Ancient Persia meets a traveler who descended from an airplane ladder with aromas of oriental spices. The tourist’s eyes are delighted by magnificent ornaments on the walls of ancient palaces and handmade carpets, ancient cities, half-covered with sand of history, and unique natural landscapes, in which deserted deserts, emerald green oases and boundless open spaces of the gray Caspian intertwined together. The answer to the question of what to see in Iran is as endless as the Arabic script, whose medieval script adorns the walls of Iranian palaces and the domes of its mosques.
The largest square in the city of Isfahan deserves its place on the lists of the World Heritage of Humanity. Its name is translated from Persian as "Decoration of the world." The construction of buildings on Naksh-e Jahan began at the end of the 16th century, when the capital of the Safavid state was moved to Isfahan.
At Naksh-e Jahan Square you will find:
- The six-story palace of Ali Gapu of the 16th century, whose height is 48 meters.
- The Imam Mosque is the largest in the city and one of the largest in the world. It was erected at the beginning of the XVII century. The height of the main dome is 52 meters, the interior is decorated with mosaics. Of particular interest are the acoustic effects in the premises of the mosque.
- Isfahan Bazaar, which appeared during the Seljukid dynasty.
The square is located in the historical district of Gulbahar.
Marble Palace in Tehran, residents of the Iranian capital are often called the Palace of Roses. It was built in the middle of the XVI century for the ruler of Tahmasp I, and then served as the residence of many shahs of Iran.
The palace complex includes two dozen buildings, including the Diamond Hall, the Museum of Photography, portrait and art galleries and the Marble Throne Hall. Museum expositions of the palace offer to get acquainted with the collections of ceramics, weapons, musical instruments, clothes and tapestries. The halls are decorated with frescoes and mirrors, marble and wood carvings, inlays and gold.
Address: Tehran, District 12, Ark sqr,
Get there: Art. Metro Panzdah-e-Khordad St.
Open: from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Ticket price: 4 euros.
The Saadabad palace complex was built for the Qajar dynasty in the very last years of their reign. At the beginning of the twentieth century, the residence served Shah Reza Pahlavi. The modern purpose of the palace is a museum exhibition located in the pavilions of Saadabad.
In the palace you will find interesting collections of museums of water, fine arts, military affairs. Visitors are always interested in the interior design of the palace. Masters used stucco molding, painting walls and ceilings, crystal and marble. Handmade carpets and huge chandeliers look especially impressive.
Address: Shemeran district in northern Tehran.
The ancient capital of the Achaemenid empire, Persepolis is sung by poets and artists, and its ruins are quite worthy to top the lists of the most famous sights of the entire Middle East.
Persepolis was built in the VI-V centuries BC and lasted a little more than 200 years.
The main monuments are the palace of Apadan Darius, the Column Hall, Tachara or the residential palace, the Xerxes harem and the tomb of Darius.
Address: 900 km south of Tehran and 50 km northeast of Shiraz.
To get there: a sightseeing bus from Tehran or a taxi from Shiraz.
The tallest building in Iran, from where you can see the capital from a bird's eye view, was built at the end of the twentieth century. Milad TV tower is 435 meters high, and viewing platforms are in the “head” located at an altitude of 315 meters. In the capsule you will find a panoramic restaurant, which traditionally rotates. The total area of premises located on 12 floors of the “head” of the tower is 12 thousand square meters. m. This is an absolute world record among structures of this type.
Address: Hakim Hwy., Tehrān, Ostān-e Tehrān.
Open: from 9 to 23.
Ticket price: 10 euros.
Mausoleum of Imam Reza
The architectural complex in Mashhad is a center not only of tourism, but also of pilgrimage. Every year, about 15 million people visit the tomb of a descendant of the prophet Muhammad, a well-known scholar of the Koran and an interpreter of Islamic law who lived in the VIII-IX centuries.
The structure was built in the XIII century on the site of the first tomb of Imam Reza.
Address: Mashhad city in the north-east of Iran.
Real Persian gardens described in the tales of Scheherazade, you will find in Shiraz. In the XVIII century, the Eram Garden was laid here, which is today protected as part of the UNESCO World Heritage:
- The total area of the garden is more than 110 thousand square meters. m
- The thirty-room main pavilion of the garden is decorated with tiles with lines of works by the Persian poet Shirazi.
- The exquisite arches on the north side are lined with mosaics of brick and glazed blocks.
More than 300 varieties of roses, many fruit trees and thousands of flowering plants have been planted in the garden.
The best time to take a walk in Eram Garden is April, when most of the trees bloom.
Address: Eram Boulevard, Shiraz.
To get: by metro to st. "Namazi" or on the bus. to the stop "Kabga".
Open from 8 to 20.
Ticket price: 5 euros.
Sheikh Lotfalla Mosque
The largest mosque in the city of Isfahan can serve as a vivid example of Persian architecture of the XVII century. It was built by the Safavid ruler Abbas Shah, and the mosque was the first building in the new capital of the empire, moved to Isfahan.
The mosque is named after Sheikh Lotfalla, who served as her first imam. The grandiose building with a 13-meter diameter dome is famous for the abundance of patterned majolica - ceramic tiles made of fired clay painted with glaze. Majolica adorns the interior of the mosque and its exterior walls.
Address: pl. Naksh-e Jahan, Isfahan.
Open: daily from 9 to 12.30 and from 14 to 18.
Pole Hajj Bridge
The oldest Pole Hajju bridge connected the banks of the Zayende-Rud River in Isfahan in 1650. It has no equal both in terms of grace of architectural solution, and because of its special functionality. The bridge serves not only as a crossing, but also as a dam. It consists of two tiers and in its central part architects prudently built a pavilion for the rest of the ruler. The customer of the bridge was the then Shah Abbas II.
In numbers, the Pole Hajju looks very impressive: 24 arches, 133 meters in length and 12 in width, and 47 inlet and outlet channels can dam the river for irrigation of gardens laid out along the banks.
Cathedral of St. Christ the Savior
It is also called the Wank Cathedral, and for the local Armenian diaspora the temple is the main one in Isfahan.
The cathedral was built in the first half of the 17th century in order to settle disagreements regarding the relationship between the empire of Shah Abbas I and the Armenian community. Muslim architecture is clearly present in the architecture, which is explained by the difficult historical upheavals in the development of the city.
Polychrome murals, tiles and gilded carvings are noteworthy, but in general the interior looks quite ascetic. The value is the library of the temple, where more than 700 copies of ancient manuscript books are stored.
Address: Isfahan, Armenian quarter of New Julfa.
The oldest adobe building, and also the largest in the world, is located on the Great Silk Road, which once ran through the Iranian city of Bam. The first buildings of the Bam fortress date back to the 7th century, when the Sassanid dynasty was engaged in the construction of the fortification. Turkic nomads and Mughals ceased to exist in the XII century, subjecting destructive raids to the surroundings of Bam.
Tamerlan contributed to the revival of the citadel, and today tourists can visit several mausoleums of the XII century, walls of six meters in length more than 1800 meters, 38 watch towers, a unique ancient building for the preparation and storage of ice.
Address: Bam city in the province of Kerman.
To get: by train from Tehran to Bam station.
Open: daily from 8 to 19.
The ancient covered market in Tabriz is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The complex consists of 28 mosques, several madrassas, five baths and a huge number of trading stalls and pavilions. Standing on the Great Silk Road, Tabriz has been a trading city for centuries. In the bazaar you will find carpets and jewelry, precious spices and handmade clothes, leather accessories and carved wood furniture.
The Tabriz bazaar began operating in the 16th century and, despite the appearance of modern shopping centers around it, retains its status as an economic center not only for the city, but also for the entire province.
Address: Tabriz, East Azerbaijan Province.
To get there: by train or car from Tehran (approx. 600 km).
The purpose of creating this museum exhibition in Tehran was the idea of the need to preserve the history of Iranian carpet weaving and study its origins and traditions. In the Museum of Carpets in Iran, you can look at the best and most valuable examples of carpet weaving, dating back to the 9th century.
The museum exhibits include 135 carpets, called world-class masterpieces. For example, the work of a master of the late Qajar empire, depicting a Persian military commander Jangali.
The museum building has a tea house and gift shop.
Address: Tehran, Dr Fatemi St. on the northwest corner of Laleh Park.
Open: daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. except Mon
Ticket price - less than 1 euro.
The most beautiful Iranian mosque in Tabriz was built in 1465 by order of the ruler of Jahan. She is called Blue because of the prevailing color in the decoration - most of the tiles are made in various shades of blue.
Shah Jahan was buried in the mosque. Its mausoleum is made of marble and is located in the southern part of the complex. The tombstone is decorated with engraved quotes from the Quran.
Address: Khiyaban, Tabriz.
In the former palace of the Zend Dynasty in Shiraz, built at the end of the XVIII century, today there is a museum with a very interesting exhibition. In the collection you will find three dozen handwritten samples of the Koran dating from the Middle Ages. The most famous is the Qur'an Hefdah of Man of the X century. Both volumes of the manuscript book weigh 40 kg, and each of them consists of 500 sheets and has a thickness of more than 25 cm.
Address: Fars Province, Shiraz, Nazar Garden.
Open: daily from 8 to 17.30.