The Khaju Bridge is one of the historical bridges on the Zayanderud, the largest river of the Iranian Plateau, in Isfahan, Iran.
It is one of the most beautiful bridges of the world and is considered as one of the finest constructions and an example of Persian architecture. Khaju is a name of small district in the neighborhood of bridge. It is about 132 meters long and 12 meters wide. The Khaju Bridge is made of two decks (floors).
The Khaju Bridge was built around 1650, under the reign of Abbas II, the seventh Safavid king (shah) of Iran, on the foundations of an older bridge. The existing inscriptions suggest that the bridge was repaired in 1873. There is a pavilion located in the center of the structure, inside which Abbas II would have once sat, admiring the view. Today, remnants of a stone seat is all that is left of the king’s chair.
This bridge was built to work for different purposes. As a bridge connected the old Isfahan to villages located on the southern side and also connected Isfahan to Shiraz road. It was built as a wonderful recreational place. Steps in front of bridge and arches in the first deck have been used to relax and listen to the sound of water. It was used as a dam too. Water canals of bridge were closed during spring and summer seasons. Water was reserved on the western side of bridge, then diverted to Maddies and distributed to different districts of city, used for gardening, and agricultural purposes. Houses which were built among Madies, after few meters of digging wells, citizens could use filtered and clear drinking water.
The upper level of bridge was used for horse-carts and pedestrians in the past. The octagonal pavilions at center are used for art gallery and teahouse. While the most lower level is also used as pedestrian way or just a shady place to rest. Khaju Bridge was named as world’s ‘multifunctional bridge’ in 2008. It also joined the list of most amazing bridges of world in the same year.
There are several sluice gates under the archways, through which the water flow of the Zayanderud is regulated. When the sluice gates are closed, the water level behind the bridge is raised to facilitate the irrigation of the many gardens along the river upstream of the bridge. On the upper level of the bridge, the main central aisle was utilized by horses and carts, and the vaulted paths on either side by pedestrians. Octagonal pavilions in the center of the bridge on both the down and the upstream sides provide vantage points for the remarkable views. The lower level of the bridge may be accessed by pedestrians and remains a popular shady place for relaxing.
The bridge was renovated in 1873. The Bridge is 350-years old, and still working.Khaju Bridge was named as world’s ‘multifunctional bridge’ in 2008. It also joined the list of most amazing bridges of world in the same year.
For the tourists, the Chadschu Bridge serves as an ideal place for walks and recreation, in whose spacious galleries one enjoys the silence and grazes the old works of art.