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The most famous Persian description of the city of Esfahan is Esfahan nesf-e Jahan (Esfahan is half the world) , which the Esfahan coined in the 16th century to express the city's grandeur. Esfahan , chosen and designed capital under Shah Abbas 1 , was reconstituted with so many new mosques , palaces , bridges , avenues and parks that even European travelers wrote rapturously of its beauties. Knight Jean Chardin , a dependable observer according to A. U. Pope , reports that in 1666 Isfahan had 162 mosques , 48 madrasahs (schools) , 182 caravanserais and 173 baths. The Zayandeh-rud river watering gardens and fields with its numerous tributaries along its 360km. course , flows from west to east through the city , and divides off Jolfa and some other suburbs from the main part of the city , but most of the main attractions are to the north of the river.

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Additional Photos by Mehrdad Tadjdini (mehrdad-t) Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 49 W: 130 N: 1005] (4710)
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