Khaju Bridge

Khaju Bridge historical bridge

One of the finest bridges in Isfahan, the Khaju Bridge is noted for its beautiful architecture and tile work . Built upon the order of the Safavid king Shah Abbas II (1632-1666), the bridge, which also functioned as a weir and regulated the flow of the river, has 24 arches and is 133 meters long and 12 meters wide. The bridge is constructed with multi-purpose; it is not only used for transportation but also as weir. It served a primary function as a building and a place for public meetings. This structure was also originally decorated with artistic tile work and paintings, and served as a teahouse. In the center of the structure, a pavilion exists inside which Shah Abbas would have once sat, admiring the view. Khaju is one of the bridges that regulate the water flow in the river because there are sluice gates under the archways over the river. When the sluice gates are closed, the water level behind the bridge is raised to facilitate the irrigation of the many gardens along the river upstream of this bridge. On the upper level of the bridge, the main central aisle was utilized by horses and carts and the vaulted paths on either side by pedestrians. Octagonal pavilions in the center of the bridge on both the down and the upstream sides provide vantage points for the remarkable views. The lower level of the bridge may be accessed by pedestrians and remains a popular shady place for relaxing. Today, remnants of a stone seat are all that is left of the king’s chair. This bridge is one of the finest examples of Persian architecture at the height of Safavid cultural influence in Iran. In words of Upham Pope and Jean Chardin, Khaju Bridge is “the culminating monument of Persian bridge architecture and one of the most interesting bridges extant…where the whole has rhythm and dignity and combines in the happiest consistency, utility, beauty, and recreation.”

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