Shah Abbas I

Shah Abbas I was the first of the Safavid Shahs to establish Persia as a homogeneous state, enforcing, often brutally, adherence to Shi'ism, and imposing Farsi as a unifying language throughout the land. With the aid of two British mefcenaries, the Sherley brothers, who taught his armies how to use artillery, he defeated the Turks and repulsed the Portuguese from the strategically important island of Ormuz.

He established his capital at Isfahan and was responsible for the redevelopment of the city, in particular, the Royal Mosque, The Sheikh Lotfallah Mosque and Palace of Ali Qapu. Central Isfahan, as we see it today, is still largely his creation.

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