The ancient Abyaneh Village
A surviving reminder of the ancient Iranian culture and civilization, the Abyaneh village serves as a haven where ancient traditions, architectures, and ways of life are well preserved.
Abyaneh is a historical village located at the mouth of the Karkas Mountain found in the province of Isfahan. The Abyaneh village is a compressed compound of red clay houses craftily positioned atop another along a narrow slope, creating a breathtaking view of stair-like rows of old architecture. The arrangement of the houses is very systematic and astute – the roofs of some households make up the patio of those erected on higher slopes.
The entire village is filled with marvelous architecture that reflects Iran’s early history. Houses and temples are of Zoroastrian roots, and preserved Islamic mosques, such as Jame, Porzaleh and Hajatgah, date as far back as the eleventh century. Moreover, there are castles and a pilgrimage site where ancient inscriptions remain unscathed.
Apart from the magnificent architecture, the Abyaneh village is also indicative of the ancient Iranian peculiarities. The old habits, behavior, costumes, and even dialect of the natives remain intact and unchanged within the village, a mark of the people’s intense dedication to preserve their traditions.
Persepolis is an ancient city constructed by Darius I the Great in 518 BC as his bastion of power. Known as the “Throne of Jamsid,” this striking Mesopotamian complex of natural and man-made promenades served as the core of the ancient Achaemenid Persian Empire.
Although located in the rugged region of Fars southwest of Iran, the Persepolis complex is nonetheless a guaranteed stunner with its glorious terraces, where relics of gray-stone gigantic architectures are erected. Equally arresting is the apadana, also known as King Darius’ gallery, protected by thirteen mammoth firm pillars.
A grand feature of the historical complex is the Naqsh-e Rostam, or “Picture of Rostam,” a massive stone barrage where ancient tombs are concealed, including those of Darius the Great, Xerxes I, Antaxerxes I, and Darius II.
Hazrat-e Masuma (Fatimah al-Ma’sūmah) Shrine
The Hazrat-e Masuma Shrine located at Qom, the second most sacred Iranian city after Mashhad, is an ancient burial chamber constructed in the early 17th century.
Buried in this tabernacle is the immaculate Fatimah al-Ma’sūmah, who perished in 816 AD. Also buried in the shrine are the daughters of the ninth Twelver Shī‘ah Imām, Muhammad al-Taqī.
Apart from the antique tombs, the complex brings forward other attractions such as the Tabātabā’ī, Bālā Sar, and A‘dham prayer rooms, as well as three huge piazzas.
The shrine also features more than ten theological institutes and other facilities, which were created as early as the 17th century.
Further, an intricately embellished golden dome constructed in the 19th century creates a regal character within the complex.
Tabatabaei Historic House
The Khaneh Tabatabaei-ha, or the “Tabatabaeis’ House,” is a celebrated antique house located in Kashan City in the Iranian province of Isfahan. This architectural sensation is designed by renowned Iranian architect Ustad Ali Maryam for the well-to-do Tabatabaei clan in 1880.
This historic mansion is characterized by archetypal Persian housing architecture. The house features sophisticated stained glass windows, which accentuate its old style yet tasteful façade.
The Tabatabaei Historic House also has four massive courtyards and creative wall art paintings, which prove the privileged circumstances of the household.
The Khaneh Tabatabaei-ha is not only a fascinating sight but also a proof of Iran’s cultural assets.
Apart from its architectural beauty, this attraction also celebrates the distinctive Iranian talent and world-class flair. In his 1993 visit to the site, the UNESCO chairman shared words of praise to Iranian architects, saying “Kashani architects are the greatest alchemists of history. They could make gold out of dust.”
Chehel Sotoun is a famous pavilion located in a lovely park in the province of Isfahan. This palace was constructed and finished by Shah Abbas II in 1647 principally as a venue for merriment and social functions.
The patios and receiving galleries of the old Chehel Sotoun were witnesses to social gatherings when, during his prime, Shah Abbas II and his heirs would associate and socialize with luminaries, diplomats, and representatives.
The palace, located at the bank of a long pool, is famous for its “Forty Columns,” which is an optical illusion created by twenty great pillars protecting the entrance of the palace. When reflected in the sparkling waters of the palace fountain, the twenty columns appear to be forty, hence the famed title.
A scene-stealer in the Chehel Sotoun is the grandiose central pool protected by four stone lions at each corner. There are also visual spectacles such as the hall of mirrors, the hall of eighteen pillars, and the enormous north and south chambers.
Naghsh-i Jahan Square
The Naghsh-i Jahan Square, built by Shah Abbas I the Great during the Safavid era, is a testament to the lush and vibrant culture of ancient Persia. The square is well known for its famous mosques such as the Royal Mosque, the Shayk Lutfallah Mosque, the Portico of Qaysariyyeh, and the Timurid palace, which has been existent since the 15th century.
The four prime mosques not only serve as places of worship but at the same time flaunt the rareness and splendor of Iranian architecture. These mosques are furnished with elaborate designs, culturally meaningful beautifications, and old engravings.
A British Iranologist named Roger Seyouri studied the existence of the square during the Safavid era and proposed that the Naghsh-i Square served as a public trading site during daytime and a venue for entertainment and performances at nightfall.
The Azadi Tower, formerly known as the Shahyad Monument, was a commemorative pylon created in 1971 in honor of the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire. Designed by Hossein Amanat, this 148-feet skyscraper displays grand Islamic and Persian architectural designs and symbols, making the Azadi Tower a national icon in Iran.
The marble-covered tower stands on four firm pillars, which bow at the peak, creating grand overhead arcades. Beneath the Azadi Tower is the Azadi cultural complex where picturesque botanical gardens and water springs are designed to memorialize Iran’s vibrant ancient culture.
Located in southwestern Qeshm Island, Qeshm Island Global Geopark is a haven of distinct Iranian natural heritage.
This 1,500-square meter territory provides a taste of the country’s splendid natural assets coupled with inimitable Iranian warmth and conviviality.
This world-class geopark is the perfect getaway for nature tripping adventures, with only 30 minutes of air travel time from the northern or southern coast. Cheap food, accommodations, and services supplement the awe-inspiring ambience of being one with nature in an extraordinary Iranian experience.
The historic archaeological site of Shiraz in Iran is widely known for being an ancient walled city as well as being a focal point of Islamic mosques and palaces. Shiraz is teeming with historically and culturally significant Islamic shrines and cenotaphs, including the gigantic Safavid mosque.
Possibly the most remarkable Islamic structure in Shiraz is the Syed Amir Ahmad, or Ahmad ibn Musa, Shrine. The reliquary was created for Amir Amad, whose father and brother were both imams and who was believed to be murdered while taking refuge with this brother, Mir Muhamad, in Shiraz around 835 AD.
Eventually, the simple burial chamber that was the resting place of Amir Ahmad and Mir Muhammad captured the interest of that time’s spiritual and imaginative monarch. Queen Tashi Khatun ordered for the transformation of the tombs and the erection of a grand mosque and a religious institute in the 14th century.
Since then, the brothers’ tombs have been a famous attraction and were ultimately titled as the Shah Cheragh or the “King of Light.”
At present, the moniker of the shrine only gives justice to its glittering parapets. The interiors are a skilfully veneered surface with shimmering cut glass pieces and tinted tiles, while the dome is an exquisite gleaming mosaic of tiny thatch pieces.
Mount Damavand, an inactive stratovolcano, is deemed to be a national symbol of Iranian power and peace, as it has endured and outlasted a number of empires, tribes, governments, and even religious rules.
At 18,602 feet, this volcano in the province of Mazandaran is considered the king of all gigantic land forms in all of the Middle East and Western Asia.
Although fenced by the toothed sheer drops of the Albroz mountains and guarded by seemingly infinite deserts, Mount Damavand still stands out and reigns supreme with its unmistakable stature and unnaturally gripping form.
The best times to climb the superior heights of Mount Damavand are the months of July, August, and September. This narrow-summit volcano was first conquered by a climber named W. T. Thomson in 1837.
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