Ali Qapu Palace is one of the great palaces of Isfahan, the historical city of Iran. It is located in Imam Square, also called Naqsh-e Jahan Square. It is situated directly opposite the Sheikh Lutfullah Mosque.
The 7-storey, 48-meter-high building is reached by a difficult spiral staircase. Also on the 6th floor of Ali Qapu Palace, there is a music room designed to create the best acoustical environment.
It was built in the 17th century by the Safavid ruler Shah Abbas. The great ruler used this place to entertain noble visitors and foreign ambassadors. Shah Abbas celebrated Nevruz for the first time here. Ali Qapu carries the ornaments of Riza Abbasi, who is the head painter of Shah Abbas and his students. On their ornaments, flowers, birds and animal figures draw the attention.
Extremely ornate door and palace windows were pillaged in times of turmoil. Restored by the last Safavid ruler Shah Sultan Hussein, the palace went to ruin again during the Afghan invasion. During Nasir al-Din Shah's reign (1848-1896), Safavid cornices and door were replaced with flower inscribed tiles.
Some parts of the Ali Gapu Palace, which is open to visit in Nakş-ı Cihan Square today, are still in ruins and are closed to visitor. A good place to watch the square from top and to photograph.
Iranian architectural manner, which has been influenced by traditions and cultural elements that mature for years, and which converts in time, brought, a dignity even to the ordinary houses, a charm even to the most modest caravansaries. From modest houses to teahouses, from green mansion gardens to the most glamorous works in the past and nowadays, it comes out everywhere.
Throughout history, Isfahan become one of the most important settlement centers of Iran, due to its geographical location and natural resources. It continues to be one of the major cities or capital of many civilizations and states established in Iran.