The Nimavard Theological School is found on the West side of a small alleyway which leads between the Great Bazaar and Khiaban Abdolrazzaq. Its uninspiring exterior, shown above, conceals one of the best examples of a "madrasa", or theological school, outside the Chahar Bagh Theological College which is closed to visitors.
Within there is a magnificent example of a traditional Persian garden planted within the traditional four-eivan courtyard. In the centre is a pool round which are ranged four sunken beds planted with trees. This design was called "chahar bagh" or "four garden" and symbolised the garden of Eden which was divided in this way. The traditional name was also adopted by Shah Abbas I for the name of the main street of Isfahan.
The Eastern Eivan, in front of you as you enter, is simple but elegant, the Northern one, on the left as you enter the courtyard, has a swastika-like pattern which I believe to be made up of the letters forming the name of God, 'Allah'. Others have suggested that this pattern also represents the cirulatory motion around the 'Kabah'. A similar design is also found on one of the tilework panels inside the Southern eivan of the Friday Mosque.
Opening hours are limited. These pictures were taken in the late afternoon when the college opens about an hour before the start of the evening prayers.
Last Updated December 20, 1998