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Experience Persian Art and Architecture

"Land of mysterious diversity"

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About Iran

nature

Nature of Tehran

The major river in this province is the Karaj which originates in the Alborz mountains west of the city of Tehran and is 245 km long. There is an enormous dam built on this river called Amir_Kabir Dam which provides a good part of the province’s potable water…
Attractions

Poetry

While no-one knows the exact date of origin of the Avesta, the first-known example of Persian literature, it is known that various forms of Persian poetry developed around the 9th century AD. Typical were the masnavi, with its unique rhyming couplets, and the…
nature

Nature of Ardebil

Aras River, 1,072 km long, forms a natural border between Iran and the Republic of Azerbaijan. As Aras is very steep, it cannot be used for shipping. However, this river plays an important role in irrigation of surrounding lands and supplying power to the…
cities

Chabahar “the city of coastal water sports”

This province lies in the southeast of Iran on the border with Pakistan, and covers an area of 178,431km2. It is surrounded by the Sea of Oman to its south, Pakistan and Afghanistan to its east, the provinces of Kerman and Hormozgan to its west and Khorasan…

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.