Another famous city in Iran with a long history is Mashhad .It is located in the northeast of the country, and is around 328 km2 area. It is the second most populous city of Iran after Tehran . Based on the census in 2011, the population of Mashhad is 2,766,258. It is along the famous Silk Road and the main Shia center in Iran.
What has brought this city such a reputation is none other than Imam Reza. He is the 8th Shia Imam who was martyred by the Abbasian governor (al-Ma’mun ) in 818. In that time, Mashhad was just a small city called Mashhad al-Ridha that means the place of martyrdom of Imam reza (al-Ridha) . Now it is the second largest holy city of the world and was chosen by the Islamic Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (ISESCO) as the capital of Islamic culture in 2017.
Although Mashhad in comparison to famous cities like Isfahan and Shiraz, has no historical highlights it is worth visiting because:
• It is the home of 8th Shia Imam .I.e. Imam reza
• It was the largest oasis along the Silk Road
• Mashhad is also known because it is the buried place of Ferdowsi who is the author of Shahnameh, the longest epic poem in the world.
Northeast of Iran
995 m (3,264 ft.)
Avg Annual Temperature
25.0 °C (July, Warmest)
0.5 °C (January, Coldest)
The holy shrine of Imam reza , 8th shia Imam that is located in center of Mashhad and nominated as the world’s largest mosque in dimension and second largest mosque of the world in the capacity(It is 250,000 square meter and has the capacity of around 500,000 pilgrims) . The complex consists of a library, two mosques ( Balasar & Goharshad ) , a museum ,a cemetery , Islamic Sciences university of Razavi, a dining hall that serves Imam reza food for pilgrims, vast prayer halls, four seminaries, seven courtyards and some other buildings.
Nader was the king of Iran and the founder of the Afsharid dynasty from 1736 to 1747. He is the most famous Persian king after Islam and based on some historians’ ideas, the most powerful, too. Also, due to his bravery and military genius, he won all of his campaigns, he is known as the Persian Napoleon or Alexander, the Second. But in the last years of his life, he became so cruel he was killed by one captains of the guards .His tomb is located in the Naderi garden museum.
Very close and just 20 km from Mashhad, there is a small town called Tus. Tus is known as the city of Ferdowsi, the unique Persian epic poet and also the national epic of Iran. He is the author of Shahnameh, the longest epic poem in the world which was created by just one poet. He has had an important in keeping Iranian history alive and is a big influence in Persian literature. Due to this, he is called “The Saviour of the Persian Language” and “The Lord of the Word”. His tomb is in his own garden and was rebuilt by Hooshang Seyhoon in 1968.
The Yazd’s Jame Mosque is visible from all around the Old Town. The mosque is a charming symbol of Persian-Islamic architecture with its elegant blue-mosaic tile work and the highest minarets of Iran. It dates back to 14th century but some elements of the mosque were made at 12th century.
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