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Chahar Bagh Avenue;  The most beautiful street of Isfahan
Once Esfahan was chosen as the capital, the king ordered the Maadies to be made in the area of Naqsh-e Jahan Square and the neighboring quarters. They played an important role in keeping the climate pleasant. Chahar Bagh Avenue located amongst the royal gardens with fountains and ponds has for centuries been a favorite visitors' excursion. It was a long street starting at the Jahannama monument in Darvazeh Dolat Roundabout (currently Imam Hossein Roundabout) to the north and heading to the outskirts of the Sofeh Mountain in the south. It was called Chahar Bagh because it was said to have had four vineyards endowed to the mosque along its sides. Shah Abbas paid a perpetual lease for this land at a cost of 200 Tomans each year. (Toman is Iran's currency at the time of the Safavids which nowadays is equal to 10 Rials in the present currency).

Chahar Bagh Street Isfahan

Chahar Bagh Avenue was constructed in 1592 by the fifth Safavid king, Shah Abbas the Great. It was one of Shah Abbas's favorite places in Esfahan to the extent that he would attend the planting of every tree. With a width that was originally 48 m, it was constructed among four rows of trees with stone-made streams. Arches and shops were built along the sides of the street reminding one of the great Naqsh-e Jahan Square. These arches and shops were the walls of the royal gardens such as Bolbol (nightingale), Miveh (fruit), and Behesht-e Barin (Paradise). Besides these arches, there were pavilions and palaces such as the Sarpushideh, Jahannama, and Nastaran, each ornamented with a glorious portal facing Chahar Bagh Avenue.

Chahar Bagh Street at night Isfahan

The street was a three-way route; the central stone-paved passage was for caravans and those on horseback. The sideways were decorated with flowers and streams. On Thursdays, the street was closed to the public so that the Shah's harem could enjoy the beauty of the street. Chahar Bagh today has kept its greenery and freshness, although it lacks the atmosphere of Safavid times. Chahar Bagh is the main street of Esfahan today surrounded by shopping malls, restaurants, hotels, and cinemas. It has expanded from both ends and it is now 6 km long on a north-south axis.

Chahar Bagh Street Isfahan

Chahar Bagh has been compared with Champs-Elysees in Paris. The Safavid Chahar Bagh was made up of three sections Chahar Bagh Bala (from Azadi Roundabout to Enghelab Roundabout with a length of 2.3 km), Chahar Bagh Abbasi (from Enghelab Roundabout to Darvazeh Dolat of 1.4 km), and Chahar Bagh Paein (Down) (from Darvazeh Dolat Roundabout to Shohada Roundabout of 1.6 km). Chahar Bagh divides the city into eastern and western parts along with the Zayandeh Rud, which naturally divides the city into southern and northern districts creating four districts of almost similar size.