Isfahan is one of the most visited cities in Iran. There are lots of beautiful monuments in the city. Today we are going to visit an astonishing place in Isfahan. It’s Khaju bridge, the most beautiful bridge which was built on Zayandeh Rood river. Besides its aesthetic aspect, it has an amazing view, shining like a pearl in Isfahan. Most of the people and travelers tend to visit the place during sunset or at night, in order to enjoy more. Also according to historians, it was the most beautiful bridge at that time.
Khaju bridge was built by the order of the Safavid king Shah Abas the 2nd about 400 years ago. It has built on Zayandeh Rood river and based on the comments of travelers it was one of the most beautiful bridges at the time. Actually, historians believe that there used to be an older bridge which had been built during Timurid era, 700 years ago, and then during Safavid dynasty they built the bridge on the remains or the bases of that bridge. In addition, some others say that the history of bridge refers to pre- Islamic time. Again, the same as Si-o-se pol bridge, Khaju bridge has different names such as; Shiraz bridge, Biglar Beigi bridge and Timurid bridge.
The bridge has an astonishing architecture that we will review together. The foundation of the bridge has been built on the deepest part of the river. In addition, around the bases are paved. That’s why there are no signs of erosions. The materials are, lime, bricks and lime-stucco mortar which the more wet they got the more stable they are. At the bottom of the bases they used heavy, triangular parts of stones that avoids destructions of the bases due to the flow of water, specially during flood. This pointed shape helps to reduce the pressure of the river and acts like a gutter. During flood or when they change it to a dam, by blocking the spans, the water flows gently and looses it destructive or erosive power. Besides, there is a series of vaults with small domes. They help the stabilization of the bridge, probably the architect intentionally used this technique as it rooted in ancient Iran. It has a spectacular engineering, The dimensions are well calculated. In spite of having a heavy weight, stayed stable through its history. Moreover it is not just a bridge, it’s a weir-dam, a kind of bridge which acts like a dam at the time that is needed. Also there are two buildings to the east and west of the bridge which were used by kings or courtiers. They used them to watch the artificial lake made by the dam, as it mentioned by blocking the spans it acts like a dam, or some other festivals.
In addition of the interesting architecture mentioned above there are some other amazing fact. First of all, to the east of the bridge there are sculptures of two lions. Probably they are the symbol of the protectors of Safavids and the capital whom were from Bakhtiary tribe, the largest tribe in Iran. Near these sculptures there is a stone which acts like a compass and shows the direction of Qibla. The second one is that if one stand in the lower level , at the edge of the bridge and looks at the bridge with the angle of 39 degrees he or she can see it like a candle. Third, from the top view it seems like an eagle opening its wings and flying above the river. Forth, on the stones of the lower level there are some strange signs. Some historians believe that they are belong to the workers or architects, however some others say that they could refer to the Greek workers, as they believed the bridge dates back to pre- Islamic period and was rebuilt during Safavid dynasty. The last one is that recently, while some maintenance was being done, they found some old grave stones with strange sings on them. Now, some of them are keeping the museum of Isfahan.