Chahar Baq School is the last glorious building of Safavid period in Isfahan used to teach and educate seminarians in Shah Soltan Hossein period and it is also used for this purpose now. This school, famous as Soltani School and Shah’s Mother School is on the eastern side of Chahr Baq Street in Isfahan. The reason of naming this school as “Soltani School” was that, it was built at the time of Shah Soltan Hossein and the reason for calling it as Chahar Baq School was that it was built in Chahar Baq Street. In the north of Chahar Baq School, there is a beautiful and high
small bazaar, which has been named Shahi Small Bazaar in Safavid time, because of the high height of Boland (High) Small Bazaar and its glory. This small bazaar is a significant sample of the bazaars of Safavid time, which now is called “Honar (Art) Bazaar”.
In the east of this school, “Fathieh Sara” or Shah’s Mother Caravansary is located, which today is called Abbasi Hotel. Because the mother of Shah Soltan Hossein Safavi endowed Fathieh Sara and also Boland Small Bazaar to the school to use its profits for educational unit and also its students and teachers and to provide the school expenses from the income of these endowments, it was also called Shah’s Mother School. This school and its mosque were built in the late of the 11th century at the time of Shah Soltan Hossein Safavi (Started in 1116 and finished in 1126
L.H.). In the middle of its corridor, there is an expensive stone trough on, which the praise utterance on the 14 innocent persons and the date 1110 H. has been carved.
This stone trough is a master work of stone cutting and calligraphy arts. The horizontal inscription inside the dome has been written by Abdur-Rahim Jazayeri in 1121 H. The three altars of the school’s covered part locating on the eastern side have inscriptions written by Mohammad Mo’men-ul-Hosseini in 1118H. . The dome includes different kinds of tiling such as sevencolored, glazed, burling, pili and moeqoli. This school has a four-porch design. The porches and the chambers of this four-porch school are in front of a green and pleasant garden, in the middle of which a stream passes. This stream is called Farshadi, which in Isfahan;
it is famous as Farshadi Canal. This canal is a branch of ZayandehRood River, which in a part of way, passes the yard of Chahar Baq School.
The external exterior of the building includes a high, beautiful and glorious portal having 17 two-brick floor arches in both sides. The arches of the first floor are for sitting and resting the passersby and the upper arches, in fact, are small porches toward Chahar Baq Street. The portal has been decorated by colorful and elegant tiles with designed arched and different writings, which form the entrance part of the building.
The main door of the school decorated by gold and silver is an apparent sample of gold and carving, which completed and grew in Safavid period. On this door, some poets have been written in raised Nastaeliq writing beautifully by Mohammad Saleh Isfahani, the famous penman of Safavid period.
The internal part of the school includes the entrance vestibule, central yard, covered part and dome-house area and also chambers of seminarians. On the northern frontage of the school, the northern porch, with a rather wide and high opening, is located, in the opposite frontage of which the dome and minarets of the southern porch could be seen. The chamber built in two floors, between the porches of the school, and allocated to the seminarians occupies the most area of the school. This school is Iran’s tiling museum including different kinds of tiling such as seven-colored, glazed, burled, pili and moelaqi. The whole internal surfaces of the building are divided into small pieces decorated by tiles and the most beautiful part of the school, from the view of tiling, is the entrance vestibule.
The pulpit of the school has 12 stairs made of a single marble and it is the best samples of stone carving and carving arts of that time. Beside the pulpit, the valuable and very beautiful altar of the school is located that the inscription above the altar and the pulpit has been written by Abdur-Rahim Jazayeri.