5 Astonishing sites a history lover must not miss in Iran

Ranked 7th in the world concerning its ”World Heritage Sites” registered by UNESCO, Iran owns a truly rich history. The urban and cultural settlements in this country date back to more than 4000 BC. This fact turns Iran to a magnificent destination for a history lover. So, you better not miss at least 5 prominent monuments which shape a significant part of Iran's history. By visiting these 5 wonders, you will end up knowing the “Lands of Aryans” more profoundly and deeply. It may even encourage you to come back and discover this amazing land even more!

Persepolis ‒ Fars

Persepolis

Persepolis- Fars Province- Photo by Lonely Planet

Persepolis– Also known as Takht-e Jamshid- is by far the most well-known archeological site of Iran. It is also among the world’s heritage sites recognized by UNESCO.

This amazing historical city was founded in 515 BC by Darius I and is considered as the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire. Its true function has still remained rather unclear, though.

Persepolis showcases a great combination of art, architecture, and culture in all of its forms. The figures constructed and curved on dark-grey marble demonstrate numerous symbols and pictures and each of them reveals a unique story.

Although this astonishing site was burnt down at the order of Alexander the Great, the ruins are still a gem and is waiting to be discovered by enthusiastic visitors.

Haft Tapeh ‒ Khuzestan

Haft Tepe

Haft Tepe-Khuzestan Province-Photo by Korosh Nozad@Flickr

This archeological site is situated in the south-western part of Iran and represents the remains of the ancient Elamite city of Kabnak. It was an important political center during the reign of Tepti-Ahar in the 15th century BC.

The city was buried under the sands for years before being discovered and the excavations are still going on. The most remarkable discovery in this site was a large temple and a funerary complex below it. Archeologists have found the skeleton of the king and his family in a tomb here.

The discoveries also show the foundation of a ziggurat along with courtyards and rooms. The site is around 1.5 kilometers by 800 meters and consists of 7 mounds. The highest one is about 17 meters.

Imam Mosque ‒ Isfahan

Imam Mosque

Imam Mosque- Isfahan Province-Photo by Ingeborg van Leeuwen@Flickr

Formerly known as the Shah mosque or Royal mosque, this magnificent monument is one of the greatest examples of Iranian art during the Safavid era.

Located in the south part of Naqsh-e Jahan square, this beautiful mosque is surely among the most important shrines in Isfahan ,with its wonderful calligraphic inscriptions and designed tiles The architecture of the mosque highlights the crowning moment of the thousand years of constructing mosques. Shah or Imam mosque is also registered on the UNESCO’s list as one of the world’s heritage sites.

Eram garden – Shiraz

Eram Garden

Eram Garden- Fars Province-Photo by Sia Zia@Flickr

To embrace the ancient essence of Persian culture, one must not miss visiting a great example of the Persian gardens in Iran. Beautifully named Eram- which is the Persian version of Iram in Arabic, meaning heaven-, this garden represents an ideal picture of a typical garden in Iran and demonstrate the Iranian idea of an earthly paradise.

The place was constructed in the middle of the 13th century and was renovated during the Zand dynasty in the 18th century. The wonderful design of such gardens has influenced the designs of gardens from India to Andalusia and beyond.

Sunlight and its effects, beautiful flowers and large trees offering shade, and the water are among the most important elements of Eram garden and Iranian gardens in general.

Tower of Silence –Yazd

Tower of Silence

Tower of Silence- Yazd Province-Photo by Dario Lorenzetti@Flickr

As you may already know, the historic city of Yazd has also been added to the list of the world heritage sites by UNESCO and is considered to be the largest inhabited adobe city of the world. Apart from its famous Badgirs (windcatchers), amazing mosques and other historical monuments, Yazd is famous for possessing a great number of monuments and historical locations related to Zoroastrians.

Tower of Silence- Also known as Dakhme- is one of the most interesting sites remained from Sassanid time when this city was an important Zoroastrian center.

This tower is a circular structure constructed to expose the dead bodies to vultures and other carrion birds. The main reason for such ritual was to avoid contact with Earth or Fire, which are considered sacred in the Zoroastrian religion. This astonishing site is visited by thousands of tourists and visitors each year.

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