The origin of the name
Ispahan (Isfahan/Esfahan*) is a
major city in Iran. It used to be the country’s main capital
for longer periods in time and in the 17th century it already
held over one million citizens, amongst whom many Armenians and
Jews: there was freedom of religion under the rule of Shah Abbas
I, the great.
Persians then called the city: 'Nesf-e-Jahan':
half the world. Meaning that, if you had seen the city, you had,
in fact, seen half of the world..
engraving by J. Schroeder 1859 ' Ispahan'
Just saying the name out load, ‘Ispahan’
evokes feelings of Oriental mystique, of a beautiful old culture,
of (Persian queen) Scheherazade
and her tales of 1001 nights, of the sounds of the Setar, Barbat
(lute), Daf (drum) and Ney (flute), of beautiful poetry, of the
scent of roses, of sweet perfume… !
In Ispahan, a palace called: Chehel
Sotun (meaning: forty columns), was build by Shah Abbas II. It
has twenty slender wooden columns, not forty, but the reflection
of the entrance pavilion, in the waters of the fountain, gave
the palace its romantic name.
Inside the palace, the walls and
ceilings are decorated in a very special manor: frescoes and paintings
on ceramic, display specific historical events and scenes (such
as the reception for an Uzbek King in 1646, when the palace had
just been completed; a banquet in honor of the Emir of Bukhara
in 1611; the battle of Chalderan against the Ottoman Sultan Selim
I, in 1514 and the welcome extended to the Mughal Emperor, Humayun
who took refuge in Iran in 1544).
There are also less historical,
but even more aesthetic compositions in the traditional miniature
style, which celebrate the joy of life and love.
The fresco of a female, in the Ispahan-logo,
has his origin in this beautiful palace. It’s a rare site
in the Islamic world, to see people depicted in art, enjoying
food and wine, dancing, making music and reciting poetry together..
Our country (The Netherlands) has
a historic connection to Ispahan: being on the silk route,
the city of Ispahan held a department of the VOC, a famous
Dutch trade company, from 1623 - 1746.
Ispahan 1685 by A. M. Mallet, copper-engraving
To us, the name Ispahan
refers to times of tolerance and it represents a joy of life,
art and freedom, expressed through exotic (Oriental) dance. Dance
is an unique international (body) language and the second one,
after sound, that we learn. It unites all people on earth and
through it, all emotions can be expressed. Even when prohibited,
people will always dance, since:
“Everything in the universe has rhythm.
If indeed everybody and everything
moves, all build from molecules, atoms and quarks, then why not
move gracefully, joyfully, with elegance and style and, in doing
so, communicating joy of life, to the world!
chosen spelling, Ispahan with a -p- is based on purely aesthetic
reasons and an old perfume that came to mind, when brainstorming.
No political or other preferences are intended.