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Iran

Arg of Karim Khan, Iran

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, October 12, 2008 at 14:15:53 :: Iran

The Arg of Karim Khan or Arg-e Karim Khan (Persian: ارگ کريمخاني ɑrge KɑrīmKHănɪ AKA Arge KarimKhani, Citadel of KarimKhan, KarimKhan Fortress) was the palace of Karim Khan, a king of the Zandieh Dynasty. It is located in the North-East of Shiraz.

For building his palace, Karim Khan invited the most skilled stone cutters, architects and artists of his time. He also bought the best type of construction materials from different cities of the country and also from abroad.
The citadel has an area of 4,000 square meters and is in the center of a compound extending over an area of 12,800 square meters.

Citadel of Karim Khan-e Zand, Shiraz, Fars Province, Iran


The architectural style used in this edifice is both military and residential, as the citadel was the residence of the king and had to have high security. Hence, the exterior walls, which essentially resemble the walls of a garrison, are quite tall. The citadel consists of four high walls connected by four 14 meters round brick towers. The lower section of the exterior walls is three meters in width. It is shaped like an incomplete cone and its width at the top reaches 2.8 meters. In the upper section of the wall, there is a small chamber, which housed soldiers and guards.

During the Qajar period, the citadel was used as the governor’s seat. It was converted to a prison during the reign of Reza Shah, the first Pahlavi monarch. Renovation of the building in contemporary times started in 1977.

Citadel of Karim Khan-e Zand Arg of Karim Khan (Persian: ارگ کريمخاني), built as part of a complex during the Zand dynasty and is named after Karim Khan, Shiraz (شیراز Shīrāz), Iran


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Milad Tower, Iran

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, November 11, 2007 at 06:28:15 :: Iran

Borj-e Milad (aka Milad Tower, Persian: برج میلاد ) is the tallest tower in Iran. Built in the Gisha district of Tehran, it stands 435 meters (1,427 ft) high from base to tip of the antenna. The head consists of a large pod with 12 floors, the roof of which is at 315 m (1034 ft). Below this is a staircase and elevators to reach the area. Milad tower is the fourth tallest tower in the world after the CN Tower in Toronto (Canada), Ostankino Tower in Moscow (Russia), and the Oriental Pearl Tower in Shanghai (China). It is also currenty 12th tallest freestanding structure in the world.

Milad Tower (Borj-e Milad - برج میلاد ) is the tallest tower in Iran


Milad tower is part of The Tehran International Trade and Convention Center. Scheduled for completion in late 2007, the project includes the Milad telecommunication tower offering restaurants at the top with spectacular views of Tehran, a five-star hotel, a convention center, a world trade center, and an IT park (to be completed by March 2007). The complex seeks to respond to the needs of business in the globalized world of the 21st century by offering facilities combining trade, information, communication, convention and accommodation all in one place.

Borj-e Milad or Milad Tower, 435 meters high tower in the Gisha district of Tehran


The complex features a parking area of 27,000 square meters, a large computer and telecommunication unit, a cultural and scientific unit, a commercial transaction center, a temporary showroom for exhibiting products, a specialized library, an exhibition hall and an administrative unit. Milad tower has an octagonal base, symbolizing traditional Persian architecture.

The Tower can withstand earthquakes of the magnitude of 7.5 degrees on the Richter scale.

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In The News

Persepolis, Iran

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, July 20, 2007 at 16:28:38

Persepolis, situated some 70 km northeast of modern city of ShirazThe magnificent ruins of Persepolis (Old Persian: Pars, New Persian: تخت جمشید) lie at the foot of Kuh-i-Rahmat, or "Mountain of Mercy", in the plain of Marv Dasht, some 70 km northeast of modern city of Shiraz (Persian: شیراز Shīrāz), capital of Fārs Province (استان فارس), and about 400 miles south of the present capital city of Tehran (Tehran, Persian: تهران Tehrān).

Persepolis was an ancient ceremonial capital of the second Iranian dynasty, the Achaemenid Empire (هخامنشیان). To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Parsa, meaning the city of Persians. In contemporary Iran, the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid (Throne of Jamshid: Jamshid (جمشید) is a common Persian male first name). The site consists of the remains of several monumental buildings on a vast stone terrace surrounded by a brick wall.

View of Xerxes Gate (Gate of All Nation's), PersepolisPersepolis (the site is over 125.000 m2) was built in about 500 BC by the Achaemenian Kings Darius, Xerxes and their successors. Andre Godard, the French archaeologist who excavated Persepolis in the early 1930s, believed that it was Cyrus the Great (کوروش دوم) who chose the site of Persepolis, but it was Darius the Great (داریوش یکم), son of Hystaspes (گشتاسب‌شاه), and king of Persia from 522 BC to 486/485 BC, who built the terrace and the great palaces.

Ruins of Apadana Palace, Persepolis, IranIn about 333 BC during his invasion of Persia, Alexander the Great (Persian: اسکندر مقدونی; Greek: Μέγας Aλέξανδρος), also known as Alexander III, sent the bulk of his army to Persepolis, the Persian capital. By the Persian Royal Road (راه شاهی), Alexander stormed and captured the Persian Gates (ancient name of the pass now known as Tang-e Meyran, connecting Yasuj with Sedeh to the east, crossing the border of the modern Kohgiluyeh va Boyer Ahmad and Fars provinces of Iran, passing south of the Kuh-e-Dinar massif), then sprinted for Persepolis before its treasury could be looted. After several months Alexander allowed the troops to loot Persepolis. A fire broke out in the eastern palace of Xerxes and spread to the rest of the city. It is not clear if it had been a drunken accident, or a deliberate act of revenge for the burning of the Acropolis of Athens (آکروپولیس) during the Second Greco-Persian War.

Important places are: The Gate of All Nations consisted of a grand hall that was almost 25 square metres, with four columns and its entrance on the Western Wall; Apadana Palace begun by Darius and finished by Xerxes I, that was used mainly for great receptions by the kings; The Throne Hall or the Hundred-Columns Palace, next to the Apadana; Tombs of King of Kings. It is commonly accepted that Cyrus the Great was buried at Pasargadae (پاسارگاد).

UNESCO World Heritage

Iran, Gonbad-e Qabus

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 14:23:29

Location Gonbad-e Qabus, Iran
Coordinates N37 15 28.9 E55 10 8.4
Property 1.48 ha
Date of Inscription 2012

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1398 )

The 53 m high tomb built in ad 1006 for Qābus Ibn Voshmgir, Ziyarid ruler and literati, near the ruins of the ancient city of Jorjan in north-east Iran, bears testimony to the cultural exchange between Central Asian nomads and the ancient civilization of Iran. The tower is the only remaining evidence of Jorjan, a former centre of arts and science that was destroyed during the Mongols’ invasion in the 14th and 15th centuries. It is an outstanding and technologically innovative example of Islamic architecture that influenced sacral building in Iran, Anatolia and Central Asia. Built of unglazed fired bricks, the monument’s intricate geometric forms constitute a tapering cylinder with a diameter of 17–15.5 m, topped by a conical brick roof. It illustrates the development of mathematics and science in the Muslim world at the turn of the first millennium AD.

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Gonbad-e Qabus

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Iran, Sheikh Safi al-din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 14:17:25

Location Iran
Coordinates N38 14 55 E48 17 29
Property 2.14 ha
Date of Inscription 2010

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1345 )

Built between the beginning of the 16th century and the end of the 18th century, this place of spiritual retreat in the Sufi tradition uses Iranian traditional architectural forms to maximize use of available space to accommodate a variety of functions (including a library, a mosque, a school, mausolea, a cistern, a hospital, kitchens, a bakery, and some offices). It incorporates a route to reach the shrine of the Sheikh divided into seven segments, which mirror the seven stages of Sufi mysticism, separated by eight gates, which represent the eight attitudes of Sufism. The ensemble includes well-preserved and richly ornamented facades and interiors, with a remarkable collection of antique artefacts. It constitutes a rare ensemble of elements of medieval Islamic architecture.

Photos from Landolia

Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble

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Iran, Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 14:11:14

Location Iran
Coordinates N32 1 7 E48 50 9
Property 240 ha
Date of Inscription 2009

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1315 )

Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System, inscribed as a masterpiece of creative genius, can be traced back to Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C. It involved the creation of two main diversion canals on the river Kârun one of which, Gargar canal, is still in use providing water to the city of Shushtar via a series of tunnels that supply water to mills. It forms a spectacular cliff from which water cascades into a downstream basin. It then enters the plain situated south of the city where it has enabled the planting of orchards and farming over an area of 40,000 ha. known as Mianâb (Paradise). The property has an ensemble of remarkable sites including the Salâsel Castel, the operation centre of the entire hydraulic system, the tower where the water level is measured, damns, bridges, basins and mills. It bears witness to the know-how of the Elamites and Mesopotamians as well as more recent Nabatean expertise and Roman building influence.

Photos from Landolia

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System

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Iran, Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 13:59:10

Location Iran
Coordinates N38 58 44 E45 28 24
Property 129 ha
Date of Inscription 2008

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1262 )

The Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, in the north-west of the country, consists of three monastic ensembles of the Armenian Christian faith: St Thaddeus and St Stepanos and the Chapel of Dzordzor. These edifices - the oldest of which, St Thaddeus, dates back to the 7th century – are examples of outstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorative traditions. They bear testimony to very important interchanges with the other regional cultures, in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian. Situated on the south-eastern fringe of the main zone of the Armenian cultural space, the monasteries constituted a major centre for the dissemination of that culture in the region. They are the last regional remains of this culture that are still in a satisfactory state of integrity and authenticity. Furthermore, as places of pilgrimage, the monastic ensembles are living witnesses of Armenian religious traditions through the centuries.

Photos from Landolia

Saint Thaddeus Monastery Saint Stepanos Monastery Church of the Holy Mother of God

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Armenian Monastic Ensembles in Iran, including St Thaddeus, St Stepanos, Holy Mother of God, Chapel of Dzordzor and Chapel of Chupan


Iran, Masjed-e Jame of Isfahan

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 03:39:21

Location Isfahan, Iran
Coordinates N32 40 11 E51 41 7
Property 2.08 ha
Date of Inscription 2012

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1397 )

Located in the historic centre of Isfahan, the Masjed-e Jāmé (‘Friday mosque’) can be seen as a stunning illustration of the evolution of mosque architecture over twelve centuries, starting in ad 841. It is the oldest preserved edifice of its type in Iran and a prototype for later mosque designs throughout Central Asia. The complex, covering more than 20,000 m2, is also the first Islamic building that adapted the four-courtyard layout of Sassanid palaces to Islamic religious architecture. Its double-shelled ribbed domes represent an architectural innovation that inspired builders throughout the region. The site also features remarkable decorative details representative of stylistic developments over more than a thousand years of Islamic art.

Photos from Landolia

Jameh Mosque

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Iran, The Persian Garden

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 03:29:07

Location Iran
Coordinates N30 10 0 E53 10 0
Property 716 ha
Date of Inscription 2011

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1372 )

The property includes nine gardens in as many provinces. They exemplify the diversity of Persian garden designs that evolved and adapted to different climate conditions while retaining principles that have their roots in the times of Cyrus the Great, 6th century BC. Always divided into four sectors, with water playing an important role for both irrigation and ornamentation, the Persian garden was conceived to symbolize Eden and the four Zoroastrian elements of sky, earth, water and plants. These gardens, dating back to different periods since the 6th century BC, also feature buildings, pavilions and walls, as well as sophisticated irrigation systems. They have influenced the art of garden design as far as India and Spain.

Photos from Landolia

Qavam House, Garden Fin Garden

The Persian Gardens:

  1. Pasargad Persian Garden at Pasargadae
  2. Chehel Sotoun, Isfahan
  3. Fin Garden, Kashan
  4. Eram Garden, Shiraz
  5. Shazdeh Garden, Mahan
  6. Dolatabad Garden, Yazd
  7. Abbasabad Garden, Abbasabad
  8. Akbarieh Garden, South Khorasan Province
  9. Pahlevanpour Garden

Iran, Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 03:19:14

Location Tabriz, Iran
Coordinates N38 4 53 E46 17 35
Property 29 ha
Date of Inscription 2010

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1346 )

Tabriz has been a place of cultural exchange since antiquity and its historic bazaar complex is one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road. Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex consists of a series of interconnected, covered, brick structures, buildings, and enclosed spaces for different functions. Tabriz and its Bazaar were already prosperous and famous in the 13th century, when the town, in the province of Eastern Azerbaijan, became the capital city of the Safavid kingdom. The city lost its status as capital in the 16th century, but remained important as a commercial hub until the end of the 18th century, with the expansion of Ottoman power. It is one of the most complete examples of the traditional commercial and cultural system of Iran.

Photos from Landolia

Jameh Mosque, Tabriz Bazaar

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Iran, Bisotun

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 03:11:12

Location Province of Kermanshah, Iran
Coordinates N34 23 18 E47 26 12
Property 187 ha
Date of Inscription 2006

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1222 )

Bisotun is located along the ancient trade route linking the Iranian high plateau with Mesopotamia and features remains from the prehistoric times to the Median, Achaemenid, Sassanian, and Ilkhanid periods. The principal monument of this archaeological site is the bas-relief and cuneiform inscription ordered by Darius I, The Great, when he rose to the throne of the Persian Empire, 521 BC. The bas-relief portrays Darius holding a bow, as a sign of sovereignty, and treading on the chest of a figure who lies on his back before him. According to legend, the figure represents Gaumata, the Median Magus and pretender to the throne whose assassination led to Darius’s rise to power. Below and around the bas-reliefs, there are ca. 1,200 lines of inscriptions telling the story of the battles Darius waged in 521-520 BC against the governors who attempted to take apart the Empire founded by Cyrus. The inscription is written in three languages. The oldest is an Elamite text referring to legends describing the king and the rebellions. This is followed by a Babylonian version of similar legends. The last phase of the inscription is particularly important, as it is here that Darius introduced for the first time the Old Persian version of his res gestae (things done). This is the only known monumental text of the Achaemenids to document the re-establishment of the Empire by Darius I. It also bears witness to the interchange of influences in the development of monumental art and writing in the region of the Persian Empire. There are also remains from the Median period (8th to 7th centuries B.C.) as well as from the Achaemenid (6th to 4th centuries B.C.) and post-Achaemenid periods.

Photos from Landolia

Behistun Inscription, Bisotun Hercules, Bisotun

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Iran, Soltaniyeh

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 03:04:46

Location Zanjan province, Iran
Coordinates N36 26 7.008 E48 47 48.012
Property 790 ha
Date of Inscription 2005

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1188 )

The mausoleum of Oljaytu was constructed in 1302–12 in the city of Soltaniyeh, the capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty, which was founded by the Mongols. Situated in the province of Zanjan, Soltaniyeh is one of the outstanding examples of the achievements of Persian architecture and a key monument in the development of its Islamic architecture. The octagonal building is crowned with a 50 m tall dome covered in turquoise-blue faience and surrounded by eight slender minarets. It is the earliest existing example of the double-shelled dome in Iran. The mausoleum’s interior decoration is also outstanding and scholars such as A.U. Pope have described the building as ‘anticipating the Taj Mahal’.

Photos from Landolia

Soltaniyeh

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Iran, Pasargadae

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 02:58:13

Location Pars Province, Iran
Coordinates N30 11 37.788 E53 10 2.244
Property 160 ha
Date of Inscription 2004

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1106 )

Pasargadae was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great, in Pars, homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization. Particularly noteworthy vestiges in the 160-ha site include: the Mausoleum of Cyrus II; Tall-e Takht, a fortified terrace; and a royal ensemble of gatehouse, audience hall, residential palace and gardens. Pasargadae was the capital of the first great multicultural empire in Western Asia. Spanning the Eastern Mediterranean and Egypt to the Hindus River, it is considered to be the first empire that respected the cultural diversity of its different peoples. This was reflected in Achaemenid architecture, a synthetic representation of different cultures.

Photos from Landolia

Audience Hall, Pasargadae Tomb, Pasargadae

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Iran, Bam and its Cultural Landscape

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 02:51:36

Location Kerman Province, Bam District, Iran
Coordinates N29 7 0.588 E58 22 0
Date of Inscription 2004

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1208 )

Bam is situated in a desert environment on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau. The origins of Bam can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC). Its heyday was from the 7th to 11th centuries, being at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton garments. The existence of life in the oasis was based on the underground irrigation canals, the qanāts, of which Bam has preserved some of the earliest evidence in Iran. Arg-e Bam is the most representative example of a fortified medieval town built in vernacular technique using mud layers (Chineh ).

Photos from Landolia

Bam and its Cultural Landscape Arg-e Bam, Bam and its Cultural Landscape

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Iran, Takht-e Soleyman

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 02:44:21

Location Western Azerbaijan Province, Iran
Coordinates N36 36 14 E47 14 6
Property 10 ha
Date of Inscription 2003

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1077 )

The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman, in north-western Iran, is situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region. The site includes the principal Zoroastrian sanctuary partly rebuilt in the Ilkhanid (Mongol) period (13th century) as well as a temple of the Sasanian period (6th and 7th centuries) dedicated to Anahita. The site has important symbolic significance. The designs of the fire temple, the palace and the general layout have strongly influenced the development of Islamic architecture.

Photos from Landolia

Thron of Solomon, Takht-e Soleyman Takht-e Soleyman

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Iran, Tchogha Zanbil

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 08, 2013 at 02:37:20

Location Khuzestan, Iran
Coordinates N32 4 59.88 E48 31 60
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/113 )

The ruins of the holy city of the Kingdom of Elam, surrounded by three huge concentric walls, are found at Tchogha Zanbil. Founded c. 1250 B.C., the city remained unfinished after it was invaded by Ashurbanipal, as shown by the thousands of unused bricks left at the site.

Photos from Landolia

Chogha Zanbil Chogha Zanbil

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Iran, Meidan Emam, Esfahan

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, March 07, 2013 at 11:33:17

Location Esfahan, Iran
Coordinates N32 39 26.82 E51 40 40
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/115 )

Built by Shah Abbas I the Great at the beginning of the 17th century, and bordered on all sides by monumental buildings linked by a series of two-storeyed arcades, the site is known for the Royal Mosque, the Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah, the magnificent Portico of Qaysariyyeh and the 15th-century Timurid palace. They are an impressive testimony to the level of social and cultural life in Persia during the Safavid era.

Photos from Landolia

Shah Mosque, Naqsh-e Jahan Square Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque, Naqsh-e Jahan Square Ali Qapu, Naqsh-e Jahan Square

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Iran, Persepolis

 Posted by Simon Laroche
Simon Laroche
, May 14, 2009 at 16:16:32

Location Fars, Iran
Coordinates N29 56 3.984 E52 53 25.008
Property 13 ha
Date of Inscription 1979

Brief Description (http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/114 )

Founded by Darius I in 518 B.C., Persepolis was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire. It was built on an immense half-artificial, half-natural terrace, where the king of kings created an impressive palace complex inspired by Mesopotamian models. The importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archaeological site.

Photos from Landolia

Persepolis Apadana Palace, Persepolis Persepolis

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