Recognizing and Rereading Astronomical Considerations in the Planning of Naqsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan

Document Type : Research Article


1 Faculty Member - Islamic Azad University- Ramsar Branch

2 Assistant Professor-Department of Conservation, Art University of Isfahan

3 Head of the Observatory- Kashan University


Changes brought about by contemporary developments have not only led to transformation of many historical cities but also loss of plenty of scientific and pseudoscientific experiences of different historical periods. Today, these experiences in the world heritage can be assessed as a part of cultural wealth and intangible heritage. It is known that along with other sciences, astronomy was one of the fundamental aspects in the formation of past architectural productions in some ancient cities. This astronomical aspect in architectural products is rooted in a view beyond structure and place and is considered a part of the knowledge and habits of the time. This has also given a high status and position to important structures and cities. Accordingly, reexploring and recognizing the astronomical aspects of historical places and sites can promote knowledge of their hidden layers and guide the visitors to wider aspects of such an understanding. Naqsh-e Jahan Square, as one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites, is among the most important urban architectural works in Iran and the symbol of the capital of the Safavid dynasty in Isfahan. Many studies have examined Naqsh-e Jahan from different views. It has been tried within this study to examine the alignment of Naqsh-e Jahan Square with the state of constellations in the sky at the time, recognizing and rereading astronomical considerations adopted in its construction. Two probable periods of time for laying the foundations of the Qeysarriyeh Bazaar (known as the Grand Bazaar) and Naqsh-e Jahan Square were extracted from the Safavid chronicles through descriptive-historical research. Next, the relationship between astrological beliefs and the architecture of this urban site was examined based on the astronomical principles using sky simulation software. The findings indicated a new inference on the accurate time of the planning of the square and the influence on its axis from its celestial view and perspective.


Presented in the "Architecture in Hot and Dry Climate ", Vol 10 No.15 Summer 2022.


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tags: astronomical alignment astrology Naqsh-e Jahan Square Qeysarriyeh Bazaar Isfahan horoscope