(Si-O-Se-Pol) SioSe Pol is a bridge that is located on the Isfahan Zayandeh Rood that has 33 apertures, 295 meters length, and 14 meters width. this bridge is a unique masterpiece from the works of the period of the reign of the first Shah Abbas, it is built with the expense and supervision of his famous commander of an army (Sardar) named Allah Verdi Khan, so people call that, the bridge of AllahVerdi Khan.
Why 33? Did you count?
Have you ever stood in front of the Si-o-Se pol from the long distance and counted the openings of the bridge? Are they really 33? What is the reason that its name is 33 bridges? This question and other, are answered in this article.
The names of Si-O-Se-Pol
This bridge is called the names of Shah Abbasi bridge, AllahVerdi Khan bridge, Jolfa bridge, Chehel Cheshmeh bridge, Siose Cheshmeh bridge. this bridge is called Shah Abbasi bridge for this reason that Shah Abbas commanded the construction of it, but because this bridge was built under the supervision of Allah Verdi Khan, it is famous to Allah Verdi Khan bridge.
This bridge initially had forty springs that the water was existing from each of them, but 7 apertures of this bridge were taken and now has 33 apertures and hence it has a repute to 33 spring bridge. this bridge was the place of the passing of the people to the Jelfa, so for this reason, call that Jolfa bridge.
The short history of Si-o-se Pol
This bridge that was built by “Allah Verdikhan oundiladze Gorji”, the famous Sardar of Shah Abbas, has a stable construction and some believe that because Allah Verdikhan was from the race of Georgians and the alphabet of Georgian has 33 letters, call this bridge Siose Pol, but this claim is totally failed because at first, this bridge has 40 apertures.
The main plan of Isfahan city in the time of Shah Abbas was “Chahar Bagh” which consisted of two axes that were perpendicular to each other. Si-o-se Pol was located along with one of these main axes for connecting the Chahar Bagh Abbasi to the Chahar Bagh Bala, Hezar Jarib garden, Abbas Abad and the neighbourhood of Jolfa.
The history of the establishment of Siose Pol and ambiguities in the history
There were written different years for the construction of Siose Pol in various books. at the time of holding the festival of Golrizan in the presence of shah Abbas in the year 1018, this bridge existed but the year of completion of the works of the bridge is different in various resources.
For example, in the book of “Alam Araye Abbasi” in the Safavid history, there was written about this bridge in the events of 1011 A.H and by the time of the establishment of this dynasty until the death of the First Shah Abbas, so this bridge existed on that time. it can be concluded that on the basis of the book of Alam Ara, the bridge was built in the year of 1011 A.H.
“Mirza Hassan Khan Jaberi Ansari” in the history of Isfahan and Rey, in the part of the events related to the year 1005 A.H. had pointed to this bridge in the description of Isfahan and he also wrote about the events of the year 1008:
“Shah came from Harat to Isfahan and completed the design of mansions and gardens that each of the top brasses built a garden with his own desire in the commentary of old Chahar Bagh in the Chahar Baghe Bala.”
And says in the following:
“Shah Abbas returned to Isfahan, commanded to the Allah Verdi Khan to build the bridge of Zayandeh Rood with the Divani mansion.”
He writes such a thing about the events of 1012:
“The great construction of door head of Eysariye and the excellent tiling of it… “
Jaber Ansari was also pointed to the construction of a bridge in his writing, in the year of 1011 A.H, but in some of his writing, knew this date as the time of exportation of the instruction of it and totally, there are some contradictions in his writing.
Based on the poetry of “Naghi Komrei”, the building of the bridge of Amir, if it is that bridge, it was done on the year of 1005 A.H. that the starting of construction of it should be in the year of 1003 A.H, to finish in the 1005 A.H.
Mirza Alinaghi Komrei, one of the poets of the Shah Abbas period, composed some verses about this bridge:
“Falak ghadr Allah va yardi ke ghadr ze Abbas shah andar ayyam yaft
Bamdad big vierdi dadgar poli kedar aghaz va anjam yaft
Basee molk sirate agha Hossein bekheir alamal Hassan etmam yaft
Be daste zebar dast saab amir cho band amir in bana nam yaft
Pey sal tarikh in pol nayaft kasi khoubtar az pol etmam yaft”
An important point about the construction of Si-o-se Pol
Because the construction of the building of Abbas Abad was on one side of the Zayandeh Rood, so there should be a bridge for making connections at that time and in the year of 1005 A.H., so the presence of bridge is approved in the year 1005.
On the other hand, Allah Verdikhan that was the agent of constructing the bridge, in the year 1004 on the behalf of the first Shah Abbas was attributed to the Fars state and occupied to the management of the affairs of that region, so the reconstruction and improvement of this city and constructing of the Siose Pol should take place after the date of dispatching Allah Vedikhan and after the year of 1004 A.H.
In one of the historical documents, it is also written that in the year of 1005 A.H., the construction of the Allah Verdikhan bridge and improvement of Chahar Bagh street was finished and the theatres of passion- plays of Chahar Bagh were built in 1011 A.H. and all the buildings were finished in the year of 1025.
For answers to the ambiguities of the history of the establishment of the bridge, we should say that at first, Allah Verdikhan finished the building of the downstairs of the bridge in the year 1005 and in the year 1011 was became the agent of completion of the bridge and constructing the upstairs to in case of overflowing of the Zayandeh Rood, don’t make any disturbance in the traffic.
The Nowrouz festival in Si O Se Pol
The Nowrouz festival that was continued to three up to seven days, sometimes held with the command of Shah Abbas on the top bridge and the Golrizan festival took place and many flowers were poured on the way of king and his companions.
In the year 1018 that Farvardin festival was within coincidence with the month of Muharram, the Nowrouz ceremony was held for seven days and nights with the command of the king and made pouring the flowers (Golrizan) over the bridge and the because of the stunting of the people of Isfahan in decorating and ornamentation, the amount of 500 Toman of taxation of that year was forgiven by the command of the king.
The Abrizan or Ab Pashan festival in Si-O-Se-Pol
In the Safavid period, the ceremony of the Abrizan or Ab Pashan festival of Armenians that was held each year in the 13th of the month of Tir, took place near this bridge and people were pouring some water and rose- water on each other. in the Abrizegan and Ab Pashan festival, this bridge was the place of the community of king, bosses, poets and people.
The khaj Shouyan ceremony in Si-O-Se-Pol
The ceremony of Khaj Shouyan of the Armenians of Jolfa was held on this bridge, too. Khaj shouyan was held on the occasion of the baptism of Jesus Christ. the followers of Christ’s religion, go inside of the flowing water and swim in it with the belief that the water was being sanctified in this day.
The Armenians of Iran in the Safavid period were holding this ceremony in the day of 13th of January (24 Dey) beside the Isfahan Siose Pol. on that period, the Armenians had the right to come to the square that was at the beginning of the bridge and do the commodity exchange with the people of Isfahan, but they didn’t have the permission of crossing the bridge.
Drawing a stony wall in Si-O-Se-Pol
At first. SiOSe Pol had 40 springs and gradually it became 33 springs. in recent years, many parts of the river bed been grabbed and planted some trees, in a way that some springs of the bridge got deprived of passing of the water. it was possible that it became totally abandoned, but in the year 1330, “Mostafa Khan Mostafavi”, the mayor of Isfahan, makes free the land which was around the bridge and after opening the water vent, makes a stony wall in the north side of that it effects is still seen.
The architect of Si-O-Se-Pol
The architect of Siose Pol was professor “Hossein Bana Isfahani” and his boy, “Mohammad Reza Isfahani” was also built the “Sheikh Lotf Allah” mosque. usually, the bridges are built in the narrow parts, but for building this bridge, Professor Hossein Bana Isfahani selected the widest part of the Zayandeh Rood, because this part of the river was created in the shallow, vast and calm bed.
Three kinds of materials were used for constructing the Siose Pol: for the bottom parts, the stone is being used and for the upper parts, bricks and Sarooj mortar and plaster. this bridge was built in a way that increases its moisture, durability and strength and water can’t harm it in a long time.
The architecture of Siose Pol
The traditional architect of Sio Seh Pol:
There are covered arcades on both sides of the bridge that from one side is afforded a view of the river and from the other side to the middle of the bridge and caused the making of the narrow, roofed passageway in both sides of the bridge.
The sidewalk of the bridge has also 99 niches that some paintings were there, but today there is no sign of them. the statue of Reza Shah is also existing in the front of this bridge and on the pillar with a height of 5 meters that today, this statue is located in the square of 14th of Esfand.
The arches of the bridge have pillars with a height of 7 to 9 meters that are so strong. in the 13th century, the entrance to the portal of the bridge was possible from the paved highway and there were 3 alleys in the three different levels. at first, this bridge had 360 meters’ length and 40 springs (big arch), but today it has 33 apertures and 14 meters’ width and also has 259 meters’ length.
In the northeast of the bridge, there is a brick-made building that was built with the remembrance of the tomb of Kamal Aldin Esmaeil and the mentioned street is called by the name of that honourable man that has an extension to the Jouni and Khajoo bridge.
In the past, this bridge had 6 alleys, but today it has only 2 alleys of sidewalk that one of them is on the above that its roof is sky and other is in the beneath that is roofed and it was made in the central pillars of the bridge and with a low distance of the river bed.
The problems of Si-O-Se-Pol
Siose pol was in the list of Iran’s national works on the date of 15th of Dey 1310 with the registration number of 110. the excavation of the subway’s tunnel and the sequential drying of Zayandeh Rood, caused this pretty bridge of the Safavid period to get cracking. of course, droughts and subsidences of Isfahan are also caused that Siose Pol and all of the Safavid bridges that were on the Zayandeh Rood, were subject to subsidence.
Si-O-Se-Pol is the only bridge that is not built on the stone floor and it is built upon the sandy floor. for this reason, the Safavids piled under the bases of the bridge with 30 meters’ depth. therefore, the life of this bridge depends to the water and when the water didn’t reach its mortar, the pillars are cracking and the bridge subsidences.
One of the reasons for today’s crackings of Siose pol is the movement of heavy cars on it that the passing the cars on the Siose pol got stopped after the revolution.
Why 33 Pol?
There are many theories about the number 33 that one of them is pointing to the relation of the race of Georgian of Allah Verdi Khan and the Georgian alphabet which has 33 letters. some totally rejected this theory, because at first, Siose Pol had 40 apertures.
Other experts believe that the number of 33 is related to Anahita, the goddess of water and this bridge was in fact a symbol of Anahita.
Siose Pol in the view of tourists
“Persi Siex” the British general called the Siose Pol as one of the first-class bridges of the world and “Sharden“, the French tourist, knew that the masterpiece of architecture and also amazing.
“Den Garcia”, the ambassador of the king of Spain in the of shah Abbas Safavid, reminisces this bridge as one the best works of Iran’s architecture and writes:
“This bridge is also one of the buildings of Allah Verdikhan Oundiladze Gorji and despite his enemies and jealous people saying that this building was built with money, they can’t deny that the founder is he himself. but the public belief is that Allah Verdi khan built the bridge at his own expense. “
“Lord George Nathaniel Curzon” the british politician and Iran expert, says such a sentence about that:
“The human doesn’t’ have any expect to travel to Iran for seeing what can call it the bridge of the world.”
“Pietro Della Valle” also describes Siose pol in this way:
“There is a bridge on this river that is entirely made with bricks and its width is more than all of the bridges of Rome and its length at least 3 or 4 times bigger than those bridges.
the architecture of this bridge was done in a strange way and there are arcades in both sides of it that people pass from it’s beneath and above of it. the thing that attacts the attention more, is the corridors of the bridge that positioned almost at the same level and the whispering of water in the lower floor of bridge specially in the warm summer is so pleasant.”
Where is the Si-o-se Pol?
Siose pol is located in the southern beginning of chahar Bagh Bala street from one side and the northern beginning of chahar Bagh Abbasi street (Enghelab square) from the other side. for reaching to it, you can use personal car or public transportation. the station of the subway of Siose Pol is located in the distance of a few steps from the bridge. the bus station of Enghelab square is also located in another side of the bridge. for using the personal car, consider the region traffic in the crowded hours (watch in the map).
The best time for visiting the Si-O-Se-Pol
Siose Pol without the Zayandeh Rood hasn’t the previous favour, so the best time for visiting the Siose Pol is when the Zayandeh Rood is full of water and returned to it’s eternal glory. in the hours of day lighting, there is a possibility of seeing more details and the nights of Siose pol with it’s lighting has another pleasure. if you want to take photos, you can prepare pics with more diversity and better quality in a day.
Visiting from the Siose Pol, doesn’t have any expense for entrance. for walking on it and observing the landscape of around it and also Zayandeh Rood, we suggest almost one hour.
The spectacular places near the Isfahan SiOSe Pol:
- Hasht Behesht palace: 1.5 km
- Jolfa sistrict: 2 km
- Mashroutiat House of Isfahan: 2 km
if you want to travel to the Isfahan with more accurate information, we suggest that you read the “guidance of the trip to the Isfahan.”
The hotels near to the Isfahan Siose Pol:
- Isfahan Kosar hotel
- Isfahan Espadana hotel
- Isfahan Melal hotel
1. Where is the SiOSe Pol?
Siose pol is located in the southern beginning of chahar Bagh Bala street from one side and the northern beginning of chahar Bagh Abbasi street (Enghelab square) from the other side.
2. Why Si-O-Se-Pol is called by this name?
Siose pol has 233 apertures. there are many theses about the number of 33 that one of them is pointing to the relation of the race of of Allah Verdi Khan that was Georgian and the alphabet of Georgian that has 33 letters. some also believe that the number of 33 is relates to the Anahita, the goddess of water.
3. The antiquity of Siose Pol returns to which year?
The construction of Si-o-se Pol building was propounded in the year of 1008 A.H. and in the 12th year of reign of the first Shah Abbas and in the year of 1011, the Georgian Allah Verdi Khan was the agent of finishing it.
4. What is the the best time for visiting the Siose Pol?
In the hours of day lighting, there is more possibility of seeing more details and the nights of siose pol with it’s lighting has another pleasure.
Isfahan is among those cities that you may have a short time for seeing the beautiful places of it when you travel there, so you can plan for every moment of your residence in this city. SiOSe Pol is just one of the spectacular opportunities for excursion in the Isfahan. with a little searching, you can find another situation for enjoying of your trip. for example, you can visit the other bridges of Isfahan or the mosques of this historical and beautiful city.
Do you have the experience of standing in the opening of the bridge and staring at Zayandeh rood? How about the experience of crossing the bridge? If you have an experience, we get glad that you write it for us.