Great Wall of Gorgan

The ‘Red Snake’ in northern Iran, which owes its name to the red colour of its bricks, is at least 195km long.

A canal, 5m deep or more, conducted water along most of the Wall.

Its continuous gradient, designed to ensure regular water flow, bears witness to the skills of the land-surveyors responsible for marking out the Wall’s route.

Over 30 forts are lined up along this massive structure.

It is also known as the Great Wall of Gorgan, the Gorgan Defence Wall, Anushirvân Barrier, Firuz Barrier and Qazal Al’an, and sometimes Sadd-i-Iskandar, (Persian for dam or barrier of Alexander).

The wall is second only to the Great Wall of China as the longest defensive wall in existence, but it is perhaps even more solidly built than the early forms of the Great Wall.

Larger than Hadrian’s Wall and the Antonin Wall taken together, it has been called the greatest monument of its kind between Europe and China.

Red Snake

Great Wall of Gorgan

The system is remarkable not only in terms of its physical scale, but even more so in terms of its technical sophistication.

In order to enable construction works, canals had to be dug along the course of the defensive barrier, to provide the water needed for brick production.

These canals received their water from supplier canals, which bridged the Gorgan River via qanats.

The forts were filled with barracks of standardized design, suggesting that the Sassanian army was well organized.

Further evidence for a high level of organization of the Sassanian armed forces is provided by hinterland campaign bases, each of ca. 40 ha size.

In one of them, rectangular enclosures in neat double rows have been found, the remnants of a tent city, probably of a mobile field army.

The Gorgan Wall and its associated ancient military monuments provide a unique testimony to the engineering skills and military organization of the Sassanian Empire.

They help to explain its geographic extent, from Mesopotamia to the west of the Indian Subcontinent, and how effective border defence contributed to the Empire’s prosperity in the interior and to its longevity.

These monuments are, in terms of their scale, historical importance and sophistication, of global significance.

Red Snake

Great Wall of Gorgan

Shiraz County

Shiraz County is located in the southwest of Iran on the seasonal, Khoshk River.

Shiraz is the fifth most populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province.

In addition to its fame for being a major hub of “Electronic Industries” as well as “Medicine” in Iran, Shiraz is known as the “Cultural Capital” of Iran, which is inhabited by different ethnic groups.

Shiraz is regarded as the “Paradise of the Tourists”. Its geographical features provide for a range of activities including skiing in the winter resorts just some kilometers away, mountain climbing, and hiking in the woods.

Shiraz is famous for its wonderful Gardens; however, it can be visited for a diversity of purposes.

In the 13th century Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters due to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists.

Shiraz was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1800.

Two famous poets of Iran Hafez and Sa’di are from Shiraz whose tombs are on the north side of the current city boundaries.


Shiraz County, Iran

The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design silver-ware pile carpet-weaving and weaving of Gilim and Jajim in the villages and among the tribes.

 In Shiraz industries such as cement production sugar fertilizers textile products wood products metalwork and rugs dominate.

Shiraz also has a major oil refinery and is also a major center for Iran’s electronic industries: 53% of Iran’s electronic investment has been centered in Shiraz.

Shiraz is home to Iran first solar power plant.


Shiraz, Persepolis

Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran.

In contemporary Persian, the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid. The earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BCE.

To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Parseh, which means “The City of Persians”.

Among religious sights is Shahcheragh Shrine, housing the tomb of Ahmad ibn-e Musa, the brother of the eighth Imam Ali ibn-e Musa al-Reza, Vakil Mosque, Nasir al-Molk mosque, and Jame Atiq Mosque.

Another sight attributed to Achaemenid era is Pasargadae, which lies 43 Kilometers to the north of Persepolis.

Pasargadae was the first capital of the Achaemenid dynasty built in the reign of Cyrus the Great.

Saadi, and Hafez are two most popular poets of Shiraz and Iran.

Today, many people from all over the world come to visit their tombs.

Sheykh Bahaei

Shaykh Baha ad-Din, Shaykh Bahaei was a scholar, philosopher, architect, mathematician, astronomer and poet in 16th-century Iran.

He was born in Baalbek, Lebanon but immigrated in his childhood to Safavid Iran with his father. He wrote over 88 books in different topics mostly in Persian but also in Arabic.

He is buried in Imam Reza’s shrine in Mashhad in Iran. He is considered one of the main co-founders of Isfahan School of Islamic Philosophy.

In later years he became one of the teachers of Sadr al-Din Shirazi, also known as Mulla Sadra. His works include Naqshe Jahan Square in Isfahan, as well as designing the construction of the Monar Jonban, also known as the two shaking minarets, situated on either side of the mausoleum of Abdollah Garladani in the west of Isfahan.

Shaykh Baha al-Din contributed numerous works in philosophy, logic, astronomy and mathematics. His works include 88 articles, epistles and books. Shaykh Baha al-Din also composed poems in Persian.

His outstanding works in the Iranian language are Jameh Abbasi and two masnavis (rhymed couplets) by the names of “Milk and Sugar” and “Bread and Halva”. His other work Kashkool includes stories, news, scientific topics, persian and Arabic proverbs. He wrote Khulasat Al-Hisab and Tashrih Al-Aflak in Arabic.

Shaykh Bahaei

Shaykh Baha al-Din’s fame was due to his excellent command of mathematics, architecture and geometry. He was the architect of Isfahan’s Imam Square, Imam Mosque and Hessar Najaf.

He also made a sun clock to the west of the Imam Mosque. There is also no doubt about his mastery of topography. The best instance of this is the directing of the water of the Zayandeh River to different areas of Isfahan.

He designed a canal called Zarrin Kamar in Isfahan which is one of Iran’s greatest canals. He also determined the direction of Qiblah (prayer direction) from the Imam mosque.

He also designed and constructed a furnace for a public bathroom, which still exists in Isfahan, known as Sheikh Bahaei’s bathroom. The furnace was warmed by a single candle, which was placed in an enclosure.

The candle burned for a long time, warming the bath’s water. According to his own instructions, the candle’s fire would be put out if the enclosure was ever opened.

This happened during the restoration and repair of the building and no one has been able to make the system work again. He also designed the Monar Jonban (shaking minaret), which still exists in Isfahan.


Mashhad is Iran’s holiest and second-largest city. The city is laid out in a roughly circular shape, with the religious edifices and monuments located in the centre and avenues radiating outward to approximately 12 neighborhoods, such as Malekabad, Sajjad, Shahrak-e Azadi, Kuy-e Imam Reza, and Sisabad. Not just a religious city, Mashhad is called the holy city of Iran because it is home to the tomb and shrine of Islam’s eighth Shia Imam, Imam Reza. Every year millions of pilgrims from around the world flock to this shrine, giving it a palpably spiritual and multinational feel. As one of the most magnificent religious places in Iran, Astan Qods Razavi is the symbol of Mashahd where the Islamic art and religion are linked to each other. Located along the Silk Road, it is the economic capital and the intercontinental commercial center in the Central Asia. Mashhad economic activities are dependent on the services, industry and agriculture; however, it is focused on a services-based economy due to the presence of the passengers and pilgrims who travel to there. About 40 percent of Mashhad industry is relied on the food, metal and handicraft industry. Tourism based on pilgrimages to the shrine of Imam Reza is a key part of Mashhad’s economy.


Most of Mashhad people are of Iranian Aryan race, although many Kurds, Turks and Arabs live there. Mashhad is a multiethnic city that includes Persians, Baluchis, Daris, Hazrajatis, Turkmen, Uzbeks, Tajiks, Kurds, and Lurs among its residents. Residents speak in Persian Language, Mashhadi accent and they are the followers of Ja’fari Shiite. Mashhad is the site of a prominent institution of higher education, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, which has colleges of humanities, mathematics, natural sciences, theology, education, and veterinary medicine.


Mashhad is a good place to buy carpets with its own special carpet plans. Mashhad is also known for gemstones. The area with 39 known different varieties of gemstone is rich enough to export gemstones to many other countries. It has about 90 percent of gemstone workshops of the country which produce jewelry in addition to religious accessories such as rosaries and rings. Also the most expensive spice in the world which is Saffron is produced greatly in Mashhad.



Tabriz is one of the oldest and biggest cities of Iran on the hillside of the Sahand Mountain which is surrounded by mountains in the north, south and east and flat lands as well as the Talkherud salt marsh in the west, like a partly big hollow or a plain with fantastic view among the mountains, at the height of 1350 to 1550 m above the sea level in different areas. Having some of most famous museums, holding some of the cultural events, and harboring a couple of the most prestigious Iranian universities, the city is considered a major hub for science and culture in Iran. Tabriz was named by the Organization of Islamic Conference as the city of the Islamic world tourism. Tabriz was the residence of the crown prince under the Qajar kings. Tabriz has a high political and economic position and best-known as the “Cradle of Investment” due to the ability to attract large investments from private sectors. It is ranked 1 in attracting investment among Iran cities for five consecutive years.


The main industrial productions of this area are foodstuffs, chemicals, non-metallic mineral, basic metals, textiles and carpet machinery.  In addition, Tabriz has been a heavy industrial center including machinery and equipment industries. It is a leading center for Leather production, in addition to being famous for the other arts and handicrafts, for a long time. Tabriz and Maragheh handmade carpets are famous in all around the world due to their specific design and high quality that their export is considered as one of the significant sources of foreign exchanges in Iran.  Today, Tabriz people speak in Turkish language and this city was the capital of Shia in all around the world and most of its residents are followers of Asna Ashari Shia.


With a very rich history, Tabriz used to house many historical monuments. Unfortunately, many of them were destroyed in repeated invasions and attacks of foreign forces, negligence of the ruling governments, and natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. What remains now mostly dates back to the Ilkhanids, the Safavids, and the Qajars. Some of the monuments are unrivaled masterpieces of architecture. The most famous monuments of Tabriz are buildings like the Blue Mosque, El Goli Garden, Shahrdari Square, Sa’at Tower and so on.


Abyaneh Village

Abyaneh, which is also known as the Red Village because of its red soil and houses, is an ancient Iranian Village located at the foot of Karkas Mountain, 70 kilometers southeast of Kashan in Isfahan province. Abyaneh is a Village of living traditions and architectural styles. Researchers and archaeologists believe that the village originated about 1500 years ago and is one of the historical places in Iran that has become famous worldwide. According to archaeologists, the old mansions of the Abyaneh village were designed and built during the rule of the Seljuk, Qajar, Sassanid, and Safavid dynasties. Karkas Mountains and its surroundings were the hunting area for Safavid kings and Abyaneh was the destination for their summer vacation. Abyaneh’s high elevation causes cool summer and very cold winter days. Because of its mountainous setting, Abyaneh stayed isolated for many years and people’s customs and language is untouched and preserved. In Abyaneh people speak Farsi with a special dialect belonging to the village only. They still use some words from the Parthian era.

Abyaneh village

The Village is compact, with narrow and sloped lanes, and houses located on the slope as if placed on a stairway. The houses bear an ancient architectural style, featured by the use of clay as the construction material and latticed windows and wooden doors. Similar to other mountainous villages of Iran, Masouleh or Uraman Takht, Abyaneh has stepped structure with the roof of each house being the courtyard of the one above it.

Abyaneh village

One of the most interesting points about Abyaneh is the culture of its local residents. Elderly people of the village still speak Middle Persian, which was originally the language of Sassanian Persia and disappeared many centuries ago. The way people dress here is also very notable.Men wear a very loose pair of pants and the women’s traditional costume consists of a long colorful dress, along with a special pair of pants, and a white long scarf with colorful floral design named Charghad. Almost all of the women in the village wear this costume, just like their ancestors. And this tradition makes Abyaneh even more special.

Abyaneh village

Besides the charismatic beauty of the village, there are historic monuments as well. There is a Zoroastrian fire temple dating back to the Sassanid period, three castles, a pilgrimage site, and two mosques. The most famous monument of Abyaneh is The Great Mosque, with an ancient Mihrab made of walnut wood covered with carvings of calligraphy and floral designs. The Great Mosque is closed and cannot be visited because of its very long and valuable history.

Abyaneh village


Yazd is a desert city in central Iran and the capital of the Yazd province. It is an ancient city dating back to the Sassanid period. It is nicknamed “the City of Wind catchers” in Persian, and in 2017 it was listed by UNESCO as a world heritage. The climate is completely desertic. A network of qanats (tunnels dug to carry water) links Yazd with the edge of the nearby mountain Shir Kuh. Each district of the city is built on a qanat and has a communal center. Some of the city’s inhabitants are Zoroastrians whose ancestors had fled toward Yazd and Kerman when the Muslim Arabs conquered Iran. Yazd is now the last center of Zoroastrianism in Iran. The economy of the area in which Yazd is situated is dominated by agriculture that was modernized through the establishment of farm corporations and processing centers for agricultural products. The chief crops grown include wheat, barley, cotton, oilseeds, indigo plants, fruits, and vegetables.

Yazd is an outstanding example of a traditional human settlement which is representative of the interaction of man and nature in a desert environment that results from the optimal use and clever management of the limited resources that are available in such an arid setting by the qanat system and the use of earth in constructing buildings with sunken courtyards and underground spaces. Besides creating pleasant micro-climate, it uses minimum amounts of materials, which provides inspiration for new architecture facing the sustainability challenges today.


Yazd possesses a large number of excellent examples of traditional desert architecture with a range of houses from modest ones to very large and highly decorated properties. In addition to the main mosque and bazaar which are in a very good state, each district of the historic city still has all its specific features such as water cisterns, hammams, mosques, mausoleums, etc. In the city, there are still many streets and alleys which have kept their original pattern, having also many sabats.


The most important historical monuments of Yazd are Masjid-e Jame, Yazd Water Museum, Takyeh Amir Chakhmagh, Cistern of Fatemeh-e-Golshan, Amir Chakhmagh Mosque, Market Square Clock, Fire temple, Dakhmeh or Zoroastrian Towers of Silence, Dowlat Abad Garden, Museum of Zoroastrians History and Culture, and etc. which attracts numerous visitors.


Kerman is the capital city of Kerman, the biggest province of Iran. Kerman is one of the five historical cities of Iran. From the industrial, political, cultural and scientific points of view, it is the most important city in the southeast of Iran. The city lies on a sandy plain, 1755 meters above sea level, under barren rocky hills. Surrounded by mountains on the north and east, it has a cool climate and frequent sandstorms in the autumn and spring. Kerman is very famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. Due to the special geographical conditions Kerman province enjoys considerable changeable climate. The population is mostly Persian-speaking Muslims, with a Zoroastrian minority.


Kerman city was probably founded by Ardashir I of the Sasanid dynasty and was called Behdesir. Under the Safavid, it came to be known as Kerman and was made capital of a province. Kerman city with a height of 1755 meters is located on a high margin of Lut Desert in the central south of Iran, is the Capital of Kerman Providence. Kerman is counted as one of the oldest cities.


The Sar-ta-sari Mall of Kerman is large and there are some old mosques including Masjed-e Malek, Masjed-e Jomeh, Masjed-e Bazar-e Shaah, and Masjed-e Pa Minar. At the western end of the bazaar is the Arg, the former citadel of the Qajar dynasty. Next to it is the Qaleh, allegedly constructed as a citadel by the Afghans during a short-lived subjugation of Kerman. On the Kerman plain stands the Jabel-e Sang and to the west is the Bagh-e Sirif, a luxuriant garden.


The great potentials in Kerman province, regarding such resources as industry, mining, agriculture, and service-sector, have all created favorable conditions to establish postgraduate education and research centers for further development of the area. Graduate University of Advanced Technology (GUAT) was thus founded in 2007 with the aim to partly fill this gap. With an area of 2000 hectares, the GUAT is located in Mahan, 28km southeast of Kerman. Currently, there are three faculties providing educational and research services in 39 MSc and 15 PhD programs, together with the facilities prepared in the same campus for commercializing the knowledge-based achievements of the GUAT post-graduate students and researchers.


Kerman is the largest carpet exporting center of Iran. The city formerly owed its industrial reputation to its shawl making, but that industry was surpassed by carpet making and is a major exporter of pistachio nuts.



Kashan is a city in the northern part of Isfahan province of Iran. This is a common destination for tourists due to its multiple historical sites after cities like Isfahan and Shiraz. It is a traditional city with many sites and surrounding attractive villages to discover. Kashan is divided into two parts including mountainous and desert. Kashan is cited in the neighbourhood of two of highest peaks of Karkas chain, Mount Gargash to the southwest of Kashan and Mount Ardehaal in the west of Kashan, also known as “Damavand of Kashan” and the highest peak of Ardehaal mountains, in the west side; and in the east side of the city, Kashan opens up to the central desert of Iran which the city is famous for. Kashan is also known for Maranjab Desert and Caravanserai located near the Salt Lake.


Kashan is a charming city due to its contrast between the parched immensities of the deserts and the greenery of the oasis. Archeologists discovered that this region was one of the primary centers of civilization in pre-historic ages in the Sialk Hillocks lied about 4km west of Kashan.


Kashan was also a leisure vacation spot for Safavid Kings. Fin Garden, specifically, is one of the most famous gardens of Iran. This beautiful garden with its pool and orchards was designed for Shah Abbas I as a classical Persian vision of paradise.


Traditional houses especially, Tabatabaei, Borujerdi, Ameri and Abbasi house feature an incredible architecture, tile work and stucco.


Archeological finds yielded conclusive evidence of the fact that Kashan has been the cradle of many Iranian traditional crafts. Kashan maintained its great importance as a center of traditional industries throughout all historical periods. This town, as a city associated with high-quality ceramic production in the medieval period, appears to have been a major site for the manufacture of fine wares.

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