"Esfahān nesf-e jahān" ... Isfahan is one half of the world. So goes the old Persian proverb.
And, at least in the 16th century, Isfahan truly merited the title. The capital of Persia during the Safavid dynasty, Isfahan was an important trading city and home to some of the finest monuments of Persian-Islamic architecture in the world.
Today, Isfahan is the second largest city in Iran (after Tehran), and one of the most popular cities for tourists. Graced with gorgeous boulevards and bridges, beautiful blue-tiled mosques, gardens and palaces, churches and ancient Zoroastrian temples, Isfahan retains much of its past glory.
No matter your stance on the state of Iranian politics, Istafan is certainly worth checking out.
Check out the Lonely Planet Guide to Isfahan!