the peacock

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I was going to leave Isfahan and take a night train to Tehran today. Needed to catch my flight to Taiwan from there. But! There was at least one more mosque on the Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan that I hadn’t seen yet:

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

It was the Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, a rare private mosque that a 17th-century Shah had erected exclusively for himself and his entourage. It didn’t have any minarets, but it had a particularly nice dome:

inside Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque

And in the center of the dome, when viewed from a certain angle, there was a reflection that looked like a peacock:

the peacock

I loved it, because seeing the peacock’s tail somehow felt a bit like managing to do a finishing move in Mortal Kombat.

Anyway, considering that I still had some time before my train ride, I decided to go to the Aali Qapu Palace which was right on the other side of the square. It didn’t look that impressive from the outside:

Aali Qapu Palace from the back

And yet there were quite a few tourists (most of them grey-haired ladies and gentlemen from Europe) who were happily snapping away:

photo of the palace

And they were right:

tourists in Aali Qapu Palace

It was all very pretty:

inside Aali Qapu Palace

And some of the halls inside the palace were breathtaking:

hall of Aali Qapu Palace

There was a music hall with hundreds of little niches in the walls…

details in Aali Qapu Palace

…and in the ceiling:

ceiling of Aali Qapu Palace

I found them very beautiful, but they apparently served acoustic purposes.

Anyway, I ended up spending a lot of time on a large balcony:

pillars of Aali Qapu Palace

You could look over the square and parts of the city from up there:

Naqsh-e Jahan Square

I stayed until late in the afternoon, then I left the palace and the square and Isfahan:

Aali Qapu Palace at night

It had turned out to be one of my favorite cities:


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When I got to the train station, I noticed an advertisement with a depiction of what the Zayandeh River was supposed to look like when it wasn’t completely dried up:

what the river should look like

May you get your water back, I thought.

And I left Isfahan with a heavy heart.

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