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Khaju Bridge

The existing Khaju Bridge was built by order of Shah Abbas II in 1650. It is the only bridge in Iran with seven-colour tile decoration.

Khaju is derived from the word Khajeh which is a title for courtiers and those close to the royal family and since they lived near this bridge, the area and the bridge itself are called Khaju.

It is a double decker bridge. The top storey was used for caravans to pass over with covered corridors for pedestrians on both sides and the lower storey was specifically for pedestrians only and a place for leisure and recreation.

This bridge is a multifunctional structure. Obstructing the lower sluices caused the water level to rise upstream allowing it to be used as a lake for boating during festivals. Fireworks were also enjoyed at this bridge with the reflections enhancing the spectacle.

 

Khaju Bridge is 133 metres long and 12 metres wide. Its 21 sluices had stone grooves and could regulate water flow by placing wooden panels in these grooves. When closed, the water level would rise on the western side of the bridge which could also fill the underground reservoirs saving essential water for the hot seasons. There are two alcoves in the middle of the eastern and western side of the top storey. Each has a large room overlooking three balconies. The rooms and balconies are decorated with mural paintings mostly from the Qajarid period (19th century) over painting those from the 17th century Safavid period.

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