Thu. Jun 4th, 2020

A place you will love to be


7 min read

Iran, commonly known to some as Persia, is a land whose impressive heritage not only offers magnificent ancient landmarks to tourists, but it also showers devotees of exotic oriental wisdom and culture with never-seen-before monuments to explore. This magical land of enchanting historic sites is ranked seventh among the famous UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Diverse ethnic communities inhabit different parts of Iran, 51 percent of whom are called Persians. What follows is a set of seven wonders of “the Land of Arians” as suggested by and in collaboration with Gapa Tour, a leading Iranian tour operator.

1. Persepolis.

Persepolis (/pɝˈsepəlɪs/, Old Persian: 𐎱𐎠𐎼𐎿, Pārsa) was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (ca. 550–330 BC). It is situated 60 km northeast of the city of Shiraz in Fars Province, Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979.[2]


  1. ^ Google maps. “Location of Persepolis”. Google Maps. Retrieved 24 September2013.
  2. ^ UNESCO World Heritage Centre (2006). “Pasargadae”. Retrieved 26 December2010.

2. Shah Mosque.

The Shah Mosque (Persian: مسجد شاه‎), also known as the New Abbasi Mosque (Masjed-e Jadid-e Abbasi) or Royal Mosque, is a mosque located in Isfahan, Iran. It is located on the south side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square. It was built during the Safavid dynasty under the order of Shah Abbas I of Iran. It became known as the Imam Mosque after the Iranian Revolution.[2][3]It is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Persian architecture in the Islamic era. The Royal Mosque is registered, along with the Naghsh-e Jahan Square, as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.[4] Its construction began in 1611, and its splendour is mainly due to the beauty of its seven-colour mosaic tiles and calligraphic inscriptions.The mosque is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 rials banknote.[5]


  1.  Kishwar Rizvi (ed.). Affect, Emotion, and Subjectivity in Early Modern Muslim Empires. Brill. pp. 29–30. ISBN 9789004352841.
  2. ^ Blake, Stephen P.; Half the World. The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 1590–1722, pp. 117–9.
  3. ^ Sussan Babaie, Talinn Grigor, eds. (30 June 2014). Persian Kingship and Architecture: Strategies of Power in Iran from the Achaemenids to the Pahlavis. I.B.Tauris. p. 187. ISBN 978-1848857513.
  4. ^
  5. ^ Central Bank of Iran. Banknotes & Coins: 20000 Rials. – Retrieved on 24 March 2009.

3. Haft Tepe.

Haft Tepe is an archaeological site situated in the Khuzestan Province in south-western Iran. At this site the remains of the Elamite city of Kabnak were discovered in 1908, and excavations are still carried out. The city of Kabnak is mentioned as an important political centre during the reign of the Elamite king Tepti-Ahar, the last king of the Kidinuid dynasty ruling in the 15th century BC. He may also have been buried in the city. After his death the centre of power returned to the old capital Susa, although there is no clear evidence that Kabnak ever held real power at all. Due to the turmoil of this era it is possible the construction of Kabnak was necessary after Tepti-Ahar lost control over Susa, however this theory has not been completely confirmed by solid proof.[1] Some centuries later another city was built at the nearby site of Choqa Zanbil.

Excavations at Haft Tepe revealed a large temple founded by Tepti-Ahar where the god Kirwashir was worshiped. Beneath the temple lay a subterranean funerary complex intended for the king and his family. Skeletal remains were found in the tomb, though it is not certain they belong to royalty. [2] Another large structure found at the site was perhaps the foundations of a ziggurat, along with courtyards and suites of rooms. The temple complex was decorated with bronze plates and wall paintings. Administrative texts belonging to the reigns of Tepti-Ahar and Inshushinak-zunkir-nappipir were also found at the site. Recently some clay statuettes of fertility goddesses have been unearthed at the site.


  1. Van De Mieroop, Marc: “A History of the Ancient Near East, ca. 3000-323 BC”, page 185. Blackwell Publishing, 2007. ISBN 1-4051-4911-6
  2. ^ [1] Human remains from Haft Tepe, Iran, 2012-2013, Bioarchaeology of the Near East, vol. 12, pp. 55-60, 2018, ISSN 1899-962X

4. Naqsh-e Jahan Square.

Naghsh-e Jahan Square (Persian: میدان نقش جهان‎ Maidān-e Naghsh-e Jahān; trans: “Image of the World Square”), also known as Shah Square (میدان شاه) or Imam Square (میدان امام), is a square situated at the center of Isfahan, Iran. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It is 160 metres (520 ft) wide by 560 metres (1,840 ft) long[1] (an area of 89,600 square metres (964,000 sq ft)). It is also referred to as Shah Square or Imam Square.[2] The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era. The Shah Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side is the Ali Qapu Palace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and at the northern side Qeysarie Gate opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Today, Namaaz-e Jom’eh (the Muslim Friday prayer) is held in the Shah Mosque.The square is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 rials banknote.[3]



  1. ^ “Archived copy”. Archived from the original on 2009-07-03. Retrieved 2016-10-12.
  2. ^ Blake, Stephen P.; Half the World. The Social Architecture of Safavid Isfahan, 1590–1722, pp. 117–9.
  3. ^ Central Bank of Iran. Banknotes & Coins: 20000 Rials. – Retrieved on 24 March 2009.

5. Eram Garden.

Eram Garden (Persian: باغ ارم‎, Bāgh-e Eram) is a historic Persian garden in Shiraz, Iran. It belonged to the leaders of Qashqai tribe before being confiscated by the central government. The garden, and the building within it, are located at the northern shore of the Khoshk River in the Fars province. Both the building and the garden were built during the middle of thirteenth century by the Ilkhanate or a paramount chief of the Qashqai tribes of Pars. The original layout of the garden however, with its quadripartite Persian Paradise garden structure was most likely laid in eleventh century by the Seljuqs, and was then referred to as Bāgh-e Shāh (“The emperor’s garden” in Persian) and was much less complicated or ornamental.[1] Cornelius de Bruyn, a traveller from the Netherlands, wrote a description of the gardens in the eighteenth century. Over its 150 years the structure has been modified, restored or stylistically changed by various participants. It was one of the properties of noble Shiraz Qavami Family.The building faces south along the long axis. It was designed by a local architect, Haji Mohammad Hasan[2]. The structure housed 32 rooms on two stories, decorated by tiles with poems from the poet Hafez written on them. The structure underwent renovation during the Zand and Qajar dynasties. In 1965, Sir Denis Wright, a British ambassador in Iran, was invited by the Chancellor of Shiraz University, Asadollah Alam, to a party in Eram Garden for Princess Alexandra of the Oglivy.[1] The compound came under the protection of Pahlavi University during the Pahlavi era, and was used as the College of Law. The building also housed the Asia Institute. Today, Eram Garden and building are within Shiraz Botanical Garden (established 1983) of Shiraz University. They are open to the public as a historic landscape garden. They are World Heritage Site, and protected by Iran’s Cultural Heritage Organization.


  1. Jump up to:a b Penelope Hobhouse; Erica Hunningher; Jerry Harpur (2004). Gardens of Persia. Kales Press. p. 126.
  2. ^ Hobhouse, Penelope (2004). The Gardens of Persia. California: Kales Press. p. 126. ISBN 978-0967007663.

6. Nasir ol Molk Mosque.

The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque (Persian: مسجد نصیر الملک‎ Masjed-i Nasir al-Mulk), also known as the Pink Mosque (مسجد صورتی Masjed-i Surati), is a traditional mosque in Shiraz, Iran. It is located in Gawd-i Arabān quarter, near Shāh Chérāgh Mosque. It was built during Qajar dynasty rule of Iran. The mosque includes extensive coloured glass in its facade, and displays other traditional elements such as the Panj Kāse (“five concaved”) design. It is named in popular culture as the ‘Pink Mosque’,[1] due to the usage of considerable pink colour tiles for its interior design.[2] The mosque was built during the Qajar dynasty, and is still in use under protection by the Endowment Foundation of Nasir ol Molk. Construction began in 1876 by the order of Mirzā Hasan Ali (Nasir ol Molk), a Qajar ruler. and was completed in 1888, [3] The designers were Mohammad Hasan-e-Memār, an Iranian architect, and Mohammad Rezā Kāshi-Sāz-e-Širāzi.[4]


  1. ^ Mosque of Whirling Colours: A Mixture of Architecture and Art in Nasīr al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz, Iran Archived 2016-05-11 at the Wayback Machine, Cem Nizamoglu,
  2. ^ CNNWhy your next vacation could be in Iran, Frederik Pleitgen – 14 July 2015
  3. ^ Stunning Mosque In Iran Becomes A Magnificent Kaleidoscope When The Sun Rises, DeMilked Magazine
  4. ^ Baker, Patricia; Smith, Hilary; Oleynik, Maria (28 May 2018). “Iran”. Bradt Travel Guides. Retrieved 28 May 2018 – via Google Books.

7. Vank Cathedral.

The Holy Savior Cathedral (Armenian: Սուրբ Ամենափրկիչ Վանք – Surb Amenaprkich Vank; Persian: کلیسای آمناپرکیچ‎ – Kelisā ye Āmenāperkič), also known the Church of the Saintly Sisters, is a cathedral located in the New Julfa district of Isfahan, Iran. It is commonly referred to as the Vank (Վանք; وانک), which means “monastery” or “convent” in the Armenian language. The cathedral was established in 1606, built by the hundreds of thousands of Armenian that were forcibly resettled by Shah Abbas I in his new capital as part of his scorched-earth policy in Armenia during the Ottoman War of 1603-1618.[1] The varying fortunes and independence of this suburb across the Zayande River and its eclectic mix of European missionaries, mercenaries and travelers can be traced almost chronologically in the cathedral’s combination of building styles and contrasts in its external and internal architectural treatment. The construction is believed to have begun in 1606 by the first arrivals,[1] and completed with major alterations to design between 1655 and 1664 under the supervision of Archbishop David. The cathedral consists of a domed sanctuary, much like an Iranian mosque, but with the significant addition of a semi-octagonal apse and raised chancel usually seen in western churches. The cathedral’s exteriors are in relatively modern brickwork and are exceptionally plain compared to its elaborately decorated interior.


  1. Jump up to:a b David Blow. “Shah Abbas: The Ruthless King who Became an Iranian Legend” I.B. Tauris. (original from the University of MichiganISBN 1845119894 p 200

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