Isfahan in central Iran was selected as a capital city by both the Seljuk (AD 1040–1157) and the Safavid (AD 1501–1722) dynasties. During the Safavid period, and under Shah Abbas I (AD 1571–1629) in particular, the city was greatly expanded with important new quarters including Naqsh-e Jahan Square (AD 1590–1595). Running north to south, a new avenue or boulevard called the Charbagh (Ḵiyābān-e Čahārbāğ) was also constructed (AD 1595–1596) (Figure 1), serving as both a leisure or tourist attraction outside the city walls, and to connect some of the new capital's institutions.
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