Alaverdi Khan

Alaverdi Khan Bridge in Isfahan

Alaverdi Khan (died in 1613), Prominent politician, high-ranking military officer and statesman of Iran, Georgian by origin, whose surname was Undiladze. He adopted Muslim faith after he was kidnapped from Georgia in his childhood, was taken to Iran and sold as a slave. He grew up to become the Commander of Shah’s Guard in the Iranian army. He was appointed to the position of the Governor of Farsi Province.
He showed extraordinary fervor in implementing the military reforms of Shah Abbas I. In the 1603-12 war against the Ottoman Empire Alaverdi Khan proved himself an intrepid warrior. Apart from military activities, he was engaged in civil engineering: by his own means he used to build markets and caravansaries. He financed the construction of the bridge over the Zayandeh River in Isfahan, which bears his name and is still functional.
Alaverdi Khan died unexpectedly prior to Shah Abbas’s invasion of Georgia. Rumors had it that the Shah was privy to his death. However, by the order of Shah Abbas I, he was buried in Mashhad with great honor. After Alaverdi Khan’s death his sons stepped-up in the political life of Iran: Immam-Quli Khan, his elder son, was appointed the Governor of Farsi, while Daud Khan, Immam-Quli’s younger brother, was assigned to the post of the Governor of Ganja-Karabakh.