Khajou Bridge

Khajou Bridge

This bridge was built between 1642 and 1667 under Shah Abbas II. It takes its name from the district of Khajou on the northern bank of the Zayandeh, which it connects with the South. It derives its inspiration from Si-o-Seh Pol, being built in two layers, however it expands and enhances many of the features of the older bridge. The bridge is some 110 metres long and a little over 20m wide for most of its course.
The eastern side of the bridge has a high sill which collects the water, raisng it by some 2m. This provides a basin from which irrigation water for the surrounding area is drawn off in a series of channels. On the western side there are steps over and between which the water pours and on which people collect to do their laundry or just to talk. From the lower section of the bridge which consists of some 20 arches, stairs lead to the spacious second storey where a series of niches has been cut for people to collect and meet. An octagonal pavilion is set in the centre of the bridge which now houses an art gallery.
Because the waters of the Zayandeh have been slowed down at this point, partly by the bridge of Si-o-Seh Pol and also partly by an aquaduct, the Pol-e-Jubi, which crosses the river upstream of this bridge, it has been possible to emphasise elegance of design rather than structural necessity. In Volume III or Arthur Upham Pope’s monumental Survey of Persian Art, he wrote:

Efficient, luxurious, poetical, this bridge is a typical product of the Iranian imagination, and proof that Persia was capable of sound and original architecture long after degeneration had begun to compromise the building art in other countries of Islam


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