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Why did Shah Abbas I change the capital from Qazvin to Isfahan?

Today, Isfahan is the most important tourist city in Iran and was the third and last capital of the Safavid dynasty in on1626. It was selected by Shah Abbas as the new capital of the Safavid dynasty. This important tourist city of Iran with the most beautiful historical monuments that generally belong to the Safavid architecture and has been praised by all tourists has witnessed the peak of the prosperity of the Safavid dynasty. There were several reasons why this historical city was chosen as the new capital of the Safavid government.

Join us to discover these reasons.

The initial reason that Shah Abbass I decided to move the location of the capital to Esfahan was that the climate of Qazvin did not suit him. Besides astronomers had predicted that the fortune of Qazvin would change into misfortune soon. On the other hand, during a trip to Esfahan, the idea came to the king that Esfahan would be a new, suitable choice for the capital. The fact was that Esfahan was a four-season region that could provide many facilities as the capital and in sharp contrast to Qazvin, which was a city with a six-month hot climate and a six-month extremely cold, climate with a wide range of fluctuations. That is why it was not comparable at all to Esfahan which could produce the best quality roses, with fertile agricultural lands fully enjoyed the Zayandeh Rood.

A journey to the Safavid Capitals

Why did Shah Abbas I change the capital from Qazvin to Isfahan?

Another advantage of Esfahan was its geographical centrality, which gave it political priority over Qazvin and Tabriz (the capital before Qazvin). Apart from all these, Esfahan could materialize the king's aspirations for a more Iranian administrative system, and the reinforcement of the infrastructure of power in the Safavid Dynasty.

Alighapoo palace

It could also guide caravans, full of merchandise, towards India. The other reasons also can be listed here are as follow:

1. Owing to its unique geographical situation, Esfahan could be an ideal site to settle the capital as a safe zone against the probable invasions of the Ottomans, Uzbeks, etc.

2. Esfahan was located in an area that did not have any recorded account of earthquakes, at least seven centuries before.

3. Esfahan could enable the Safavids to monopolize the silk trade, thus they could divert Silk Road toward the north-south routes gradually.

4 Esfahan could pave the way for setting up a centralized, administrative system for better prosperity.