Isfahan is a city in Iran. It is located 406 kilometres (252 miles) south of Tehran, and is the capital of Isfahan Province. Isfahan is an important city as it is located at the intersection of the two principal north–south and east–west routes that traverse Iran. It was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries under the Safavid dynasty when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Even today the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Persian–Islamic architecture, having many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets, and the city also has many historical buildings, monuments, paintings and artefacts.