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isfahan Cities

Overview and History

About Esfahan
The capital of Esfahan province, and the Persians call it Nesf-e Jahan (Half of  The World)

Esfahan is one of the oldest cities of Iran with the 1,001,000 population located 414 km south of Tehran and 481 km north of Shiraz. This 2500 years old city served as Persia's capital from 1598 to 1722. 

Esfahan was a crossroad of international trade and diplomacy, and therefore was a kaleidoscope of resident languages, religions, and customs. The city is known for its silver filigree and metal work. 

This city is renowned not only for the abundance of great historical monuments, but also for its Life-Giving River, The Zayandeh-Rood, which has given the city an original beauty and a fertile land. Esfahan is filled with old gardens and some of the best sights in Iran. 

In the Arsacides (Parthians) era, Esfahan was the center and capital city of a wide province, which was administered by Arsacide governors. 

In Sassanids time, Esfahan was governed by "Espoohrans" or the members of seven noble Iranian families who had important royal positions, it played a residential role for these noble families as well. Moreover, in this period Esfahan was a military center with strong fortifications. This city was occupied by Arabs after final defeat of Iranians.

After Islam, Esfahan was under domination of Arabs, like other cities of Iran, till the early 10th century A.D., and it was paid attention only by Caliph Mansour. In the reign of Malekshah Saljooghi, Esfahan was again selected as capital and began another golden age. In this period, Esfahan was one of the most thriving and important cities of the world.

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this city was conquered by Mongols in 13th century A.D. and they massacred the people. After the invasions of Mongols and Taymour, as the result of its suitable geographic situation, Esfahan flourished again especially in Safavid time, which developed considerably.

After selection of Esfahan as capital by Shah Abbas I (1587-1629) who unified Persia it reached to its pinnacle of briskness. Esfahan had parks, libraries and mosques that amazed Europeans, who had not seen anything like this at home. The Persians called it Nesf-e-Jahan, half the world; meaning that to see it was to see half the world. 

Esfahan became one of the world's most elegant cities. In its heyday it was also one of the largest with a population of one million; 163 mosques, 48 religious schools, 1801 shops and 263 public baths. 

Decline of Safavid dynasty by Mahmood Afghan and conquest of Esfahan a 6 month siege, caused a degeneration period for this city. In Afsharieh and Zandieh times it flourished again but during Qajars reign, due to choosing Tehran as capital, Esfahan began to decline once more

Esfahan, regarding its historical and geographic conditions, was paid attention during Pahlavi time and some endeavors were made for repair and restoration of historical monuments. Moreover, Esfahan and the province redeveloped and industrialized rapidly. During last two decades, Esfahan developed with a very high rate of acceleration from urban development point of view, highly observing restoration of historical monuments. 

Today, Esfahan is a major industrial center and also is one of the important tourism centers of Iran and the world.

Getting There

By plane

Esfahan International Airport or Esfahan Shahid Beheshti (IATA: IFN) (ICAO: OIFM) was a military air base before the revolution. There are daily flights to Tehran and Mashhad in Iran. There are also flights to Damascus, Dubai and Kuwait and recently Istanbul. 

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By car

Esfahan is well-served by highways. There are automobile routes to capital Tehran, Kashan, Shiraz, Yazd and Ahvaz.

By bus

Esfahan is well connected to most parts of the country by bus . there are buses from Esfahan to Tehran and Tehran to Esfahan every 15 minutes. Also there are a few luxury buses with a so-called "European standard" (very comfortable seats, open mini-bar, etc.

 

People and Culture

The history of Isfahan can be traced back to the Paleolithic period. In recent discoveries, archaeologists have found artifacts dating back to the Paleolithic, Mesolithic, Neolithic, Bronze and Iron ages.

Persia's Capital

In 1598 Shah Abbas the Great moved his capital from Qazvin to the more central and Persian Isfahan, called Ispahān in early New Persian. This new importance ushered in a golden age for the city which lasted until it was sacked by Afghan invaders in 1722. The capital subsequently moved several times until settling in Tehran in 1795.

Modern age

Today Isfahan, the third largest city in Iran, produces fine carpets, textiles, steel, and handicrafts. Isfahan has one of the largest steel-producing facilities in the entire region, as well as facilities for producing special alloys.The city has an international airport and is in the final stages of constructing its first Metro line.

Over 2000 companies are working in the area using Isfahan's economic, cultural, and social potentials. Isfahan contains a major oil refinery and a large air-force base. HESA, Iran's most advanced aircraft manufacturing plant (where the IR.AN-140 aircraft is made), is located nearby. Isfahan hosted the International Physics Olympiad in 2007.

Some places in Isfahan you can visit for excite

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Palaces and caravanserais

Old schools (Madresse)

Churches and cathedrals

Squares and streets

Bazaars

Bridges

The Zayande River starts in the Zagros Mountains, flows from west to east through the heart of Isfahan, and dries up in the Kavir desert.

The bridges over the river include some of the finest architecture in Isfahan. The oldest bridge is the "Pol-e Shahrestan", which was probably built in the 1100s during the Seljuk period.[citation needed] Further upstream is the "Pol-e Khaju", which was built by Shah Abbas II in 1650. It is 123 metres long with 24 arches, and also serves as a sluice gate.

The next bridge is the "Pol-e Jubi". It was originally built as an aqueduct to supply the palace gardens on the north bank of the river. Further upstream again is the Si-o-Seh Pol or bridge of 33 arches. Built during the rule of Shah Abbas the Great, it linked Isfahan with the Armenian suburb of Jolfa. It is by far the longest bridge in Isfahan at 295 m (967.85 ft).

Other bridges include:

Emamzadehs

  • Emamzadeh Ahmad
  • Emamzadeh Esmaeil, Isfahan
  • Emamzadeh Haroun-e-Velayat - 16th century
  • Emamzadeh Jafar
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    Mausoleums and Tombs

    Tourist Attractions

    Isfahan is an important historical center for different groups of tourists in the domestic and international world. The central historical area in Isfahan is called Seeosepol (the name of a famous bridge)

    Other sites

    Transportation

    Airport

    Isfahan is served by the Isfahan International Airport which handles domestic flights to Iranian cities and international flights, mostly to regional destinations across Middle East and central Asia including Dubai and Damascus.

    Metro and Inter City Public Transportation

    Isfahan Metro is under construction and will include 2 lines with 43 km (27 mi) length. The first line of that is planned to be finished by end of 2010 with 21 km (13 mi) length and 20 stations. Until the metro is completed an expanded bus system accompanied by taxis will handle Isfahan intra-urban public transportation.

    Rail

    Isfahan is connected to three major rail lines: Isfahan-Tehran, Isfahan-Shiraz (recently opened), Isfahan-Yazd and via this recent one to Bandar Abbas and Zahedan.

    Road transport

    Isfahan's internal highway network is currently under heavy expansion which began during the last decade. Its lengthy construction is due to concerns of possible destruction of valuable historical buildings. Outside the city, Isfahan is connected by modern highways to Tehran which spans a distance of nearly 400 km (248.55 mi) to North and to Shiraz at about 200 km (124.27 mi) to the south. The highways also service satellite cities surrounding the metropolitan area.

     

    Culture

    Rug manufacture

    Main article: Isfahan rug

    Isfahan has long been one of the centers for production of the famous Persian Rug. Weaving in Isfahan flourished in the Safavid era. But when the Afghans invaded Iran, ending the Safavid dynasty, the craft also became stagnant.

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    Food

     

    • Isfahan is famous for its Beryuni. This dish is made of baked mutton & lungs that are minced and then cooked in a special small pan over open fire with a pinch of cinnamon. Beryuni is generally eaten with a certain type of bread, "nan-e taftton." Although it can also be served with other breads.
      See also Biryani.
    • Fesenjan – a casserole type dish with a sweet and tart sauce containing the two base ingredients, pomegranate molasses and ground walnuts cooked with chicken, duck, lamb or beef and served with rice.
    • Gaz – the name given to Persian Nougat using the sap collected from angebin, a plant from the tamarisk family found only on the outskirts of Isfahan. It is mixed with various ingredients including rose water, pistachio and almond kernels and saffron.
    • "Khoresht-e mast" (yoghurt stew) is a traditional dish in Isfahan. Unlike other stews despite its name, it is not served as a main dish and with rice; Since it is more of a sweet pudding it is usually served as a side dish or dessert. The dish is made with yogurt, lamb/mutton or chicken, saffron, sugar and orange zest. Iranians either put the orange zest in water for one week or longer or boil them for few minutes so the orange peels become sweet and ready for use. People in Iran make a lot of delicate dishes and jam with fruit rinds. This dish often accompanies celebrations and weddings.
    • Pulaki – the name given to a type of Isfahani candy which is formed to thin circles like coins and served with tea or other warm drinks.

 

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Yazd Cities

Yazd is one of the most well-known desert cities of Iran.

Many Iranians and foreign tourists like to visit Yazd to view the architecture typically found in desert areas.

It is known as the city of wind towers, Zoroastrians, Termeh (traditional brocade), silk weaving and sweets (like Baqlava and Qotab).

A trip to Yazd will make you familiar with life in desert towns and how people cope with it. You learn about Qanat (underground water supply system) for which Iranians are well-known.

The water reservoirs, icehouses, wind-towers and pigeon towers make the visit to Yazd worthwhile, as tourists explore the uniqueness of this ancient city.

Yazd is located 270 km southeast of Isfahan province and with a population of approximately 560,000, it attracts a growing number of tourists.

The city is hot and dry in summer due to its location, which is between the two main deserts of Dasht-e Kavir and the Kavir-e Lut.

Traditionally, Yazd is famous for Termeh, the brocades made with Iranian patterns and used in dresses, bags, footwear and interior decoration.

The ancient caravan routes went through Yazd and linked major cities of the world. Its earlier residents were more involved in trade than agriculture.

At present, many tile and porcelain factories are operating outside Yazd, attracting laborers and producing good-quality products for domestic as well as international markets.

Getting There

Yazd is located midway between Isfahan and Kerman, 689 km (427 miles) south east of Tehran. It is well connected to the rest of the country by planes, trains and buses.

By bus

From the bus station, take a local bus (the bus stop is by a little white hut on the highway in front of the main bus station) to the local bus station, then another to the bazaar. This is in the center of town; from here you can find your hotel.

By plane

There are International flights to Dubai and Damascus and daily flights from Tehran.

By Train

You can find train from Tehran to Yazd.

People and Culture

One of the oldest cities of Iran, with desert architecture, an important Zoroastrian center since Sassanian time that has kept Fire Temple and Dakhmehs (Towers of Silence), a prosperous city standing at the cross - roads of the most important caravan routes from central Asia and India to the south and West   has the name of Yazd.  Marco polo, who came here on his way to China in 1212, called it “The Good and Noble City of Yazd ".

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To See

A view of historical area inside Yazd

  • Masjid-e Jame (Friday Mosque), dating back to the fourteenth century, is well worth a visit. It is an example of finest Persian mosaics and excellent architecture. Its minarets are the highest in the country. Admire it at night when it is lit up.
  • Atashkadeh is the Zoroastrian fire temple. The fire on the inside has supposedly been burning since 470 AD.
  • Yazd Tower of silence(Zoroastrian's Dakhmeh) - the name tower is misleading as they consist of huge circular walls on top of two hills, within those the dead were left to be picked clean by the vultures. This is done in accordance with Zoroastrian belief. However, the towers are not in use anymore and open to the public. A quiet, serene place. The modern Zoroastrian cemetery is just there as well. To get there using public transport, you can take the bus going south on Imam Khomeini from the bus stop across the street of Amir Chakhmaq Complex. Get down on the last stop, end of the line at an interchange terminal, and then from there ask people for another bus going to "Dakhme" (pronounced like German "Dach"), might need to wait a bit and be sure that the people will tell the bus driver to drop you on the correct bus stop. Once you are off the bus, it's a corner of a 4-way intersection and you go right, you will see the towers, you should get off at the intersection just south of Yazd University, and then walk west, towards the mountains.
  • Yazd Water Museum lots of interesting information about the Qanat water distribution system.
  • Yazd Market Square's Clock
  • The cistern of Fatemeh-ye-Golshan
  • Amir Chakhmakh complex, a breathtaking construction and a must-see. Visitors can climb to the top.
  • Amir Chakmakh mosque, not to be confused with the complex of the same name, but nearby and easily visited when visiting the more famous complex.
  • Hazireh mosque
  • Water reservoir with its four Badgirs (wind towers)
  • Khan-e-Lari, a historical house
  • Alexanders prison, which was neither built by Alexander the great nor a prison, but a 15th-century domed school which is quite an interesting sight with a cafe in the 'prison room'. Often guides Would tell you the deep well in the middle of its courtyard was in fact built by Alexander the Great and was used as a dungeon but this seems doubtful.
  • Tomb of the 12 imams which dates back to the early 11th century, has inscriptions inside bear the names of the twelve Shiite Imams, though none are actually buried here. It is now badly deteriorated.
  • Madrasse-e-Kamalieh
  • Bogeh-ye Seyed Rokamdin mosque
  • Dowlat Abad Gardens with a building with a beautiful large badgir. Recommended - this is a fruit garden best visited in early summer. Has grapes, pomegranates and wheat. Also houses the tallest wind catcher in the world.
  • Markar square. This square is geographically located at the center of Iran, you can see it on the way.
  • Get Out

    The people who visit Yazd, take a trip to explore other tourist attractions outside the city, most of which are located in Meybod . Here’s a list of them:

    Shah Abbasi Caravansary (in Meybod): In Safavid era, Shah Abbas started building several caravansaries to promote trade and business. This spacious one used to be near the old town of Meybod.

    Chapar-Khaneh (in Meybod): This was a mailing service station operated first by horses carrying any parcels to various destinations and later by vehicles until early 20th century.

    Chack Chak (near Ardakan): Known as Pir-e-Sabz, it is the most sacred of the mountain shrines respected by Zoroastrians.

    Narin Qaleh (in Meybod): This fortress is said to have been built approximately 5,000 years ago, but it has certainly existed at the time of the Medean empire. Sassanian bricks were used in it and Meybod’s governor used to live here.

    Food and sweets

    Ash-e Shooli (Shooli Soup)

    This soup is cooked by Yazdis and very common among them.  No one knows where the word ‘shooli’ comes from, but everyone knows its taste. Shooli is a delicious and simple soup, and its seasoning is vinegar, but it can be replaced with pomegranate paste, or any other sour liquid.

    Baghlava (Baklava)

    Baklava is traditional Mediterranean treat using phyllo dough. The filling varies from ground walnuts to almonds or pistachios. Greeks use honey syrup to sweeten their baklava while the Persians use rose water syrup.

    Qotab 
    Qotab is an almond-filled, deep-fried Persian pastry. It's prepared with flour, almonds, icing sugar, vegetable oil and cardamom. Some versions of Qotab may contain other ingredients, since most of the best recipes are family secrets that are jealously guarded. Qotab is one of three types of sweets (Shirini) that the Iranian city of Yazd is famous for producing.

    Haaji Baadaam

    This small almond cookies or cakes is a traditional Persian(Yazdi) pastry. Almonds are rich in vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and potassium. Additionally, almonds are a significant source of protein and fiber.
    Almonds reduce the risk of heart disease they are beneficial for maintaining a healthy weight.

     

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shiraz Cities

 

 About Shiraz
Shiraz
The capital of Fars province, city of poets, wine and flowers

Shiraz is the capital of Fars province, one of the most beautiful, historical cities in the world. Farsi (Persian or Parsi) the language of Ancient Fars (Pars), has become the official language of Iran (Persia). 

Shiraz with more than 850,000 inhabitants situated in southwestern Iran, in the inland around 200 km from the Persian Gulf, at an elevation of 1,800 meters above sea level. 

Different people have lived in the Fars province such as the Aryans, the Samis and the Turks, who worked together to form the Iranian culture. 

The first Capital of Fars, some 2500 years ago, was Pasargad. It was also the capital of Achaemenid King Cyrus the Great. The ceremonial capital of his successor, Darius I (or Darius the Great), and his son Xerxes, was Persepolis. Today, only the ruins of these two capitals remain. Stakhr was another capital of Fars. It was established by the Sassanids and lasted until Shiraz finally assumed the role of the regional capital. 

Shiraz is also the birthplace and resting place of the great Persian poets Hafez and Saadi. There are two remarkable monuments in Shiraz. One is dedicated to Hafez, the master of Persian lyrical poetry. The other one is dedicated to Sa'adi, the author of the famous Golestan, a book of sonnets called the Garden of Roses.


According to Islamic historians, Shiraz came into existence only after the Arab conquest of Iran. The Arab invasion, in fact, contributed to its importance and by the 13th century, Shiraz had grown into one the largest and most popular Islamic cities of the era. Shiraz lies spread out like an immense garden on a green plain at the foot of the Tang Allah-o-Akbar Mountains.

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The most interesting buildings in Shiraz are located in the old part of the town. Among them are about a dozen mosques, some with bulb- shaped domes, and others with pear shaped domes and cupolas. These mosques are mostly scattered in among the old houses.


The Masjid-e-Vakil (the Regent Mosque) has an impressive portal containing faience panels in floral designs with various shades and colors on each side. The northern iwan (verandah) is decorated with shrubs and flowers, mainly rose bushes. The ceiling in Mihrab Chamber (altar) is covered with small cupolas resting on twisted columns. Vakil Bazaar, which is close by, was built by Karim Khan Zand. Here silversmiths and jewelers still apply their trades of exquisite inlay work. Persian carpets and other traditional Persian handicrafts may also be purchased in the Vakil Bazaar.


About 50 km. Northwest of Shiraz, at the foot of the Rahmat Mountains, one encounters the vast platform and remains of Persepolis, the grand ceremonial Capital built by Darius I (Darius the Great) and his successors some 2500 years ago. Archeologists are still combing through the debris and ashes that have covered Persepolis since Alexander the Great destroyed it in 330 BC. Most of the structures have already been revealed.

Pasargad is located about 77 km away from Persepolis. It was built by Cyrus the Great. Among the interesting sites at Pasargad is a stone platform 80 m. long and 18 m. wide. It is believed to have been the foundation of a palace. Close by are the ruins of a building called the Prison of Solomon which was probably a fire temple.

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The most important monument in Pasargad is undoubtedly the tomb of Cyrus the Great. It has seven broad steps leading to the sepulcher, which measures 534m. in length by 531m in width and has a low and narrow entrance. When Alexander the Great looted and destroyed Persepolis, he paid a visit to the tomb of Cyrus. It is recorded that he commanded Aristobulus, one of his warriors, to enter the monument. Inside he found a golden bed, a table set with drinking vessels, a gold coffin, some ornaments studded with precious stones and an inscription of the tomb, which reads.

 

"Passer-by, I am Cyrus the Great, I have given the Persians an empire and I have ruled over Asia. So do not envy me for this tomb."

 

Getting There

By plane

Shiraz International Airport (IATA: SYZ) (ICAO: OISS) has regular flights to all major and some smaller cities in Iran.

 

By train

Shiraz Train station has recently been finished and there are Trains to Isfahan and Tehran. However, the bus journey is shorter (2hrs less), so that might be recommended.

 

By car

Motorways connect the city to Isfahan, Kerman, BushehrAhvaz and Yasouj, and Bandar-e Abbas is reachable by highway.

 

Get around

For non-Iranian visitors, taxis are probably the most convenient mean of transport. However be sure to haggle for a good price prior to getting into the car.

If an unmarked car stops while you are hailing a taxi, don't be alarmed. Many taxis in Shiraz are unmarked and also as a means to supplement their income, is not uncommon to find private car owners touting themselves as taxis.

However it always best to find a taxi through a reputable "telephone taxi" agency. For a set fee, drivers of these agencies will take passengers to their destination, drive them around town and also wait for them while they shop or run errands. All hotels and local residents will have a phone number of one these agencies. There are also taxis driven by women that specifically cater to women passengers.

The city also has a reasonable bus service.

People and Culture

Talk

Don't hesitate to talk to people, especially youths. Almost all of them speak English well enough to talk to you, answer your questions and chat with you. They're all very welcoming and like getting into conversation with you. Some of them might even invite you to be their guest.

Buy

Retail stores usually open between 09:00 and 13:00, reopening again from 17:00 to 21:00. It is customary to haggle for a discount, which is referred to as a Takhfeef.

  • Bazaar Vakeel - a huge ancient bazaar specializing in fine carpets, textiles, antiques and handicrafts and spices . There is also a wonderful courtyard with a pool located in the bazaar perfect for photographs. It is called 'Saraye Moorshirr'. Visit Sharzeh and Hamam Vakeel for a great dining experience located just outside the bazaar.

 

  • Khan-e Zinat ol-Molk (The house of Zinat ol-molk), Next to Naranjestan Qavam. Historical house and adjoining gardens that house the Fars Dignatories museum.

Shopping malls

  • Aftab Fars Shopping Centre, MaaliAbaad Blv.
  • Hafez Shopping Centre, Afifabad Blv.
  • Persian Gulf Complex, Sepidan Hwy. Near Sadra and Golestan Towns
  • Setareh e Fars Shopping Centre, Afifabad Blv.
  • Sina Shopping Centre, Motahhari Blv.
  • Zaytoon Shopping Center, Paramount Intersection.
  • Soltanie Shopping Center,Motahari square

Some places in SHIRAZ you can visit for excite

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Main sights

  • Hafez Tomb - Mausoleum of Hafez- Hafez (1324-1391), the greatest master of Persian lyric poetry and the literary giant of the 14th century in the west and central Asia, was born in Shiraz, lived all his life here, sang its praises in unsurpassed verse and was buried in a garden known after him as the Hafezieh, in the northeast part of the city. The extraordinary popularity and the wide appeal of this great poet among all Persian-speaking people make his tomb a cherished placed, visited by all. This mausoleum too was rebuilt in the early 50’s. A flight of stone steps reaches to the tomb under a tiled cupola resembling a dervish’s hat. The tombstone is beautifully inscribed with two of Hafez’s poems or Ghazals. Visitors to the tomb can still, as they have done for centuries, take the omens, or Faals, by picking a page at random from a volume of Hafez, kept for this purpose. Entry 150,000 rials for foreigners.
  • Saadi Tomb - Recommended. Mausoleum of Saadi: Here lie the earthly remains of one of Iran’s greatest poets-Sa’di. Even from the very early days after the poet’s death, the mausoleum of Saadi became a place of pilgrimage to lovers of poetry and literature. In 1808 AD Karim Khan Zand renovated the mausoleum. The tomb was rebuilt in the early 50’s. The porch with its tall columns of pinkish marble is a traditional feature of Iranian architecture.
  • Arg of Karim Khan - formerly a prison, but now an architectural wonder on exhibit. The design of the citadel combines military and residential architecture, for it was the home of Karim Khan and the military center of the dynasty. Tile works depicting legendary tales were added at the entrance gate of the citadel during the Qajar period.
  • Afif Abad Garden (Bagh-e-Afifabad) - a garden and houses owned by the Ghavami family. Highly recommended. It contains a former royal mansion, a historical weapons museum, and a Persian garden that is one of the oldest gardens in Shiraz, all open to the public.
  • Eram Garden (Bagh-e-Eram) - Highly recommended. This stunningly beautiful complex contains a vast network of gardens, as well as a colorful palace and a system of small artificial rivers flowing throughout the entire area. Tourists can admire the wonderful flora or follow the little canals' intricate system. Make sure the weather is sunny before coming here!
  • Narangestan Qavam (Bagh-e-Naranjestan)is both traditional and historical house, It was built in the mid-to-late 19th century by Mirza Ibrahim Khan. The Qavam "Naranjestan" preserves the elegance and refinement enjoyed by the upper class families during the 19th century. The mirrored porch was a focal point of the house, overlooking onto gardens lined with date palms and flowers.The house today is a museum open to the public. Highly recommended.
  • Delgosha Garden (Bagh-e-Delgosha)
  • Nasir al-Mulk Mosque it was built during the Qājār era, the mosque has extensively colored glass in its facade, and other traditional elements such as panj kāseh-i (five concave) in its design.
  • Jame’e Atigh Mosque
  • Vakil Mosque was built between 1751 and 1773, during the Zand period; however, it was restored in the 19th century during the Qajar period where its exuberant floral decorative tiles date from.
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    • Vakil Bath - An old public bath, highly recommended.
    • Vakil Bazaar - has beautiful courtyards, caravansarais, bath houses, and old shops where hundreds of vendor are housed, which makes it deemed among the best places in Shiraz to buy all kinds of Persian rugs, spices, copper handicrafts and antiques. Highly recommended.
    • Saray-e-Moshir - a caravansary at the south entrance of Bazaar Vakil, which now functions as exhibition space for Iranian handicrafts. highly recommended.
    • Mesgarha Bazaar
    • Moshir-e-Now Bazaar
    • Shah Cheragh - Highly recommended. Seyed Amir Ahmad, known as Shah-e Cheragh, the brother of Imam Reza, came to Shiraz in the latter half of the 8th century. He passed away in the city and his tomb is now a respected place of pilgrimage. The structure, tile work and the dome of the mausoleum have been rebuilt several times over the centuries. The tomb, the beautiful silver doors and the exquisite mirror work are the handicrafts of masters and contemporary artists of Shiraz.
    • Abesh Khatoon Tomb
    • Seyed Taj-e-din Gharib Tomb
    • Khan school
    • Ghal'eye Karim Khan
    • Christians Church
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    • Qoran Gate (Dar vazeh Quran) - the city's main entrance. The original gate was built as an ornamental decoration by the Buwwayhids (Buwayhid dynasty) about 1000 years ago, but this was replaced 60 years ago by new gate, which is considered one of the finest architectural designs in Iran and has won numerous awards. From the the gate walk up the stone stairways to enjoy picturesque and panoramic views of Shiraz. The tomb of Khajooyeh Kermanee, a famous poet is also located here. Hidden in the alleys on the hill-side are numerous restaurants that serve the finest Chelo Kebab. It is an excellent place for picnics and taking photographs.

    Eat

    • Kebab with rice - like elsewhere in Iran, the mighty old kebab with rice is a common fare, though Shiraz does offer a local variation on the national dish.
    • Shirazi Salad - A delicious and famous salad available throughout Iran, made with cucumbers,

    tomatoes, onions and a simple lemon juice and olive oil dressing.

    • Kalam polo - A traditional food is just cooked in Shiraz. Some delivery food restaurants serve this food , it can hardly find in normal restaurants. It is a dish made of Rice, meat balls, chopped cabbage and some other vegetables and spices.
    • 'Ash Shirazi - It is a kind of soup made of vegetables and meat. It serves all over the city early in the morning. People eat this for breakfast. But please note that it just serves really early in the morning. Starts from 5 to 7 a.m.
    • Masghati Halva - a great dessert and snack.
    • Nokhod(Chickpea) Cookie - delicious cookie made of chickpea, known as one of Shiraz's souvenirs.
    • Shirazi Paloodeh - Paloodeh is an ice cream made of rice starch, which takes the form of noodles. It is flavored with "Sharbat" (sugar,water), which can be of different flavors. Shirazian Paloodeh is the best Paloodeh in Iran especially when mixed with Bahar-e-Naranj Distill. 
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    • Restaurants

      Almost all of these places have Live music playing

      • Haft khan, buffet and classic restaurant, Iranian and international cuisine
      • Bel passi, Italian Rstaurant
      • Brentin,
      • Lotus Restaurant, on the 13th floor of Pars International Hotel
      • Lotus Restaurant, on the top floor of Setareh-e-Fars Shopping Center
      • Kaktoos Restaurant
      • Shater Abbas
      • Sharzeh Restaurant, a classic old restaurant located just outside the Vakil bazaar
      • Soofi Restaurant, traditional restaurant located at Sattarkhan St.
      • Hammam-e-Vakil (Vakil Bath), classic old style restaurant
      • Parmin Restaurant
      • Shandiz Restaurant
      • Sita Traditional Restaurant, with Live Iranian Music
      • Gambron SeaFood Restaurant, serving famous food from the whole of Persian gulf
      • Dragon, Chinese Food
      • Noor , Lebanese Restaurant,Chamran Blv
      • Zeytoon , Classic restaurant, Iranian restaurant.
      • Shater abbas , Traditional Iranian restaurant , located in khak shenasi St. and another one in Chamran ave.

      Get out

      Pasargad was a Persian capital built by Cyrus the Great in the 6th century BC. Around 500 BC, Darius I built a new capital at Persepolis 50 km away. Both are now listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List and both are near Shiraz.

      Persepolis (Takht-e-Jamshid)

      • Takht-e-Jamshid (Persepolis) - The center of the great Persian Empire, ceremonial capital of the Achaemenians and the showpiece of Achaemenian art, Persepolis (Capital of Persia in Greek) is a historic site in Fars Province, 60 km to the northeast of Shiraz. Iranians call it Takht-e Jamshid (The throne of Jamshid), Jamshid being the first, probably mythical, ruler of Iran. This magnificent court was the summer residence of the Achaemenian emperors and their official reception quarters. It must be by some strange accident of history that Persepolis was never mentioned in foreign records, for it was here that representatives of all the varied peoples of the empire gathered to pay homage, and bring tribute, to the King of Kings, probably each spring, at the time of the ancient Now Ruz festival. Although set on fire and destroyed by Alexander in a gesture symbolizing the destruction of Persian imperial power, its still impressive ruins permit a fairly complete reconstruction of its original appearance.
      • Palace of Apadana
      • Bishapur
      • Firouzabad
      • Ghal'eh Dokhtar
      • Palace of Ardashir – The Palace ruins of Sassanid king Ardashir I 
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      • Etymology

        The earliest reference to the city is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BCE, found in June 1970, while digging to make a kiln for a brick factory in the south western corner of the city. The tablets written in ancient Elamite name a city called Tiraziš. Phonetically, this is interpreted as /tiračis/ or /ćiračis/. This name became Old Persian /širājiš/; through regular sound change comes the modern Persian name Shirāz. The name Shiraz also appears on clay sealing found at a 2nd-century CE Sassanid ruin, east of the city. By some of the native writers, the name Shiraz has derived from a son of Tahmuras, the third Shāh (King) of the world according to Ferdowsi's Shāhnāma.

        History

        Pre-Islamic

        Shiraz is most likely more than 4,000 years old. The name Shiraz is mentioned in cuneiform inscriptions from around 2000 BCE found in south western corner of the Shiraz city. According to some Iranian mythological traditions, it was originally erected by Tahmuras Diveband, and afterward fell to ruin. The oldest sample of wine in the world, dating to approximately 7,000 years ago, was discovered on clay jars recovered outside of Shiraz (according to the referenced article, this discovery was made in Hajji Firuz Tepe, a Neolithic village in Iran's northern Zagros Mountains, more than a thousand kilometers north of Shiraz).

        In Achaemenian era, Shiraz was on the way from Susa to Persepolis and Pasargadae. In Ferdowsi's Shāhnāma it has been said that Artabanus V, the Parthian Emperor of Iran, expanded his control over Shiraz. Ghasre Abu-Nasr (meaning "the palace of AbuNasr") which is originally from Parthian era is situated in this area. During the Sassanid era, Shiraz was in between the way which was connecting Bishapur and Gur to Istakhr. Shiraz was an important regional center under the Sassanians.

        Modern Times

        The City's municipality and other related institutions have initiated restoration and reconstruction projects. Some of the most recent projects have been the complete restoration of the Arg of Karim Khan and of the Vakil Bath, as well as a comprehensive plan for the preservation of the old city quarters. Other noteworthy initiatives include the total renovation of the Qur'an Gate and the mausoleum of the poet Khwaju Kermani, both located in the Allah-u-Akbar Gorge, as well as the restoration and expansion of the mausoleum of the famous Shiraz-born poets Hafiz and Saadi. A lot of different construction projects is currently underway, which is going to modernize the City's infrastructure. The Shiraz 1400 chain of projects is set to transform the city and greatly modernize the infrastructure.  After the Islamic Revolution of 1979, Shiraz was re-established as the capital of Iranian Art and Culture. Shiraz is known as the capital of Persian Art, Culture and Literature.

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        Culture

        Shiraz is known as the city of poets, gardens, wine, nightingales and flowers.[47][48] The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; carpet-weaving, and the making of the rugs called gilim (Shiraz Kilim) and "jajim" in the villages and among the tribes.[citation needed]

        The garden is an important part of Iranian culture. There are many old gardens in Shiraz such as the Eram garden and the Afif Abad garden. According to some people,[who?] Shiraz "disputes with Xeres [or Jerez] in Spain the honour of being the birthplace of sherry."[49]

        Shiraz is proud of being mother land of Hafiz Shirazi, Shiraz is a center for Iranian culture and has produced a number of famous poets. Saadi, a 12th and 13th-century poet was born in Shiraz. He left his native town at a young age for Baghdad to study Arabic literature and Islamic sciences at Al-Nizamiyya of Baghdad. When he reappeared in his native Shiraz he was an elderly man. Shiraz, under Atabak Abubakr Sa'd ibn Zangy (1231–1260) was enjoying an era of relative tranquility. Saadi was not only welcomed to the city but he was highly respected by the ruler and enumerated among the greats of the province. He seems to have spent the rest of his life in Shiraz. Hafiz, another famous poet and mystic was also born in Shiraz. A number of scientists also originate from Shiraz. Qutb al-Din al-Shirazi, a 13th-century astronomer, mathematician, physician, physicist and scientist was from Shiraz. In his The Limit of Accomplishment concerning Knowledge of the Heavens, he also discussed the possibility of heliocentrism.

        For more Information:

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 Overview and History

About Ardabil
Ardabil is historical city in 
Azerbaijan region of Iran.

Ardabil is a historical city in north-western of Iran. The name Ardabil comes from the Zoroastrian name of "Artawila", which means a holy place. Ardabil is the center of Ardabil Province. At the 2011 census, its population was 564,365, in 156,324 families, where the dominant majority are ethnic Azeris. Notable for its silk and carpet trade tradition, the ancient Ardabil Carpets are considered some of the best of the classical Persian carpet creations. Ardabil is also known as the seat of a World Heritage Site: the sanctuary and tomb of Shaikh Safî ad-Dîn, eponymous of the Safavid Dynasty.In Sassanids time, Esfahan was governed by "Espoohrans" or the members of seven noble Iranian families who had important royal positions, it played a residencial role for these noble families as well. Moreover, in this period Esfahan was a military center with strong fortifications. This city was occupied by Arabs after final defeat of Iranians.

After Islam, Esfahan was under domination of Arabs, like other cities of Iran, till the early 10th century A.D., and it was paid attention only by Caliph Mansour. In the reign of Malekshah Saljooghi, Esfahan was again selected as capital and began another golden age. In this period, Esfahan was one of the most thriving and important cities of the world. 

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Location

Ardabil is about 70 km (43 mi) from the Caspian Sea, and 210 km from the city of Tabriz. It has an average altitude of 1,263 meters (4,144 ft) and total area of 18.011 km2 (6.954 sq mi).

Neighboring on the Caspian Sea and the Republic of Azerbaijan, this city is of great political and economical significance.[citation needed]

The province of Ardabil has been blessed with splendid natural beauty and numerous sights.

It is located on an open plain 1,500 meters (4,900 ft) above sea level, just east of Mount Sabalan (4,811 m), where cold spells occur until late spring. Wastewater is used on crops, range lands, forests, parks and golf courses in many parts of the world ([4e8], among others). Unrestricted irrigation, however, may expose the public to a variety of pathogens such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, or helminth.

History

The province is believed to be as old as the Achaemenid (ca. 550–330 BC). It is mentioned in the Avesta, where prophet Zoroaster was born by the river Aras and wrote his book in the Sabalan Mountains. During the Parthian era, the city had a special importance among the cities of Azerbaijan. Some Muslim historians attribute the foundation of Ardabil to king Peroz I of the Sassanid Empire. The Persian poet Ferdowsi also credits the foundation of the city to Peroz I. Ardabil suffered some damages caused by occasional raids of Huns from 4th to 6th century AD. Peroz repaired those damages and fortified the city. Peroz made Ardabil the residence of provincial governor (Marzban) of Azerbaijan.

During the Islamic conquest of Iran, Ardabil was the largest city in north western Iran, and remained so until the Mongol invasion period. Ardabilis fought the Mongols three times; however the city fell after the third attempt by Mongols. They massacred not only the Ardabil but inhabitants of neighboring villages, killing everyone they could find.[citation needed] Incursions of Mongols and Georgians left the city in ruins for nearly three centuries until the advent of Safavid.

 

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 To See

Bazzars

Ardabil Bazaar  In the heart of the Ardabil city, this bazaar stands as old as the Islamic period. Its shape was described by the historians of 4th century AH as a cross, extending in four directions with simply designed domes. Most sections of the bazaar were constructed and renovated during the Safavid and Zand periods. 
Produce Bazzar, Ardabil and vicinity This is the fresh produce bazaar on the Meshkin Shahr gate in the city of Ardabil. Vendors buy directly from farmers and distributors.

Shourabil Lake - A natural pond almost inside the city. Don't miss Shourabil. It gets really beautiful especially in sunset. It also freezes in winter.

The complex of Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili  is a World Heritage Site, comprising the following components: the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Ismail I, Chini khaneh (meaning the house of chinaware), a mosque, Jannat Sara (meaning the house of paradise), Khanaqah (the house of Dervishes), Cheragh Khaneh (the house of lamps), Shahid khaneh (the house of martyrs) and Chelleh Khaneh (the place where devotees shut themselves up during the forty days of Lent). The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, the dome of which is called "Allah-Allah" has an octagonal interior.

Masjid Jameh  Ruins of once magnificent and unique Mosque.

Mirza Ali Akbar mosque and school  This comlex dates back to Qajar period

Ardabil Bazaar This beautiful Persian bazaar was built during Safavid period and in addition to main bazaar hall with open vaults has a hammam and a small yet mystifying mosque.

Ardabil bridges  Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.

Imamzadeh Saleh mausoleum  The mausoleum of Imamzadeh Saleh who is a descendant of a Shia Imam was built 250 years ago. 

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Saint Mary church  This Armenian orthodox church has a beautiful wooden main door and painted dome built in 1876.

Mausoleum of Sheikh Jebra'il

Babadavood anbaran- Friday mosque

Ardabil Carpet

Why the Ardabil Carpet was made One of the main sights in the city of Ardabil in north-west Iran is the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din Ardabili, who died in 1334. The Shaykh was a Sufi leader, who trained his followers in Islamic mystic practices. After his death, his followers remained loyal to his family, who became increasingly powerful.

In 1501, one of his descendants, Shah Isma'il, seized political power. He united Iran for the first time in several centuries and established the Shi'i form of Islam as the state religion. Isma'il was the founder of the Safavid dynasty, named after Shaykh Safi al-Din.

The Safavids, who ruled without a break until 1722, promoted the shrine of the Shaykh as a place of pilgrimage. In the late 1530s, Isma'il's son, Shah Tahmasp, enlarged the shrine, and it was at this time, too, that the carpet was made as one of a matching pair The completion of the carpets was marked by a four-line inscription placed at one end. The first two lines are a poetic quotation that refers to the shrine as a place of refuge:

'Except for thy threshold, there is no refuge for me in all the world. Except for this door there is no resting-place for my head.'

The third line is a signature, 'The work of the slave of the portal, Maqsud Kashani.' Maqsud was probably the court official charged with producing the carpets. He was not necessarily a slave in the literal sense but called himself one to express humility, while the word for 'portal' can be used for a royal court or a shrine. Perhaps Maqsud meant both, as in this case the court was the patron of the shrine.

The fourth line contains the date 946 in the Muslim calendar, which is equivalent to AD 1539–1540.

The Ardabil Carpet and the V&A  The two Ardabil carpets were still in the shrine of Shaykh Safi al-Din in 1843, when one was seen by two British visitors. Thirty years or more later, the shrine suffered an earthquake, and the carpets were sold off, perhaps to raise funds for repairs. The damaged carpets were purchased in Iran by Ziegler & Co., a Manchester firm involved in the carpet trade. Parts of one carpet were used to patch the other. The result was one 'complete' carpet and one with no border.

In 1892, the larger carpet was put on sale by Vincent Robinson & Co. of London. The designer William Morris went to inspect it on behalf of this museum. Reporting that the carpet was 'of singular perfection … logically and consistently beautiful', he urged the museum to buy it. The money was raised, and in March 1893 the Museum acquired the carpet for £2000.

The second, smaller carpet was sold secretly to an American collector, and in 1953 it was given to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Ardabil carpet hung on the wall in this gallery for many years. In 2006, the museum created the case in the center of the gallery so that the carpet could be seen as intended, on the floor. To preserve its colors, it is lit for ten minutes on the hour and half-hour.

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Attraction

The complex of Sheikh Safi-ad-din Ardabili is a World Heritage Site, comprising the following components: the mausoleums of Sheikh Safi and Shah Ismail I, Chini khaneh (meaning the house of chinaware), a mosque, Jannat Sara (meaning the house of paradise), Khanaqah (the house of Dervishes), Cheragh Khaneh (the house of lamps), Shahid khaneh (the house of martyrs) and Chelleh Khaneh (the place where devotees shut themselves up during the forty days of Lent). The mausoleum of Sheikh Safi, the dome of which is called "Allah-Allah" has an octagonal interior.

Masjid Jameh Ruins of once magnificent and unique mosque

Mirza Ali Akbar mosque and school This complex dates back to Qajar period

Ardabil Bazzar This Persian bazaar was built during Safavid period and in addition to main bazaar hall with open vaults has a hammam and a small yet mystifying mosque.

Ardabil bridges Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.

Ardabil bridges Ardabil host numerous historical bridges namely Pol-e Gilandeh, Pol-e Nayer, Pol-e Haft Cheshmeh, Pol-e Panj Cheshmeh and Pol-e She Cheshmeh and Qarah Soo Bridge, most were built during Safavid era.

Imamzadeh Saleh mausoleum The mausoleum of Imamzadeh Saleh who is a descendant of a Shia Imam was built 250 years ago.

Saint Mary church This Armenian orthodox church has a beautiful wooden main door and painted dome built in 1876.

mausoleum of Sheikh Jebra'il located 2 km north of Ardabil

old but always lively bazaar

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and a few ancient bridges. In addition to these, in many villages of Ardabil, relics of ancient monuments, including tombs have been found.

Being a city of great antiquity, the origins of Ardabil go back 4000 to 6000 years (according to historical research in this city). This city was the capital of Azerbaijan province in different times, but its golden age was in the Safavid period.

Geology

Many hot springs and beautiful natural landscapes are in Ardabil and around which attract tourists. The mineral springs of Ardabil (Beele-Darreh, Sar'eyn, Sardabeh and Booshloo) are notable throughout Iran for their medicinal qualities.

Many beauty lakes: the largest of which are Ne'or, Shorabil, ShoorGel, NouShahr and Aloocheh that are the habitats of some species of water birds. The beautiful Lake Ne'or is located in a mountainous area 48 km south-east of the city of Ardabil. It covers an area of 2.1 km² and has an average depth of 3 metres. It is fed by springs in the lake bed.

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Some places in Isfahan you can visit for excite

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Sabalan

Savalan is an inactive stratovolcano in Ardabil province of northwestern Iran. It is the third highest mountain in Iran and has a permanent crater lake formed at its summit. Sabalan has a ski resort (Alvares) and different tourist areas such as the Sarein spa. The mountain is known for its beautiful vistas, including the Shirvan gorge, where few climbers ever venture. According to some beliefs, the Mount Savalan was the place where Zoroaster meditated for some years, so Mt. Savalan is one of the important sacred places in Zoroastrianism.

The Savalan mountain

Located in the extreme north west of Iran in meshkin shar (khiav), it is the country's third highest peak after Damavand and Alam-Kuh. At 4,811 meters it is taller than Mount Blanc in the Alps. The mountain offers many attractions throughout the year. On the slopes of the mountain the mineral water from springs attracts large amounts of tourists each year, many have faith in healing properties believed to be in the springs. The nomadic people of the area live in small villages, with their round "Yurt" tents appealing to tourism. Sabalan is a volcanic peak, and at 3,600 meters you can see gigantic 'sculptures' which are eroded volcanic stone outcrops which resemble animals, birds and insects.

Climbing

The climbing surface includes rocks of various sizes (Class 2 scrambling), and a moderate degree of fitness is required to climb it. The climb from the base camp starts easy, becomes challenging mid way, then eases in gradient near the top. The lake on the top remains frozen except for about four weeks in late July to early August.

Some climbers start by driving to hot springs of Meshkin Shahr, where they start their climb. This climb takes about two days, reaching to the base camp on the first day. Others take a taxi to base camp early in the morning, and climb the mountain in one day. In 2006, there was talk of improving the road to the base camp. If this is done, a regular car should be able to make it to the base camp during the climbing season. The road goes through multiple nomadic encampments of shepherds.

One or two days of acclimatization in Tehran or Ardabil may be advisable. Mountaineering has been popular among the youth in Iran. On a Friday during the climbing season (late June to mid August), one may find hundreds of people on the mountain. Guides can also be found in Ardabil. Adequate climbing equipment can be purchased in Ardabil or Tehran.

Surrounding area

The area around Sabalan, particularly near Meshkin and Dasht-eh Moghan produces large quantities of grain, including wheat. Thanks to the climate produced by the mountain, Ardabil remains pleasantly cool in the summers. There are lots of hot springs all around the slopes of Sabalan; and a main concentration is within Sareyn county having 10 various hot springs. Furthermore, there are some really proper slopes for skiing with a lot of snow even in near-summer; along with a very beautiful and useful ski piste named "Alvares" within an hour's drive from Sareyn to the Sabalan South ridge.

Ardabil Thermal and Mineral Springs

 

Due to its geological situation, Ardabil Province is a home to many thermal and mineral springs, which are among the most important and popular ones in Iran and in the region and are mostly used for therapeutic purposes. The most important ones are as follows:

Asad Spring, Sar Ein, Ardabil
It is close to the Gol Ali Spring having very limpid water. Its temperature is 30° C with the water yielding capacity of 1 liter/second. This spring annually attracts many tourists.

Bilehdareh Spring, Sar Ein, Ardabil
Located 3 kilometers north of Sar Ein in a valley, this cold water mineral spring has several sources. Drinking its water is recommended for urological and gastric diseases.

Bushly Spring, Meshkin Shahr
It is located 45 kilometers west of Ardabil towards the city of Sarab. It contains carbon dioxide (CO2) with the temperature of 49° C as well as different mineral compounds effective in rheumatism and skin diseases.

Eilavand Spring, Meshkin Shahr
It is located 15 kilometers south of Meshkin Shahr. Its water contains sulfate and phosphorous compounds and carbon dioxide (CO2).

Gavmish Goly Thermal Spring,Sar Ein, Ardabil
In this spring there is a pool with 25 X 17 m. area. Its temperature is 45° C and its water yielding capacity is 30 liter/second which is the highest in the region.

General Thermal Spring,Sar Ein, Ardabil
Its water enters a pond and then enters the Sar Ein Valley. Its temperature is 43° C with the water yielding capacity of 1.5 liter/second.

Gol Ali Spring,Sar Ein, Ardabil
These two springs flow out from several crevices holding a high quantity of CO2 gas. After joining other springs, its water is used for agricultural purposes. Its water yielding capacity is 30 liter/second and its temperature is 17° C with no sedimentation.

Qarah Soo Thermal Spring,Sar Ein,Ardabil
There are two ponds in the source of the spring and its temperature is 41° C with a water yielding capacity of 1.5 liter/second. Its water relieves the rheumatic and nervous pains.

Qootoursoo Spring, Meshkin Shahr
It is located 24 kilometers from Meshkin Shahr. Its temperature is 41° C. As it contains sulfate compounds, causes evaporation of bad odors around the spring.

Sar Ein Mineral Springs, Ardabil

Located 28 km. away from the city of Ardabil, this complex of various thermal springs can be used by reaching the small town of Sar Ein at the foot of the Sabalan Mountains. Sar Ein is easily accessible through Ardabil airport and a good quality paved road. Equipped with modern facilities and newly built hotels, Sar Ein is one of the most visited sites by domestic tourists especially aware of the therapeutic virtues of these springs rich in different minerals.
The most important springs of this area are: Qarah Soo Thermal Spring, Sari Soo Thermal Spring, Gavmish Goly Thermal Spring, General Thermal Spring, Bilehdareh Spring, Gol Ali Spring, and Asad Spring.

Sardabeh Spring, Ardabil
This spring is located 24 kilometers from Ardabil and one kilometer north of Vakil Abad Village among a vast valley, and its temperature is 49° C. Its altitude is 1,820 meters above the sea level. Its water is enriched with several minerals useful for rheumatism and skin diseases.

Sarisoo Thermal Spring, Sar Ein, Ardabil
It is located close to Qarah Soo Spring. Its temperature at the source is 47° C and in the ponds is 44° C with a water yielding capacity of 3 liters/second.

Other Springs, Ardabil
There are of course many other thermal springs with different therapeutic virtues, which are less equipped with facilities and sometimes unexplored. The most important ones are: Qinerjeh Spring and Moil Thermal Spring in Meshkin Shahr; Borjloo Thermal Spring at 4 km. to Neer; Garmkhaneh Mineral Water and thermal spring in Garmkhaneh Village (Khalkhall); Sardabi Spring in Sardab Village (Ardabil); Haft Boluk, Daneshgah, Ab Pahn, Ab Yal Sooie, Ab Chashm, Besh Baji Lar Springs and thermal springs and coffee houses of Hemat and Momtaz in Ardabil.

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a107 Cities

Moqan Plain, Ardabil
Encompassing an area of more than 300-350 thousand hectares, the Moqan plain is located to the north of Ardabil Province and west of the Caspian Sea. Due to its mild winters and humid summers, it is considered as an important agricultural pole of Iran. Vast verdant farmlands and orchards as well as related industries have been established in this area which along with the tribal lifestyle of Shahsavans may attract many interested tourists.

Talesh Forests, Ardabil

With an area of 105 thousand hectares, these beautiful forests are still among the "untouched" forests of the Alborz Mountain Chain. Some of the various species of trees are oak and pine. The road connecting Ardabil to Rasht via Astara passes by these forests which have been divided between ex-Soviet Union and Iran. This road is one of the most scenic roads while traveling in Iran; however caution must be taken as the road conditions are sometimes difficult at higher altitudes.

Aqche Castle, Meshkin Shahr

It is located in a rocky mountain near Chatin Valley and Qara-Qyeh Village. Ceramic and earthenware objects found from this site belong to the 1st millennium B.C.

Kohneh Castle, Meshkin Shahr

On the eastern slope of the Baq Nowruz Valley in Meshkin Shahr, there is a castle by the river and there is an inscription with Pahlavi script belonging to the Sassanid period. It's probable that this castle has been built replacing the ancient Sassanid castle as mentioned in an inscription.

Ultan Castle, Pars Abad

This castle is located 500 m. from the Ultan Village in Pars Abad. Its antiquity dates back to the Parthian period and due to its firm structure it was used until 12th century A.H.
Other Castles, Ardabill 
Other historical castles are Heer in the south of Ardabil, Qiz in Germi and Deeve in Meshkin Shahr.

 

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masouleh Cities

About Masouleh

Māsūleh, (Masoleh and Masouleh) is a city in and the capital of Sardar-e Jangal District, in Fuman Country, Gilan Province, Iran. At the 2006 census, its population was 554 individuals from 180 families.

Historical names for the city are Māsalar and Khortāb. It was founded in the 10th century AD. The village is 1,050 meters above sea level in Alborz mountain range, near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. The village itself has a difference in elevation of 100 meters.

Although it has been written that the community was established around 10 AD, the province of Gilan has a long history. The first village of Masuleh was established around 1006 AD, 6 km northwest of the current city, and it is called Old-Masuleh. People moved from Old-Masuleh to the current city because of pestilence and attacks from neighboring communities.

Masouleh-Rood-Khan is the river passing through the city, with a waterfall located just 200 meters away from the village. It's cut-off by snow during the winter months. Fog is the predominant weather feature of Masouleh.

Masuleh architecture is unique. The buildings have been built into the mountain and are interconnected. Courtyards and roofs both serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets. Masouleh does not allow any motor vehicles to enter, due to its unique layout. It is the only city in Iran with such a prohibition. However, the small streets and many stairs simply wouldn't make it possible for vehicles to enter. The spectacular architecture of Masouleh is popularly known as "The yard of the building above is the roof of the building below". Yellow clay coats the exterior of most buildings in Masouleh. This allows for better visibility in the fog. Buildings are mostly two stories (1st floor and 'ground' floor) made of adobe, rods and bole. A small living room, big guest room, winter room, hall, WC and balcony are usually found in 1st floor. A cold closet, barn and stable are located on the floor below, which are connected to the upper floor by several narrow steps inside the building.

There are four main local communities at the city named: "Maza-var" (meaning beside the Mosque) at the south, "Khana-var" (beside homes) at the East, "Kasha-sar" (stretched on top) at the North, and, "Assa-mahala" (Assad community) at the West. Apparently, down town is the Market (Bazaar) area and also the main mosque of the city, named "O-ne-ben-ne Ali" (Awn Ibn Mohammad Ibn Ali Ibn. Abi Taleb) built in 969 AD.

 Iran’s historical city Masouleh is to be announced as UNESCO Historical Heritage Site in September 2015. A heritage tourism site, Masouleh is visited by thousands of tourists every year with a population of 554 individuals from 180 families according to the 2006 census. Although the town has been entered in the National Heritage List of Iran in 1975 but the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) has not finalized its registration in the list of World Heritage Sites yet.

Masouleh-6 Cities

 

Getting There

Masouleh is approximately 60 km southwest of Rasht and 32 km west of Fuman. Minibus or Car from Fuman which is reachable by the same mean of transport from Rasht. There are daily buses from Rasht to Tehran. There is also a direct bus connection from Tehran to Fuman and back but it might be harder to find.

Culture and Attraction

Masouleh as a national relic is an obvious type of the historic habitats of mankind, which has been registered as No.1090 in national relics list of country in solar1354. This historic town, during its 1000 age, is an obvious type in fantastic harmony between nature and human. It is located at farthest end of damp Caspian climate region. It is situated in valley of river, whose sources are near the second high peak of TALESH mountain (MASOULEH-DAGH with 3050m height). Its height is 1050 m from open sea and difference between its highest and the lowest points are more than 120m. 

The combination of TALESH, TURKEY and GILAKY triple cultures from one side and the forest, the pasture and mountainous triple natures from other side, create a culture and civilization that the first phase of it is the specific architecture and urban development of MASOOLEH. So that, these triple cultures and natures and specific architecture have an effect on each other. By this order, in a continuous and constant cooperation, it has created wonderful dynamism in historic lifetime of MASOULEH. 

Being of more than 120 commercial units around its bazaar, more than 6 Carvansaraa, 2 traditional baths, more than 33 public springs, 10 mosques and 5 shrines strike a note of improvement and splendor of this town in recent years. During 60 past years, MASOULEH population has decreased from 3500 to 900. This shows descending history progress of this ancient town. 

Humans, created this habitats, urban farm and fantastic architecture in a quite agreeable life with nature, if they knew their off springs behaved with their products in this way, they would not transfer this condition to them. 

In recent decodes for different reasons historic-cultural and environmental identity of this rare collection has been altered and present situation of the valuable town is not suitable for fame before. Nevertheless, MASOULEH is proverbial among all five wonderful town-village (ABYANEH, KANDOVAN, MEYMAND and SAR-SEIEDAGHA). Maybe thousands of travelers visit this historic town and natural landscapes yearly. In summer more passengers visit MASOULEH, because of its temperature and damp weather. Although its attraction in three other seasons is more than summer, all travelers are interested in natural sights not only can see strange views of natures in spring, fall and winter, but also is suitable for whom want silent and calm place.

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kerman Cities

About Kerman

Kerman is a city in southeastern Iran, situated on a sandy plain 1749 meters above sea level. It is the capital of Kerman. Kerman is the largest carpet producing and exporting center in Iran. Kerman is a large producer of pistachios on the world market. The province is rich in minerals, like copper, coal, chromium, lead, zinc, uranium and aluminum, but mining has remained on a small scale. In recent times crude oil has been discovered, but is yet not exploited.

Kerman is very famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. Each year, the city attracts numerous tourists from all over the world. Kerman, according to the historical narrations, is one of the oldest cities of Iran. By passing the time it has kept valuable historical and cultural treasures that declare the historical process and socio-economic life of the country.

The large and old land of Kerman in the Iranian plateau is one of the oldest centers of civilization. Various stone, metal and pottery works that belong to the 4th millennium have been founded in the hills and plains of this land and indicate the antiquity of its civilization, finding the different cultural, artistic and industrial works in Yahya hill (Tapeh Yahya) and Tal-Eblis (south of Kerman), Aquos Shahdad, the ruins of Daghyanous city and Jiroft certify the emerging of social life in this land.

Kerman%201 Cities

Kerman, according to the historical narrations, is one of the oldest cities of Iran. By passing the time it has kept valuable historical and cultural treasures that declare the historical process and socio-economic life of the country. Every historical place indicates some part of the dimensions of the people’s life and the type of the government of the rulers in this land.

Founding and destroying, destruction and reparation all inform about the existence of life and ferment in this land. Fewness of the historical reminders in comparison with cities such as Esfahan and Shiraz is for the difficulties that this city has been suffered. However these limited reminders of ruined buildings are the sign of power, stability and efforts of the people of this part of the territory of the country.

Kerman province is considered a paradise for paleontologists because of an abundance of vertebrate fossils from different geological eras. Fossils include Placodermi, jawed and jaw-less armored fish dating back to the Devonian period (395 to 365 million years ago), dinosaurs (195 to 66 million years ago) and mammals from the Tertiary period (ranging from two to seventy million years ago).

The history of human settlements in the territory of Kerman dates back to the 4th millennium BC. This area is considered as one of the ancient regions of Iran and valuable historical vestiges have been discovered here. Jiroft is an example, where a previously unknown settlement dating back to around 2500 BC has been established by archaeologists. Kerman has an abundance of historical sites and landmarks, 283 in total, according to Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization. Ancient abandoned citadels such as Arg-é Bam and Rayen castle have been preserved in the desert for 2,000 years (Arg-é Bam, the world’s largest adobe structure, was destroyed in an earthquake in December 2003).

Getting There

By plane

Kerman International Airport (IATA: KER – ICAO: OIKK) has regular flights to some major and smaller cities in Iran.

By bus

Kerman is well connected to most parts of the country by bus.

By car

Freeways connect the city to Yazd(360 Km), Zahedan, Bandare Abbas(600 km), Birjand and Shiraz(600 km), Mashhad (920) km.

By Train

Kerman is connected to the whole railway network of Iran.

Get around

For non-Iranian visitors, taxis are probably the most convenient mean of transport. However be sure to haggle for a good price prior to getting into the car.

If an unmarked car stops while you are hailing a taxi, don't be alarmed. Many taxis in Kerman are unmarked and also as a means to supplement their income, it is not uncommon to find private car owners touting themselves as taxis.

However it always best to find a taxi through a reputable "telephone taxi" agency. For a set fee, drivers of these agencies will take passengers to their destination, drive them around town and also wait for them while they shop or run errands. All hotels and local residents will have a phone number of one these agencies. There are also taxis driven by women that specifically cater to women passengers.

The city also has a bus service too.

You can also go to the small towns such as Mahan, Joopar Shahdad, as well as the villages, such as Sirch, Zngi-Abad and ... by bus or taxi.

Main sights

Ganjalikhan Complex

Ganjali Khan Complex is a Safavid-era building complex, located in the old center of city of Kerman, Iran. The complex is composed of, a square, a school, a caravanserai, a bathhouse, a mint, a mosque and a bazaar.

Ganjalikhan Bazaar

This bazaar is located between Chahar Suq and Ekhtiari. Its wonderful architecture style refers to the Safavid era and sites in the southern part of Ganjali khan square. The historical and beautiful bath of Ganjali khan about 180 shops are located in the right side of bazaar, in the left side several arches (Taqnama) have been designed, that create beautiful sights.

Ganjalikhan Bath house

Ganjali khan bath is a wonderful work, that with its beautiful tile-works, paintings plaster-works pats the eyes of every visitor. The bathhouse was converted into an anthropological museum in 1971.This bath is a collection of art, architecture and using different materials with a suitable space which attracts people to itself.

Ganjalikhan Mosque & school

It sites in the north-west of square and near Ganjalikhan school. Its long is 525m and its width is 5m at an area about 27/5sq.m. It is a small museum of Islamic decorative art such as tile-work, plaster-work and Calligraphy which has been decorated in a beautiful style.

Ganjalikhan Museum

The exhibitions of collection of dishes, local and army dresses, old arms, farming tools has been held in this museum. In the past the government golden and silver coins were minted here and several minted coins has been found there.

Vakil Tea- house

The first point of Vakil complex is bath or traditional tea-house. It was founded in 1280 Hijra in a wonderful, splendid and architectural shape in Qajars period. This bath many years ago has become a traditional tea-house and today is a pleasant place serving tea and delicious local food.

Grand Bazaar

Kerman Bazaar with is beautiful manifestation has left as a memorial from the ancient periods and its architecture characteristics astonish the eyes of every visitor. Stretching for 1200m from Tohid Sq (Arg Sq) northeast to Shohada Sq (Moshtag Sq), Kerman’s Grand Bazaar is one of the oldest trading centers in Iran.

Jame Mosque

Kerman Jame mosque is amongst the unique mosque of Iran because has no minarets like Sheikh Lotf-allah Mosque in Isfahan, the jame mosque of Kerman Following the ideal four-iwan plan and you can enter to the Jame moque of Kerman either from Kerman Bazaar or Shohada Sq.

Moshtaghie dome

Moshtaqieh is one of the building of Qajars period. Moshtaqieh is a place which sites in the east of Jame-a mosque is and it is the tomb of one of Sufis leaders whose name is Moshtaqieh Alishah. 

Gonbade Jabalie

In the eastern end of Kerman city there is a strong and large dome, made of stone and has saved from the trespassing hand of time. This eight-angle dome is completely made of stone. There are 8 doors in its eight sides with the width of 2m.

Notational library

It’s area is about 5800 sq.m with the capacity of 500 people . The library enjoys a computer system. There are about 22 manuscript books in library. Different parts of library include; study hall for man and woman, special hall for researcher, periodical hall and the part of reference books.

Moayedi Ice-house

This is a circular structure made of sun baked bricks and clay. The same resembles a huge dome. This structure located in the city of Kerman. There are several small-garden around this ice-house which were filled with the water in winter, then after that the water iced, the ices lead to the ice-house to use in summer.

Sanati Museum

Occupying a former orphanage, this art museum is a pleasant surprise in a town that can otherwise feel a long way from modern cultural pursuits. In a Qajar-era building set around an attractive courtyard, the museum houses paintings, sculptures and stone inlays by famous local artist Sayyed Ali Akbar Sanati (1916–2006).

Emam Mosque

The large and famous mosque “Emam mosque” is one of the oldest mosques in Kerman and probably Iran, which sites in the north-east of old city of Kerman, its width is more than 107m and there are for “Shabestan” (part of a mosque designed for sleeping or nocturnal praying) in its every four sides. 

Holy Defense museum

The Museum of the Holy Defence remembers the eight-year Iran-Iraq War. Inside is a gallery of gruesome photos, weapons, letters and documents from the war. Outside, along with a line-up of tanks and missile launchers, is a battlefield complete with bunkers, minefield and sound effects recorded from the actual war.

Hayati museum

Hayati Museum is located in Vakil Bazar, 200 meters after Vakil tea house, In Hayati economy museum; artisans, activities and products are subject displayed. The artefacts such as Pateh, Carpet, Gelim, Copper handicraft and many other Kerman‘s people handicrafts are displayed and for sale. 

Buy

Pateh

Pateh is one of the traditional arts, which is specific to Kerman. Kermani women use colorful threads on a wide piece of cloth, which they call “Ariz (meaning “wide” in Persian)” to make this scarf which is then decorated with very beautiful designs, and exhilarate any person loving arts. 

Carpet

Kerman carpet has included among the most beautiful and premium carpets of Iran and the world. Kerman carpet more than everything is famous because of its color and design which are very important for a carpet.

Pistachio

The special fruit and souvenir of Kerman is pistachio. The large and ancient region of Kerman with its low population is the largest region in the world, produced pistachio.it is special souvenir of Kerman in kind and variety. On the other hand, it is one of valuable agricultural products and is economical support of the country.

Date

Archeologists believe that raising date tree in Iran has been started from 4 or 5 thousands year Bc. Date is the most important food for people and is rich in nutrient. Existence of variety of date (forty kinds) in Kerman province that most of them differ from the other kind of date in the country is the sign of the antiquity of this tree in Kerman.

Copper Craft

It is made in the Kerman’s Coppersmith Bazaar. The sound of the hammering can be heard from across the big courtyard of the bazaar. The copper plate’s pattern is hammered by hand.

Cumin

This is a fragrant plant which is used in composition of many drugs. It is specially used in cooking along with rice and in different stews. Cumin which is harvested in Kerman is so famous because of its quality and strong smell in cooking.

Organic herb extracts

In general Kermanian people interested in plant drugs and used them more than chemical drugs thus very good herb extracts are produced there. Even most of the Kermanian house keeping provided them in their home. In Lalezar, in Bardsir, special organic herb extracts particularly Rose-water are provided.

Ghavoot

This is made of 40 plants including nigella seed, purslane, coffee, hemp, cotton seed etc,.The main type is brown color and it is very nutritious. in order to make Ghovatoo, different grains are roasted such as coffee, barley, linseed then mixed with sugar and will be ground and a brown powder will be got that is very nutrient.

Local Sweet

Kolompeh and Komach are two famous sweet in Kerman, the main ingredient of both of them is date. They are made from wheat flour which is spread out over a saucer and seedless round dates are put over it.

Handicraft

Nice, delicate Jajim shoes and Jajim bag is a masterpiece of Iranian artist. Scarlet attractive coloring make it handy for occasional and informal getting together.Make friends and family happy by giving them a pair as Iranian original crafting art. 

Eat

You can almost find any food that is served in other cites of Iran.There are many restaurants ( both fast food and traditional) around the city and notably on Jomhuri Blv.

Get out

Visit Rayen with a magnificant old citadel (similar to Bam).

Mahan is only 30 kilometers away. Thereby you can visit Shazdeh's garden, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is about 5.5 hectares with a rectangular plot and a wall around it. The garden is a fine example of Persian gardens that take advantage of suitable natural climate. As well as the Shah-Ne'matollah-e-Vali monument.

Visit The Kaluts, a stunning formation of desert stones. About 1,5h from Kerman. There are villages like Shahdad or smaller desert villages on the way. Highly recommended, specially for sunset! In summer, desert camping is also possible.

 

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