Propylaeum of Qeysarieh BazaarIsfahan
After taking a visit to buildings of Naqsh-e Jahan Square like Ali Qapu and two great mosques you will reach the entrance of Bazar. A beautiful propylaeum indicating the interior beauties of the bazaar. The Propylaeum of Qeysarieh Bazaar that is placed in the north side of the square, just in front of the Shah mosque, is related to the time of Shah Abbas I and its architect was Ostad Ali Akbar Isfahani.
This beautiful propylaeum had an important function in the Safavid period connecting the new Isfahan to the old square that was the legacy of Seljuk period. Propylaeum was later changed in the next periods especially under the reign of Qajar in time of Zell us-Sultan rule on Isfahan of which the most important was adding a row of tiles.
The mansion of Ali Qapu’s Propylaeum has beautiful decorations making visitors to look up at the entrance to see the paintings. The paintings include the scenes of Safavid war with Uzbeks and European figures. However, the highlighted subject matter of this painting is a bowman consisted of the head of the human, the body of lion or tiger and the tail of dragon that is now the symbol of Isfahan city, driven from the constellation of Azar month.
The importance of Qeysareih Propylaeum is apparent in the descriptions made by most of the travelers. For example, Chardin, the famous traveler of Safavid period, mentioned to the reason of naming Qeysareih and considered it to be similar to one of the Qesarieh or Kaiser buildings in contemporary Turkey.
On both sides of the propylaeum, there are two large benches. It is stated that the jewelers sold their items on these benches in the past. Of other attractive details of this propylaeum is a large watch installed on top of it that is a booty of war with Portugal. The Naqareh Khaneh mansion had also been constructed on top of the propylaeum. Naqareh palying was popular in Iran since the past, the sunrise and sunset were announced by the Naqareh.
In the right side of the mansion there is the mint and the Shahi Caravanserai, in the left side. one enters the most glorious and largest bazaars of Isfahan through the propylaeum. This Bazaar that was also famous as Shahi and Qeysarieh Bazaar was the center of selling precious fabrics and the agents of foreign countries had chambers there. In addition, there was a large pool in front of the propylaeum.