Experience Persian Art and Architecture

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Experience Persian History and Culture

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Experience persian wildlife

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Experience Persian Art and Architecture

"Land of mysterious diversity"

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Iran in Panorama

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About Iran

Attractions

SPORT

Iran does have an interesting sporting history. Polo is believed to have originated in Iran and was certainly played during the reign of Darius the Great. A couple of millennia later, the huge main square of Esfahan was used for polo matches that would be…
nature

Nature of Gilan

Gilan province offers great tourist potentials and receives hundreds of visitors from different parts of Iran and the world, each year. Covering an area of 438,000 km2, the Caspian Sea is the largest lake of the world and lies on the north of Gilan province.…
Crafts

Persian carpets

Above a number of Persian carpets are shown. For simplicity they are listed in alphabetical order. The spelling of Persian words can vary, depending on how the translation was done from the written language of Persian to English. For example the city of…
Attractions

Music

Most Iranians are familiar with the big names of Western pop, thanks to satellite TV and the internet. Almost every taxi driver, especially in Tehran, seems to keep a cache of Turkish pop classics stashed under the dashboard. Increasingly, shops selling CDs…

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 still felt very person ally over a millennium later and around 20 million pilgrims converge here each year to pay their respects to the Imam. 

 

History


Following Imam Reza’s burial here, the small village of Sanabad began to attract Shiite pilgrims and soon became known as Mashhad (place of martyrdom). Tus remained a more significant town until 1389 when Timur sacked the whole area. But thereafter it was Mashhad that eventually limped back to life as the new capital of Khorasan. The shrine was enlarged in the early 15th century by Timur’s son, Shah Rokh, and his extraordinary wife, Gohar Shad, for whom the Haram’s main mosque is named. Once the Safavids had established Shiism as the state creed, Mashhad became Iran’s pre-eminent pilgrimage site and Shah Abbas I rebuilt the Holy Shrine’s new core around 1612. Politically, Mashhad reached its zenith under Nader Shah Abbas I rebuilt the Holy Shrine’s new core around 1612. Politically, Mashhad reached its zenith under Nader Shah whose empire was focused on Khorasan. Even though Nader was a Sunni of missionary zeal, he continued to sponsor the Haram. In 1928, nonreligious buildings within 180m of the Holy Shrine were flattened to make way for the Haram’s biggest enlargement to date. Prior to the 1979 revolution this religious ‘island’ was further expanded to 320m and construction has continued apace ever since. When historians look back on the era of the Islamic Republic, they will point to the Haram as its greatest architectural achievement.