The modern powerhouse of the government and its engineers, Theran, meaning warm slope, was originally a village in the suburb of the city of Rey. Theran’s development as an independent city, however, began in the 18th century, when it was finally made Iran’s capital by Agha Mohammad khan, the first of the Qajars kings; that is why the most of the historical buildings in Theran are of the Qajar period.
The main feature of Theran’s tourist centers are its interesting museums.
The first Iranian national museum called the Museum of Ancient Iran was founded in 1937. The museum can generally be divided into three parts based on different periods of development in Irans history: The prehistoric, historic and the Islamic period.
The Sa’d Abad Cultural Complex, occupies an era of 410 hectares. It is the greatest cultural complex in modern Tehran consisting of seven palace museums.
Iran’s Carpet Museum was inaugurated in 1977. It comprises of two halls and a vast basement where varieties of hand woven fine and coarse carpets of the country are displayed.
The National Jewels Museum was organised by virtue of a legal bill passed in 1937. According to contemporary mineralogists and gemmologists, the treasury of the museum of Jewels is the richest and most dazzling single collection of jewels in the world. Darya-te Nur, Sea of Light, 182 carat.
Glassware and Ceramics Museum of earth ware, glassware, ceramics, chinaware and crystal objects. The building of this museum is a marvel in itself.
The Parsland, birthplace of Achamenian Kingdom, is located in the south of Iran. This region, with its remaining historical monuments, was the political-cultured focal point of ancient Iran and has a high tourism value. The charming city of Shiraz with about one million inhabitants is the capital of this province. Shiraz is known worldwide for its poets and philosophers, warriors and kings, orchards, orangeries, roses, adonises and fragrant blossoms.
Persepolis The center of the great Persin Empire, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenians and the showpiece of Achaemenian are, Persepolis capital of Persia in Greek, is a historic site in Fars Province, 60 km to the northeast of Shiraz with the Iranian name of Takht-e Jamshid meaning the Throne of Jamshid.
Pasargadae the first capital of the Iranian tribes and the Achaemenian Empire. There is a building here which is generally agreed to be the tomb of Cyrus, built during his lifetime in 546 BC.
Naqsh-e Rostam a pre-Archaemenian and Sussanian Persian holy archeological site 7km northwest of Persepolis, Nagsh-e Rostam is a sort of Valley of Kings, dominated by all ocher-colored cliffs, cracked and wrinkled by the wind through the ages.
Bagh-e Eram Is a Large Garden Dates from the time of Qajars, with rare flowers and trees. The tomb of Sa’di of Shiraz with a scent of love, even a thousand years after his death, this line of poetry by Sa’di inscribed on the gate leading into the garden surrounding the mausoleum, welcomes all those who enter to pay homage to this unparalleled master of the Persian language and literature.
Hafezieh, Mausoleum of Hafez (1324-1391), the greatest master of Persian lyric poetry and the literary giant of the 14th century, was born in Shiraz and chose to live there all his life.
The bazaar built by Karim Khan, is unique in Iran for its size, solidity and the beauty of its brickwork. The bazaar is located in the city center and has been its business quarter.
Esfahan, Isfahan or ancient Aspadana has been the capital of province of Esfahan 900 years. The most famous Persian description of the city of Esfahan is Esfahan nesf-e Jahan, meaning Esfahan is half of the world, which was coined in the 16th century to express the city’s grandeur. Esfahan, chosen and designed as a capital under Sah Abbas I (1598) was reconstituted with so many mosques, fire places, and bridges, masterpieces of world architecture, avenues and parks that even European travellers wrote rapturously of its beauties.
Iman Square also called Masjed-e Shah the Royal Mosque, one of the finest and most stunning buildings in the world. The Mosque begun in 1612 during the reign of Shah Abbas I and, despite the Shah’s impatience under construction 1638, represents the culmination of a thousand square meters.
Sheikh Lutfollah Mosque, a masterpiece of architecture and tile work, is a beautiful religious building wherein the elaborate design serves to heighten the visitor’s spirituality rather to distract him from it.
Palace of Ali Qapu in the Safavid period, this sublime Gate, the literal translation of its name, made by the order of Shah Abbas I.
The Chehel Sutun Palace, inside a garden with an area of 67,000 square meters, was built as an official court and a reception hall by Shah Abbas II (1647 AD).
The Siose Pol, Bridge of thirty three Arches also called Allahverdi khan Bridge, after the architect who built it. He commenced the construction the construction in 1602 by the order of Shah Abbas.
Vank Cathedral, the beautiful All Savior’s cathedral in New Jolfa, locally known as the Vank Cathedral.
Begun in 1606, at the time of the arrival of Armenian immigrants in Esfahan.
Minar-e Junban, the historic mausoleum called Menar-e Junban, the Shaking minaret from the Mongol period.
Pol-e Khaju, Khaju Bridge, some 1.5 kilometers downstream of Siose Pol, which is slightly smaller but even more attractive, with two levels of terraces overlooking the river. From bank to bank, and on the foundations of an earlier structure by the order of Shah Abbas II in 1650 AD.
Yazd is one of the ancient cities where many Zoroastrians live and it is one of the Iranian cities which is good example of cities is desert. In this city, everything is the symbol of movement, activity, social life and struggle against natural limitations. The architectural form of yazd is uniform and a sign of equilibrium in its social life.
Kabir Jame’ Mosque, This archaic and extremely valuable structure is a collection of shimmering tiles, tall minarets, beautiful plaster work, spacious and airy courtyards, nocturnal areas for use in winter season, and the turquoise colored dome which reflects quiet serenity.
The most important Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Atashkadeh is located on a hill in a small garden. The sacred flame behind a glass visible from the small museum inside has, according to the Zoroastrian elder in attendance, been burning since about 470 AD.
Dakhmeh, meaning Towers of Silence, are three impressive buildings remaining from several other similar structures on hilltops outside and in the immediate vicinity of the town, where the bodies of the departed Zoroastrians would be brought to the foot of the tower so that the ritual ceremony could be held in the presence of the relatives and friends of the deceased.
Kashan is a beautiful large oasis town on the silk road running along the western edge of the Great Desert and one of the most important archaeological backgrounds of 7, 000 years.
The Borujerdi Old House was built nearly 130 years ago.
Abyaneh is a beautiful historic village of living traditions, architectural styles and probably the most interesting example of human adaption t nature.
Mashad & Qom
This forms the axis of the holy city of Mashed and is one of the most important and greatest ‘aggregates’ in the world of Islam. Its importance is due to the presence of the shrine of His Holiness Imam Reza (AS), 148-203 AH, which contains valuable historical and artistic monuments from various centuries.
The aggregate of the Holy Shrine of Hazart Ma’ soomeh is in the city center of Qum, and is considered to be one of the largest and most valuable relics of Islamic architecture of Iran and the world which bears precious remnants from various centuries. The aggregate has been constructed on the mausoleum of Hazarat Fatemah reputedly known as Ma’soomeh the daughter of Iman Moosa Kazem (AS), and sister of Imam Reza (AS).
Kerman and Bam
kerman is situated close to the wastes of Lut Desert, which is separated by a range of mountains, its name is probably derived from the tribe of Germanium listed by Herodotus; believed to have been founded in the early 3rd century AD by Ardeshir (I), founder of Sassanian dynasty. During the Islamic period this town was one of the important cultural centers in Iran.
The Ganj Ali Khan Bath, or hamman in perian, is one of the several ancient monuments and a group of utilitarian building in Vakil Bazaar dating from the Safavid period in the 17th century.
Vakil Bazaar is the extensive Regent’s Bazaar, constructed of beautiful and well-preserved bricks, much of it from the Safavid period.
Mahan, 35km south of Kerman, is on the road to Bam. The sanctuary of the founder of the Nematollahi order of dervishes, Shah Nur od-din Nematollah Vali, poet, sage, Sufi. He lived from 1331 to 1431 for one hundred years.
Arg-e Bam, city of Bam is the largest mud brick complex in the world covering an area of 200,000 square meters. The monument was used by bam residents as a shelter until 200 years ago and up to 20 years ago its barrack served as a gendarmerie checkpoint.
Khuzestan is a part of the historical land of Mesopotamia, meaning between two rivers in Iran. Khuzestan is the cradle of civilization of Eilam, which belongs to 1300 B.C. Khuzestan is one of the regions rich in oil. Its capital is the city of Ahwaz and the Karoon River 890 km ling is the longest river in Iran.
The river passes through Ahwaz and runs into the Persian Gulf.
Ziggurat temple in Chogha Zanbil is a distinct monument belonging to the Elamite civilisation of which the foundation dates back to mid-13th century BC.
The Shush Museum is situated amidst a garden near the ancient shush Castle, and opposite Daniel prophet mausoleum.
The Acropol or Shush Castle was constructed by a group of French archaeologists in the year 1897AD in the highest region of the city.
Kish Island, an economic free zone is one of the most marvellous and most beautiful regions of the Persian gulf. Kish has a long history of about 3000 years. This island was known for the quality of its pearls . When Marco polo was visiting the imperial court in China and remarked on the beuty of those worn by one of the emperors wifes, he was told that they had come from Kish. Besides which, its strand offers scope for other leisures such as a round in a glass bottom boat, water skiing and scuba diving, with the aid of a guide. Shopping arcades prove interesting places and so too other recreational areas. (Beach of Kish)
The ruins of the historical city of Harireh, erected some 800 years ago and mentioned in Golestan of Sa’di, the outstanding Iranian poet.
Kariz or qanat subterranean aqueduct that includes a network of wells and tunnelsto draw water from underground is the secret in the heart of Kish. It is unique in the world.
A Greek Steamship named koulaf was stranded on the 25h of July 1966 and since then lies silently in the western extremity of Kish.
Kazar, another name for Caspian sea, is the largest lake in the world, The salt lack, a lank-locked body of water, covers an area of 438,000 square km and is located between Iran and the CIS countries.
Hundreds of species of migrant birds choose to settle in Mordab-e Anzali or Anzali lagoon for breeding. The Anzali lagoon and its islands have a beautiful view which attract nature lovers.
Masuleh is a traditional village. It is formed of several irregular terraced sections. Its forest views are rare and spectacular with much variety. Another special feature is its lush pastures spread all over the province ike a green carpet. Numerous rivers and springs that flow through the valleys and foothills add to its beauty.
Azerbaijan, Ardabil & Zanjan
The two northwestern provinces of East and West Azerbaijan, with Tabriz and Urumieh as their capitals respectively are among Iran’s richest and most fertile regions. The people of Azerbaijan speak a Turkic dialect called Azari. These provinces are geographically varied by mountan ranges, fertile plains and the largest salt lake known as Urumeih Lake.
Kandovan village is a living example of human adaption to exceptionally unusual natural surroundings.
Gara Kelisa, or Black Church, The Armenian Church and Monastery of St Thaddeus, 66 AD, one of the Church’s disciples to whom there are passing references in the Bible.
Takht-e Suleiman, The ancient historical fort, believed to have originally been the site of the famous Azargashasb Shiz, fire-alterand the birth place of Zoroaster, and its construction has been attributed to the Parthian and Sassanian sovereigns.
Ardabil is best known as the birthplace of the eminent religious leader Sheikh Safi od-Din from whom the Safavid dynasty was descended.
Sultanieh Dome, the highest dome in Iran (53m high) was built by Mongols (14th century).
Hamadan is one of the oldest continually inhabitied towns, centers of civilization, founded by Median monarchs (7 centuries BC). According to the records of reputed Greek historian, this territory was called Ekbatan and Hegmataneh by this monarch, whis was later reconstructed by Darius The Great. The city of Hamadan lay on the Silk Road.
Ganjnameh, or the Treasure Book, the oldest Achaemedian rock carvings consisting of two huge inscribed panels carved into two rocks.
Ali Sadr Cave, is one of the strangest natural and probably the only water cave in Iran.
Kermanshah is one of the ancient cities of Iran and its construction is attributed to Tahmorres, one of the Pishdadian Dynasty kings. The Sassanid era was the glorious time of this city. Kermanshah stands, like Hamadan, on the great highway that connected Baghdadand the west with the Iranian Plateau. The Bisotum sculptures are the highest historic importance and have been createdin 480 BC, the sixth year of Darius’ reign.
The Basotum reliefs at Tag-e Bostan, the Arch of the Garden, 6km northeast of Kermanshah, are, with one exception, the only Sassanian rock carvings outside the Fars era.