Ali Qapu Palace | A Picturesque Exposure
Ali Qapu Palace is a 17th century (Safavid era) residential palace on the western side of Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan city. Construction of the 6-floored Ali Qapu palace began in 1597 by the order of Shah Abbas I, when Isfahan was chosen as the capital of the empire. As part of the UNESCO World Heritage site: Naqsh-e Jahan Square, the palace is one of the top Isfahan attractions.
Ali Qapu Palace history unfold many cultural architectural mysteries. For instance, Ali Qapu Palace architecture reveals the climax of art back in the days. If you are wondering when was Ali Qapu built keep reading this post. We have also included the information regarding Ali Qapu Palace fresco and Ali Qapu Palace music room which are the most astonishing details of this palace.
Many international travelers enthusiastically step into the Naqsh-e Jahan Square to have a glance at the Palace. Many more eagerly ascend the hundred steps to capture a dazzling perspective of the square in their mind.
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#1 Ali Qapu Palace History
History of Ali Qapu Palace is one of 100 years of Safavid kings (16th to mid-18th Century) being devoted patrons of art.
- “Qapu” is a Turkish word meaning ” the magnificent door”; and the name Ali refers to the Holy Imam Ali of the Shia religion which was the official religion of the country of Iran during the Safavid era. Imam Ali was also the most respected Imam for the king Shah Abbas I.
- Another reading of the name implies that the word “Ali” is from Arabic Aali, “Imperial or Great”.
#2 When was Ali Qapu built?
The question of when was Ali Qapu built requires a rather long answer as a result of its rich nature, however, we tell you the main highlighted events while it was being built.
According to the reliable historic sources , this edifice was built by decree of Shah Abbas the Great in the early 17th century.
- The king Shah Abbas celebrated, for the first time, the Nowruz (New Year’s Day) of 1006 AH / 1597 C.E. in this place.
- The Palace, one can say, was built during five stages in the course of almost a hundred years:
- Building an entrance
- Expanding the building
- Constructing the Ali Qapu Palace music room
- Adding the terrace
- The final changes
#3 Ali Qapu Palace Architecture
Ali Qapu Palace Architecture : First things first, let us begin by mentioning that Ali Qapu Palace is located on the western side of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square opposite Sheikh Lotfollah mosque, and had been originally designed as a vast portal.
#1 Interesting facts
- Different views : You can see a 2-storey building from Naqsh-e Jahan Square and eastern side while from the back and western side the building looks like having 5 flats; and from the two other sides the Palace is rather a 3-storey edifice.
- The spiral staircase design with its tile decorations
- The Terrace : the attractive wooden ceiling with intricate inlay work and exposed beams has been painstakingly restored and now the attention is turning towards the walls. Moreover, as mentioned previously, the panoramic view of the square is rather an astonishing scenery that is only visible from the Ali Qapu terrace.
# 2 Ali Qapu Palace Fresco
The enthusiasm of the Safavid kings toward painting is an undeniable fact. Generally, there are two kinds of Ali Qapu Palace fresco works:
1.The decorative fresco
2. The miniature fresco
# 4 Ali Qapu Palace Music Room
Finally, the highlight of the Ali Qapu Palace music room. The stucco ceiling is stenciled with the vases’ and rose-water shakers’ shapes to enhance the acoustics.
Such a distinctive craftsmanship of the music room is considered by some scholars and historians to be one of the finest examples of secular Persian art, extending to the walls creating a mosaic of shadows.
#5 Why Visit Ali Qapu?
- It is one of the most beautiful sites of the Safavid Dynasty.
- It is located in the UNESCO site of Naqsh-e Jahan.
- The eventful history of Ali Qapu
- It has unique fresco and miniature works.
- The music room on the 6th floor is considered an architectural masterpiece.
- An exclusive panoramic view of the square
- Not suitable for people with disabilities or have trouble going up the stairs; almost a hundred steps!
Ali Qapu Opening Hours and Address
Ali Qapu Opening Hours are 9 am to 7 pm, Everyday