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About Iran

Iran

The people

POPULATIONWhen Iranians meet they inevitably ask: ‘Where are you from?’ This is because Iran has a multiplicity of distinct ethnic identities who are all, nevertheless, Iranian. It is important to understand that though the indigenous ethnicities are very…
cities

Mashhad “the city of spirituality”

Mashhad is Iran’s holiest and second biggest city. Its raison d’être and main sight is the beautiful, massive and ever-growing Haram (shrine complex) commemorating the AD 817 martyrdom of Shia Islam’s eighth Imam, Imam Reza. The pain of Imam Reza’s death is…
cities

Hamadan “the city of stars and mountains”

Known in classical times as Ecbatana, Hamadan was once one of the ancient world’s greatest cities. significant parts of the city centre are given over to excavations and there is a scattering of historical curiosities. Sitting on a high plain, Hamadan is…
Iran

Religion

The Islamic Republic of Iran is the only Shiite Muslim regime in the world, distinguishing it from its Sunni neighbours. Ninety-nine percent of the population are Muslim, made up of around 89% Shiites and 10% Sunnis. There are other religions followed in…

kerman “the city of sun & sand”


The desert trading city of Kerman has long been a staging point for people passing between Persia and the Indian subcontinent and today it remains the best place from which to explore southeastern region of the country. Sheltered from the vast Dasht-e Lut by the barren Payeh Mountains to the north, its position and elevation make the weather relatively mild in summer, but cold in winter. The city is something of a melting pot, blending Persians with the more subcontinental way of life of the Baluchis. This mixing is most evident in the historic and very lively bazaar, which is the highlight of any visit.



History


Kerman is one of Iran’s oldest cities and has always been an important centre on the trans-Asian trade routes. Believed to have been founded in the early-3rd-century AD by Ardashir I, founder of the Sassanian dynasty, its history is a tale of prosperity and plunder, but not that much in the way of peace. From the 7th century Kerman was ruled in turn by the Arabs, Buyids, Seljuks, Turkmen and Mongols, and then until the Qajar dynasty by a further succession of invaders and regional despots. Kerman only gained security under the central government in Tehran during the 19th century. Kerman’s continuity was its commerce, the evidence of which can still be seen in the many caravanserais around the bazaar. As trade moved more to the sea in the 16th century, so Kerman relied more on the production of carpets, a trade that remains important today.