Tabriz is the capital city of East Azerbaijan Province, in northwestern Iran. Tabriz Bazaar, once a major Silk Road market, is a sprawling brick-vaulted complex selling carpets, spices and jewelry. The rebuilt 15th-century Blue Mosque retains original turquoise mosaics on its entrance arch. Collections at the Azerbaijan Museum range from prehistoric finds to 20th-century sculptures by Iranian artist Ahad Hosseini.
A stately 4-faced clock tower characterizes the city’s Municipality Palace. Inside, the Municipality Museum has centuries-old carpets on display. Eminent Iranian literary scholars are buried at the Tomb of Poets. Nearby, a fortress-like brick wall is all that remains of the 14th-century Ark Mosque. Constitution House is a museum documenting, through papers and photographs, the country’s early-20th-century revolution. The Qajar Museum, an elegant mansion in one of the city’s old neighborhoods, houses objects including weapons and coins. South of Tabriz, Kandovan is a cliff village with houses carved out of mountain rock.
Mashhad is a city in northeast Iran, known as a place of religious pilgrimage. It’s centered on the vast Holy Shrine of Imam Reza, with golden domes and minarets that are floodlit at night. The circular complex also contains the tomb of Lebanese scholar Sheikh Bahai, plus the 15th-century, tile-fronted Goharshad Mosque, with a turquoise dome. Museums within the shrine include the Carpet Museum, with many rare pieces.
North of the shrine is the tomb and mausoleum of Nader Shah, 18th-century founder of the Afshar dynasty, topped with a statue of him on horseback. To the west, Koohsangi Park is a large urban space with water features and trees. North of the city, in the town of Tous, is the white marble Mausoleum of Ferdowsi, honoring the influential Persian poet. West of Mashhad, the village of Kang is known for its stacked mud-brick homes clinging to the foothills of the Binaloud Mountains. Farther west, the ancient city of Neyshabur was the birthplace of 12th-century Persian astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam. The Khayyam Garden contains his tomb.
Kashan is a city in Isfahan province. At the 2006 census, its population was 248,789, in 67,464 families. The etymology of the city name comes from the Kasian, the original inhabitants of the city, whose remains are found at Tapeh Sialk dating back 9,000 years; later this was changed to “Kashian”, hence the town name. Between the 12th and the 14th centuries Kashan was an important centre for the production of high quality pottery and tiles. In modern Persian, the word for a tile comes from the name of the town. Kashan is divided into two parts, mountainous and desert. In the west side, 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 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 namak lake. Today Maranjab and the surrounding Shifting Sands is a popular destination at the weekends. Wikipedia
Yazd, formerly also known as Yezd, is the capital of Yazd Province, Iran. The city is located 270 km southeast of Esfahan. At the 2011 census, the population was 529,673, and it is currently 15th largest city in Iran. Since 2017, the historical city of Yazd is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd has a unique Persian architecture. It is nicknamed the “City of Windcatchers” from its many examples. It is also very well known for its Zoroastrian fire temples, ab anbars, qanats, yakhchals, Persian handicrafts, handwoven cloth, silk weaving, Persian Cotton Candy, and its time-honored confectioneries.
Shiraz is a city in south-central Iran, known for its literary history and many gardens. The marble Tomb of Hafez, honoring the revered poet, sits within its own garden. To the east, the Mausoleum of Saadi houses the 13th-century writer’s mosaic-tiled tomb and an underground pool. Shiraz is a gateway to Persepolis, the ruined 6th-century-B.C. capital to the northeast, with its immense gateways, columns and friezes.
In central Shiraz, the 18th-century Vakil Mosque is decorated with carved pillars and tiles in floral patterns. The adjacent Vakil Bazaar, also built during the Zand period, has wide, vaulted avenues selling handicrafts, spices and carpets. Within the nearby Nazar Garden is the compact Pars Museum, with displays including Zand-period watercolors and Islamic calligraphy. The Nasir al-Molk Mosque is known for its intricate stained-glass windows that cast colored light inside. Northwest of here, the landscaped Eram Garden was originally used by Persian rulers and has a traditional layout and design.
Isfahan is a city in central Iran, known for its Persian architecture. In the huge Naqsh-e Jahan Square is the 17th-century Imam (Shah) Mosque, whose dome and minarets are covered with mosaic tiles and calligraphy. Ali Qapu Palace, built for Shah Abbas and completed in the late 16th century, has a music room and a verandah overlooking the square’s fountains. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is known for its intricate tiling.
Running north from the square are the bazaar’s covered lanes, lined with stalls and traditional caravansaries. West is the 17th-century Hasht Behesht Palace, from the Safavid era. It’s surrounded by the Garden of Nightingales. Bridges over the Zayandeh River include the centuries-old, 2-tiered Khaju Bridge, with many arches. West of the bridge, Vank Cathedral was built for and by the local Armenian community in the time of Shah Abbas II. Next to it is a museum with religious art and artifacts relating to the Armenian people. South of the city are the decorative Pigeon Towers, containing nesting boxes to house wild pigeons.
Capital of Iran
Tehran is the capital of Iran, in the north of the country. Its central Golestan Palace complex, with its ornate rooms and marble throne, was the seat of power of the Qajar dynasty. The National Jewelry Museum holds many of the Qajar monarchs’ jewels, while the National Museum of Iran has artifacts dating back to Paleolithic times. The Milad Tower offers panoramic views over the city.
In the city’s east, the Reza Abbasi Museum showcases Persian art over many centuries. Expansive Laleh Park is home to the Carpet Museum of Iran and the striking Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art. West of the center, the dramatic Azadi Tower sits atop the Azadi Museum, which displays objects representing the country’s history. In the Alborz mountains to the north of the city, Jamshidieh Park has a waterfall and ponds, plus traditional tea houses and hiking trails up the slopes of Kolakchal mountain. The Tochal Telecabin gondola lift connects the city to the Tochal ski resort and the Abshar Dogholoo twin waterfall.