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.