Isfahan (Persian: اصفهان, translit. Esfahān: pronounced About this sound esfæˈhɒːn ), historically also rendered in English as Ispahan, Sepahan, Esfahan or Hispahan, is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 kilometres (211 miles) south of Tehran.
The Greater Isfahan Region had a population of 3,793,104 in the 2011 Census, the second most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran. Borkhar County, Najafabad County, Khomeyni Shahr County, Shahin Shahr and Meymeh County, Mobarakeh County, Falavarjan County, Tiran and Karvan County, Lenjan County and Isfahan County all constitute the metropolitan city of Isfahan.
Isfahan is located on the main north–south and east–west routes crossing Iran, and was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Even today, the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Persian–Islamic architecture, with many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. This led to the Persian proverb “Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast” (Isfahan is half of the world).
The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world. It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city also has a wide variety of historic monuments and is known for the paintings, history and architecture.