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Persia. Thousand and One Marvellous Instants

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Sezione 1
Sezione 2

Isfahan, Palace of Ali Qapu

Shah Abbas II of Persia. 1660 AD

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Located one metre

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from Naqsh-e Jahan Square, there was the Ali Qapu Palace.
Since, in Persian, its name referred to 'a great imperial gate', it was placed right at the entrance to the Safavid Palaces, this dynasty being one of the largest in the Persian Empire after the 7th century. The building was beautiful, constructed by order of my great-grandfather, Abbas the Great, in the early seventeenth century. In the palace areas,
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he used to entertain noble visitors and foreign ambassadors. The palace was one of the most important and royal buildings of our dynasty. It also hosted the celebration of Nowruz, also known as the 'Persian New Year'. It was full of walls with naturalistic paintings by Reza Abbasi, the court painter of my great-grandfather.

There were floral, animal and bird motifs in Abbasi's work, which gave the palace a joyful and colourful style; unfortunately they were lost and replaced by tiles with inscriptions after a period of social anarchy. But then came my time. As soon as I ascended the throne, I restored my great-grandfather's style to the palace.

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I was very enthusiastic about Ali Qapu's embellishments and perfection; I was sure that my contribution to his renovation was perfect. I ordered and directed the construction of a splendid hall on the third floor, surrounded by eighteen columns with mirrors; the ceiling was decorated with beautiful paintings.
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Sezione 3
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Isfahan, Palace of Ali Qapu

Shah Abbas II of Persia. 1660 AD

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