About isfahan

Isfahan Sister Cities

The number of Isfahan’s sister cities is 13.

Isfahan is an ancient city that is located in the center of Iran and in the reign of Safavid, it was the center of Iran. In this era, Isfahan reached eye-catching power and authority.

In terms of population, Isfahan is known as the third extended city in Iran.

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In this ancient city, there are abundant historical monuments some of which are being recorded in the world heritage of UNESCO.

If you want to know what is the meaning of “sister cities”, which cities of the world are sisters of Isfahan, and what reasons are behind selecting Isfahan as a sister, be with us.

Sister city and the objective of establishing a sister relationship

“Sister” or “twinning pact” is a contract for establishing a friendly and purposeful relationship that is built between:

  • urban society and the foreign
  • similar urban society for exchanging of information,
  • experiences
  • and development of cultural
  • social
  • and economic events.

The sister contract was established between the cities of European countries in the year of 1945 for the first time and after the ending of World War II.

In fact, this contract had been established for decreasing the conflict in the world, because the public believes that the emotional alliance between two sisters is always established and it lasts even after their disagreement.

The similarities that should be among the two cities, can be historical, scientific, academic resemblances, or even two common symbols,s and this issue cause tourism prosperity between the two cities.

One of the ways for strengthening diplomacy among cities is by establishing sister relations.

Urban diplomacy is a subject that essentially had been considered in the flow space’s framework in the period after the cold war with the role of urban diplomacy in the attraction of tourism and extension of the globalization process and today, it is placed as the modern, efficient and strong tools of action in the international space in front of traditional diplomacy.

The root of forming urban diplomacy is based on the deficiencies of traditional diplomacy for achieving goals of foreign policies, providing the benefits of governmental and non-governmental actors in the international arena in the framework of increasing and multilateral interactions of the global economy.

The list of Isfahan sister cities

1- Xi’an: China (1989, May 7)

For the first time in 1989, the sister contract was established between Isfahan and Xi’an in China. Xi’an is the capital of Shanxi State that is located in the central and middle parts of China.

Isfahan is located on the path of the “Silk Road” and Xi’an is its starting point hence, it is considered the first international business path.

This city has been stipulated a sister contract with 11 other cities.

This ancient capital has about 3600 years of antiquity and the Chinese believe that it is one of the four ancient capitals in the world.

Xi’an has 4000 historical monuments, 3414 units of ancient heritage history, and 120,000 cultural relics.

The tourism city of Xi’an is an important center of education and culture, science and technology, business, and trading in China.

3- Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia (1997, June 23)

Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia is a beautiful and very modern city that is one of the important tourism hubs in Southeast Asia.

This city has many spectacular places including:

  • Shah Alam mosque,
  • Flower garden
  • Grand mosque
  • National museum
  • Birds garden
  • Butterflies garden
  • Temples
  • Parliament building
  • Chinese neighborhood
  • Ti Ti Wang Zoo and park

but the most important symbol of it is the “twin towers of Petronas” that is known as the highest twin towers in the world.

This city in addition to being a sister of Isfahan has the sister association with Ankara, Casablanca and Osaka.

Since Iran and Malaysia have established a good relationship, Isfahan and Kuala Lumpur also established such a relation; so that after the sister bond between these two cities, the tourism exhibition of Malaysia was held in Isfahan.

3- Florence: Italy (1998, September 13)

The sister contract was established between Isfahan and Florence in a ceremony when the foreign minister of Italy, “Lamberto Dini” traveled to Isfahan.

After this, the mayor of this city called this contract the cornerstone of future cultural collaborations between the two cities.

It’s a beautiful and historical city that renaissance and rebuilding of Europe started from Veniz and this city.

The most important sister contract axis of Isfahan and Florence is the economic and cultural collaborations and also the exchange of cultural and tourism parties.

Also, years after establishing this contract, the Jolfa church of Isfahan became repaired by Italians.

4- Iasi: Romania (1999, May 10)

Iasi is an ancient city with long authenticity that is similar to Isfahan in terms of history. There are many churches in this city that are built in the Bizantine style.

Although Iasi is the sister of Isfahan, this relationship remained to the extent of a contract, because after collapsing of the eastern block, Romania faced with lots of problems.

5- Barcelona: Spain (2000, January 14)

Barcelona has a very rich cultural heritage with historical monuments and modern buildings.

Three enclosures of Spain’s global heritage are located in Barcelona and has seven recorded global heritage work.

The sister axis of Isfahan with this city is established in terms of culture, sports, and business.

6- Yerevan: Armenia (2000, April 27)

Yerevan is a beautiful city. The name of Armenia is seen in the inscription of Darius.

Due to the existence of the Armenian minority in Isfahan, this city was selected as the sister of Isfahan. The axis of this contract includes the cultural issues and providing for the citizen’s needs of the two countries.

7- Kuwait: Kuwait (2000, June 19)

This city has warm and dry weather.

Kuwait doesn’t have many historical monuments, but in the Filka land the 20 Km of it, and the remaining buildings of the Abbasi period can be seen.

The people of this city are rich and their salary is being provided by selling oil.

The sister relation was established between Kuwait and Isfahan due to the neighborly relation.

8- Freiburg: Germany (2000, October 27)

It is a prosperous city with good weather that was selected as the capital of Germany in 1992.

There are historical and cultural monuments, mineral water springs, lakes, and parks in this city.

Isfahan is the first sister of Freiburg and is considered the biggest sister due to its overpopulation.

According to the agreement between this city and Isfahan, Freiburg supported Isfahan in the renovation and equipment of public transportation systems and solar energy projects.

Also, a number of Isfahani firefighters were sent for training courses in this city.

9- Havana: Cuba (2001, March 8)

Havana has located on the northern beaches of Cuba and the most revenue of it comes from tourism.

There are many historical monuments in this city:

  • churches
  • museum
  • and art gallery.

In the past, Havana was a colony of Spain and many works remained from that period that many tourists visit this city yearly, but totally, Havana is a poor and sanctioned country and doesn’t have the possibility of building a good relationship with Isfahan.

10- Lahore: Pakistan (2004, July 22)

Lahore is one of oldest the cities in Pakistan has an antiquity of more than 4000 years and it is remembered as “the heart of Pakistan”.

This city has lots of gardens. Many celebrities lived in this city. Due to the lots of political issues in this city, it wasn’t possible to do lots of activity.

11- St. Petersburg: Russia (2004, November 10)

St. Petersburg is the second big city in Russia and Peter the Great founded this city. St. Petersburg is a complex of 42 lands that are connected with 560 bridges.

There are many historical monuments in this city; like church, museum, and castle the most famous of them is Petropal castle and the big museum of Hermitage.

The faculty of oriental studies was founded in the year 1855 in St. Petersburg where Persian is being taught there.

In fact, after teaching Persian in this faculty, this city was selected as the sister of Isfahan. The sister axis of these two cities is the development of economy, scientific, technical, and cultural potentials.

12- Dakar: Senegal (2009, November 25)

Dakar is located in ocean and it’s the capital of Senegal.

The position of this city caused that be a point for intercontinental trips; so, it is used from Isfahan and Dakar potentials for cultural, ecology, religious and sportive exchanges.

13- Baalbek: Lebanon (2010, October 5)

Baalbek is a city located in the Beqaa Valley at the height of 1170 meters from the sea level of the eastern part of Litani. There are important monuments from the Roman period.

The objective of contracting and selecting this city as the sister of Isfahan is the exchange of information, communication development, and tourism between these cities.


What is the sister contract?

“Sister” or “twinning pact” is a contract for establishing a friendly and purposeful relationship.

What happened after establishing a sister contract between Isfahan and Florence?

Jolfa church of Isfahan became repaired by Italians.

What was the purpose of the sister contract between Baalbek and Isfahan?

Exchange of information, communication development and tourism


Isfahan city is considered one of the ten historical cities in the world.

Historical monuments of this city like Imam Square (Naghshe Jahan) have been announced as one of the giant world heritages.

Some suggestions have been considered in the direction of strengthening these contracts. Sister Contract can have benefits both parties.

What is your opinion about the sister contract between Isfahan and foreign cities?

Do you think these contracts have benefits for both parties? Share your comments with us…

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Salah is a Content producer working on a range of fields including culture, art, lifestyle, cultural heritage, and tourism. He has been working Freelancer.

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