Skip to main content

Gem of Middle East


Until 6 October 2021 the Evening Hall in the Catherine Park houses the exhibition Isfahan: Half the World in 30 Shots showcasing thirty marvellous photographs by winners of a competition held by the Isfahan City Administration.

The famous Iranian centre of culture and tourism is a sister city of St Petersburg since 2004. It is Iran's third-largest city located 406 km (252 miles) south of Tehran. 

Isfahan was chosen as the capital of Shah Abbas the Great, who became ruler of Persia's Safawid dynasty in 1587. He undertook to make Isfahan eclipse all other cities and therefore built so many palaces, mosques, gardens and bridges that the inhabitants boasted, ”Isfahan is half the world.”

Many of Isfahan's past glories have survived wars and modernization and continue to attract more tourists than any other place in Iran. 1,850 of those architectural glories are on Iran's National Monuments List, while 7 are designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites, including the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, the Shah Mosque and the palace of Chehel Sotoun.

The exhibition is organised by Tsarskoe Selo, the Iranian Embassy and the Isfahan City Administration.

Open: 10 am to 6 pm daily except Wednesday. Also closed on Saturday, 18 September 2021
Admission: free (with a Catherine Park ticket)