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A major city in west-central Îrān, Eşfahān became the capital of the region by Toghril Beg, the Turkish conqueror and founder of the Seljuq dynasty, in the mid-11th century. Although the city experienced much growth, only a few mosques and minarets survive from this period. After the fall of the dynasty, Esfahān declined, but was made capital again by Abbas I (reg 1588-1629), and entered its golden age, during the Safavid dynasty (1501-1732), when the city was rebuilt. During the early 18th century, the city was taken by the Afghans after a lenghty seige, and it went into decline until the mid-20th century, when Reza Shah Pahlavi commissioned reconstruction and restoration of many of the city's historical structures.
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