Isfahan, with a population of 1, 159,102 (1992 census), is and has been the capital of the province of Isfahan since 900 years. The elevation of the city is 1,570 meters above sea level. Giving purity to the air under the brilliant blue sky and often violet-hued mountains. It is connected to Tehran by air (regular daily flights), rail and road.
The most famous Persian description of the city of Isfahan is Isfahan nesf-e Jahan (Isfahan is half the world), which the Isfahanis coined in the 16th century to express the city's grandeur. Isfahan, chosen and designed capital under Shah Abbas 1, was reconstituted with so many new mosques, palaces, bridges, avenues and parks that even European travelers wrote rapturously of its beauties. Knight Jean Chardin, a dependable observer according to A. U. Pope, reports that in 1666 Isfahan had 162 mosques, 48 madrasahs (schools), 182 caravanserais and 173 baths.
Isfahan steelworks started production in 1971 and is planned to double its present output of 1,900,000 tons in the coming years and make Iran self-sufficient as regards steel production. The Zayandeh-rud river watering gardens and fields with its numerous tributaries along its 360km. course, flows from west to east through the city, and divides off Jolfa and some other suburbs from the main part of the city, but most of the main attractions are to the north of the river.