The Seljuk Kings in Esfahan

For a brief period in 1034, Masud I, son of the brilliant Ghaznavid ruler Sultan

Mahmud, held Esfahan. However, in 1047, Togh-ril Beik Seljuk successfully besieged it for a year and then made it the capital of his domain. For the first time in its history, Esfahan was raised to the status of the empire's major city. Founder of the Seljuk dynasty, Toghrol Beik spent twelve years of his life in Esfahan and succeeded in expanding the city by careful planning.

The city prospered even more under Toghrol's successors to the throne, Alp Arslan and Malek Shah, guided by their capable vizier, Nezam al-Molk. The period of Malek Shah's rule, when the city enjoyed the lavish patronage of the new king, is one of the most important in Esfahan's history. The architectural wealth left by the Seljuk rulers rivals that of the Safavids themselves. From this period dates a superb park known as Naqsh-e Jahan, laid out on the site, where a famous square was later created by Shah Abbas.

Toward the end of the Seljuk period, Esfahan fell under the power of the Ismailites, who killed Nezam al-Molk and Malek Shah and set fire to the Congregational Mosque, destroying its famous library. Toghrol III, the last Seljuk ruler, was defeated by Ala od-Din Tekish, the Kharezm-Shahs leader, and

Ghazan Khan

Jame al-Tavarikh by Rashid od-Din Fazlollah, minister of Ghazan Khan, reveals the highest level of the whole arts of the book during the Il-Khanid period.

Jame al-Tavarikh by Rashid od-Din Fazlollah, minister of Ghazan Khan, reveals the highest level of the whole arts of the book during the Il-Khanid period.

Esfahan came under the scepter of the short-lived Kharezm-Shahs dynasty. After the Seljuks' fall, the city temporarily declined.

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