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Pope Sixtus V and Shah Abbas envisioned improvements for Rome and Isfahan as they used construction of new buildings streets and monuments to encourage further development of their prized towns Sixtus V chose to show new order to Rome as a result of the Counter-Reformation Shah Abbas focused on displaying Isfahans wealth and power Exploring articles pertaining to buildings and monuments as well as analyzing topographical maps can give a great deal of insight to the purpose behind planned cities Both Pope Sixtus V and Shah Abbas sought to develop their cherished capital cities of Rome and Isfahan however each one desired to portray completely different ideas and values Since the beginning of the Counter-Reformation in the early 1500s many changes occurred throughout Italy and especially emanating from Rome Many religious reformers had began to challenge some of the traditions and practices that the church had acquired such as the corrupt event of indulgences where forgiveness of sins was merely a monetary price These corrupt fees helped fund the reconstruction of St Peters Therefore the Counter-Reformation looked to redesign the Roman Catholic Church New churches were built and old churches were remodeled all catering to the new emphasis on individual emotional congregational participation brought a focus on sermons and music Stokstad p 724 The reformation was to help reassociate disgruntled lay people with the religions revitalized focus on the individuals needs superceding the general conditions and needs of a group Pope Sixtus V sought to bring new order to Rome He constructed new buildings dedicated to the governmental and religious needs Sixtus V had a chapel built neighboring the basilica of Sta Maria Maggiore in addition to greatly expanding the Vatican Palace among many other structures that already existed in Rome The focus of Shah Abbas dealt with the building of new structures in Isfahan a brand new capital city as opposed to a plan of improving an ancient city by Pope Sixtus V in
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