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Chehel Sotoun Isfahan
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Visiting Chehel Sotoun Isfahan

4.5 (100%) 591 votes

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. In this palace, Shah Abbas II and his successors would receive dignitaries and ambassadors, either on the terrace or in one of the stately reception halls. The name, 'Forty Columns', was inspired by the twenty slender wooden columns supporting the entrance pavilion, which, when reflected in the waters of the fountain, are said to appear to be forty.There are a few things to do at Chehel Sotoun.

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Chehel Sotoun Tours

Chehel Sotoun Tours

1. The Architecture

1. The Architecture

The land of Chehel Sotoun Palace is 67000 square meters. Its design was inspired by Chinese, Iranian, and European architecture. Before entering the palace, there is a veranda with 20 cypress wood columns. Nevertheless, as the name Chehel Sotoun suggests, there have to be 40 columns. The reflection of the 20 real columns on the water of the pool, creates the illusion that there are 40 columns. It is worth mentioning that the number 40 in Iran signifies the multiplicity in general. Therefore, we can conclude that there was a great contemplation behind building such an amazing structure. Moreover, the doors and windows are all decorated with fretworks and cachet designs. In addition, the central hall of the palace includes some glamorous paintings on the walls that each refers to a special event on a specific period of time.All these elements are representative of the proficiency of the skillful Iranian masters and architectures.

2. The Paintings

2. The Paintings

The palace contains many frescoes and paintings on ceramic. They depict specific historical scenes such as a reception for an Uzbek King in 1646, when the palace had just been completed; a banquet in honor of the Emir of Bukhara in 1611; the battle of Chalderan against the Ottoman Sultan Selim II in 1514 in which the Persians fought without firearms; the welcome extended to the Mughal Emperor, Humayun who took refuge in Iran in 1544; the battle of Taher-Abad in 1510 where the Safavid Shah Ismail I vanquished and killed the Uzbek King. A more recent painting depicts Nadir Shah's victory against the Indian Army at Karnal in 1739. There are also less historical, but even more aesthetic compositions in the traditional miniature style which celebrate the joy of life and love.

3.  The Veranda

3. The Veranda

The magnificent talar or veranda is the dominant feature of the palace and the slender columns, over 40 meters tall, which support it are cut from single chenar trees. The roof is also made from chenar tree beams and inset with complex decoration. The surface of much of the throne room is still covered with mirrored glass and this probably also was used on the pillars, as it was in the palace of Ali Qapu, so as to give the appearance of a roof floating in the air.

Chehel Sotoun Isfahan Tips and Tricks

How to Get Tickets?

Tickets can be purchased on site. You can also purchase your tickets online. It's better to reserve your tickets first before going there.

How To Get Around?

Getting around Chehel Sotoun is easy. You just need to walk around the area for a tour while enjoying its beauty.

What Should I Wear?

Women should cover their body, head, and neck. You should always cover your shoulders and legs wherever you go. A headscarf is mandatory, not just to cover your hair but your neck as well. You are also not allowed to wear tight clothes that show your body shape. There are fewer rules for men, but you should avoid shorts, wear jeans or trousers. T-shirts are fine, but you should avoid sleeveless vests and stick to t-shirts or shirts.

Chehel Sotoun Isfahan Facts

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit Chehel Sotoun is in April, in the morning. The weather will be so nice and it will not be crowded. Other best times to visit are Spring and Summer and early Fall.

Currency

Yen

Will I Need a Guide?

No, it's easy to get around and you can find everything you need to know on this website.

How To Get There?

The main gate of Chehel Sotoun Palace opens to Sepah Street, next to Isfahan Municipality. Therefore, in case of using public transportation, Municipal Bus Station is quite close to the palace. 

Additional Info

You might want to bring drinking water when you are visiting since they don't sell it at Chehel Sotoun.