Mohammad Reza Imami and Hossein Banna have been found. One of the famous mosques in Isfahan enjoying a rich variety of tile work is Khayyatha Mosque which researches has done lots of examination on it.

Persian Tile Work

Handicrafts of Isfahan – Part 2

In the first part, we reviewed 5 items of Isfahan handicrafts. In the following, there are other items from Isfahan Handicrafts.

6. Moaragh

The word “Moaragh” actually means something tidy, the art of making art is the laying of colorful and valuable wood, such as ivory, oysters, and metal, to achieve the desired design.

Wood art mosaic can be one of the most beautiful and finest wood arts and crafts in Iran. The Isfahan art scene in Iran has a special place, the best and most diverse works of the world about this art to the Iranians. In fact, this art is really about making different kinds of different types of different colors and patterns.

7. Ghalamkari

Ghalamkari is derived from the Persian words ghalam (pen) and kari (craftsmanship), meaning drawing with a pen. This is a type of hand-painted or wooden block-printed cotton textile, using natural dyes. It is an old craft that has been used as a conduit for their artistic creativity by the Iranian graphic designers, since the antiquity.

8. Firoozeh Koobi

Firoozeh Koobi (Turquoise) is one of the most popular arts in Isfahan. In this art, small pieces of turquoise appear on the surface of dishes, jewelry and decorative objects. This works on copper, brass, silver and bronze surfaces.

9. Carpet Weaving

Carpets are one of the first artistic handicrafts which have been woven since ancient times in Persia. Iranian Carpets have always been famous all over the world. Almost all international tourists buy even a small Iranian carpet during their trips in Iran. During the Safavid era, Isfahan was considered one of the main centers of carpet weaving in Iran and there were a lot of workshops. Today, the city of Meyme is one of the important centers for producing handmade carpets in Isfahan province.

10. Pottery and Ceramics

Pottery is the process of forming vessels and other objects with clay and other ceramic materials, which are fired to give them a hard, durable form. This art is considered in the city of Isfahan, as well as in the cities of Natanz and Shahreza

11. Miniature

Miniature is a kind of painting that has long existed in Iran. This type of painting can be sold as decorative panels or used in the architecture to decorate the walls.

Handicrafts of Isfahan – Part 1

The handicrafts of Isfahan represent the industry and art of the ancestors and displays of the taste and art of the people of Isfahan, which has been attracting domestic and foreign tourists over the years.

IRAN Top 10 Historical Architecture Sites

  1. Shah Mosque, Isfahan

The Shah Mosque, also known as New Abbasi Mosque, Royal Mosque, or Imam Mosque after the Iranian Revolution, is a mosque in Isfahan, Iran, standing in south side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square. It was built during the Safavid dynasty, ordered by Abbas I of Persia.


  1. Ali Qapu Palace, Isfahan

At the west of Naghsh-e Jahan Square, just in front of the Sheikh Lotfollah mosque, one of the most magnificent palaces of 17th century is located. The Ali Qapu palace is well-known palace all over Iran. The first part of palace was built in 1597. It was used as a residential palace.  It is forty-eight meters high and there are six floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase.

  1. Nasir-o-Molk Mosque, Shiraz

The Nasirolmolk Mosque, also known as the Pink Mosque, is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. It was built during Qajar dynasty rule of Iran. The mosque includes extensive coloured glass in its facade, and displays other traditional elements such as the Panj Kāse (“five concaved”) design. It is named in popular culture as the ‘Pink Mosque’, due to the usage of considerable pink colour tiles for its interior design.


  1. Persepolis, Shiraz

Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BCE). It is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province, Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BCE. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.

  1. Golestan Palace, Tehran

The Golestan Palace is a masterpiece of the Qajar era, embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Teheran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Teheran the capital of the country. Built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas, the Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date from the 19th century. It became a centre of Qajari arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example and has remained a source of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to this day. It represents a new style incorporating traditional Persian arts and crafts and elements of 18th century architecture and technology.

  1. Khaju Bridge, Isfahan

Khaju Bridge is one of the historical bridges on the Zayanderud, the largest river of the Iranian Plateau, in Isfahan, Iran. Serving as both a bridge and a weir, it links the Khaju quarter on the north bank with the Zoroastrian quarter across the Zayanderud. It also served a primary function as a building and a place for public meetings. It has been described as the city’s finest bridge.

  1. Naqsh-e Rustam, Shiraz

Naqsh-e Rustam is an ancient necropolis located about 12 km northwest of Persepolis, in Fars Province, Iran, with a group of ancient Iranian rock reliefs cut into the cliff, from both the Achaemenid and Sassanid periods. Naqsh-e Rustam is the necropolis of the Achaemenid dynasty (c. 550–330 BC), with four large tombs cut high into the cliff face. These have mainly architectural decoration, but the facades include large panels over the doorways, each very similar in content, with figures of the king being invested by a god, above a zone with rows of smaller figures bearing tribute, with soldiers and officials in a sarcophagus.

  1. Qavam House, Shiraz

Qavam House (also widely called “Narenjestan e Ghavam”) is a traditional and historical house in Shiraz, Iran. It was built between 1879 and 1886 by Mirza Ibrahim Khan. The Qavam family were merchants originally from Qazvin. But they soon became active in the government during the Zand dynasty, followed by the Qajar, and Pahlavi dynasty as well.

  1. Tower of Silence, Yazd

Zoroastrians believed that the dead body would “pollute” the earth if buried in it; in order to combat this problem, they built the Towers of Silence close to the sky, where special caretakers would carry up the dead. In these large and exposed circular spaces, the sun and birds left behind nothing but bones that were later collected and finally disintegrated by lime and water.

  1. Wind Catchers, Yazd

Yazd is filled with old single-storey mud-brick buildings that are hidden around narrow alleys, creating a maze-like city structure that was initially meant to confuse potential attackers. Most homes contain an inner courtyard, often with a small pond, in order to cool down the buildings and improve air circulation. Some more fortunate residents could afford to build “badgir” or “wind-catchers” that drag fresh air down into the rooms and courtyards, maximizing airflow. Climbing up to a rooftop will open up another world; the earthen landscape that is created by the organic domes and magnificent “badgir” will give you an entirely different perspective on the old architecture of Yazd.

Natural Attractions In Iran

For those who crave to visit Iran whose historical monuments are not satisfactory enough, the numerous awe-inspiring landscapes surrounding Iran ranging from mountains to deserts, to forests and caves offer travelers a fantastic and memorable experience. In the following, you will find a glimpse over the most wonderful ones.

Alisadr Cave:

Ali Sadr Cave originally called Ali Saadr (meaning cold) is the world’s largest water cave which attracts thousands of visitors every year. It is located in Ali Sadr Kabudarahang County about 100 kilometers north of Hamadan, western Iran.

Chahkooh Canyon:

In the Northwestern part of Qeshm Island, Chahkooh Canyon (Mountain of Wells) is located 15km away from Tabl Village. The Chahkooh Canyon is known as The Great Canyon of The Middle-East and is inscribed as a UNESCO Global Geopark site. This Geosite is an exceptional example of erosion through rainstorm water.

Mount Damavand:

Mount Damavand is known as the highest mountain in Iran and the highest volcano in the Middle East. It is located in the central part of the Alborz mountain range (central Alborz), and in the south of the Caspian Sea, in the Larijan district of Amol.

Varzaneh Desert:

Varzaneh Desert is one of the beauty deserts of the eastern part of Isfahan and the central part of Iran. At the heart of this desert, sandy hills make a wonderful view that wind beautifully crafted them in various shapes, including longitudinal hills, crests and sandy pyramids.

Hormuz Island:

Hormuz, mostly barren, hilly island of Iran on the Strait of Hormuz, between the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman, 8 km off the coast. The population may decline by half in summer through migration. Hormuz village is the only permanent settlement. Resources include red ochre for export.

Badab Soort Springs:

Badab Soort has become the world’s second largest Spring Saline water. Badab Soort’s springs are two distinct mineral springs with different natural characteristics, located at 1,840 metres above sea level. The first spring contains very salty water that gathers in a small natural pool. Its water is considered to have medicinal properties, especially as a cure for rheumatism and some types of skin diseases and skin conditions. The second spring has a sour taste and is predominately orange mainly due to the large iron oxide sediments at its outlet.