Its history can be traced back to the beginning of the ancient Stone Age – the Paleolithic. From the Sasanian times, Isfahan remained an important military center. Later, this luxurious city, in the XVI century. turned into the capital by Shah Abbas I, was called “Half of the World”. In those distant times, one could really see all the wonders of the world here. To this day, Isfahan remains the most visited tourist city in Iran. Nakshe Jahan square. The modern appearance of the square took shape in the 16th century, when Isfahan was the capital of the Safavid Empire. Here are some of the main attractions of the city. On the south side of the square rises the Imam Mosque (Masjéde Emam), in the eastern part of the square there is the Sheikh Lotfalla Mosque (Masjéde Sheikh Lotf-Ollah), the most famous mosque of Iran and the hallmark of Isfahan. Opposite this mosque is the Ali Kapu Palace (Gate of Ali), unusual in architecture, also built at the beginning of the 17th century. by order of Shah Abbas I. Not far from the Grand Bazaar is Friday Mosque (Masjed Jame). This is one of the oldest mosques in Iran, its construction was completed in the 8th century. It was built by the Seljuk Turks on the site of an old Zoroastrian temple. There is another Zoroastrian temple high up in the mountains above Isfahan, which became popular during the Sassanid era, but it existed as far back as the Elamite era. Isfahan is famous for its palaces, the most famous of which are Chehel Sotun (Palace of Forty Columns) and Hasht Behesht (Eight Corners of Paradise). The famous architectural structures of Isfahan are its bridges. These are the Si-o-se-Pol bridge (Thirty-three arches bridge), the Shahrestan bridge, the Khaju bridge. All of them were built during the reign of the Safavids. There are also Christian churches in Isfahan, one of the most famous and beloved by tourists is the Vank Cathedral.
This is the birthplace of a galaxy of prominent cultural figures of Iran. The Great Silk Road ran through the territory of this city, which made Shiraz famous not only in Persia itself, but also abroad. This area has always played a significant role in the life of Persia. The three most significant capitals of the state, replacing each other, were located near Shiraz. In the II-IV centuries, the territory of Shiraz was a place of accumulation of fire-worshipping temples. Starting from the 7th century, after the fall of the Sassanid capital as a result of the Arab conquest, Shiraz began to grow and develop. There are a lot of sights here – perhaps even more than in Isfahan, because Shiraz was the capital of Persia for quite a long time. It was the main city of the state under such great dynasties of Persian rulers as the Saffarids, Buyids and Zends.
To date, the capital of Iran is Tehran – a beautiful old city with a rich history, like the country in which it is located. This city was founded at the crossroads of caravan routes. Tehran received the title of capital in the era of the Qajar dynasty in the 18th century. Today it is the largest city in Iran and one of the largest cities in Asia. Tehran is the economic and cultural center of the country.
One of the main attractions of Tehran is the Golestan Palace Museum, which in the past served as the center of state power. It was built during the reign of Tahmasp I, however, it was constantly rebuilt during the 18th-19th centuries. The greatest contribution to the construction of Golestan was made by Karim Khan Zend and Nasreddin Shah Qajar. The tombstone of the latter is located on the territory of the palace complex.
Particular attention should be paid to the Museum of Ancient Iran (Archaeological Museum). It contains exhibits dating back to the 6th millennium BC. The Jewel Museum will not leave anyone indifferent. Rubies, diamonds, emeralds, pearls, cubic zirconias adorn numerous exhibits of the museum, ranging from crowns and scepters to mantles, caskets and swords. Some of these exhibits have caused wars.
One of the best museums is the Reza Abbasi Museum. It got its name in honor of one of the great artists of the Safavid Empire. The exposition of the museum is divided into two parts: pre-Islamic and Islamic art. The visitors are presented with exhibits whose age varies from 6000 BC. until the twentieth century.
One of the most famous sights of Tehran is the Saadabad palace complex, built under the last Qajars in the early 20th century. Shah Reza Pahlavi lived here in the 1920s. There is another palace in Tehran, which is also a museum, the Niavaran Palace. It began to be built under the last Qajars and was completed under the Pahlavi Shahs. To the south of Tehran is the city of Rey, where there are buildings from the time of the Medes, one of which is a Zoroastrian temple.
The tallest building in Iran is the Borje Milad (“Birth”) TV tower. It rises to 435 m and is the sixth tallest TV tower in the world. Tehran is a green city. The total number of parks in the capital exceeds 800. This is a city that strikes with its beauty from a bird’s eye view.