Category: Iran’s Historical Sites

Another (Abandoned) Caravanserai

Caravansarai, off Highway 91, near Kuh-e Denband, north of Ravar, Kerman Province, Iran

Where on earth do you find an abandoned caravanserai by the roadside – wide open for your personal inspection? Here in Iran. For Saeideh and I it’s turning into a habit. It’s past sunset and I’m driving a 4WD in central Iran, just past Ravar toward Tabas. From the corner of an eye I see..

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A Gateway to the Afterlife – Zoroastrian style

Dakhmeh Featured Yazd Ali Torkzadeh Com

For 2,500 years Zoroastrians  left their dead outside to be consumed by carrion birds. The idea was to avoid contaminating the soil and the fire, both of which are considered sacred. The place they ceremonially laid out the bodies is called dakhmeh, consisting of a perfectly symmetrical flat-topped stone tower, where the bodies were laid..

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Ants in the World’s Most Stunning Graveyard

Naqsh-e Rustam (Necropolis), near Persepolis, near Shiraz, Iran

I wasn’t prepared for the shocking views at Naqsh-e Rustam and I’m glad I wasn’t. I stood there, mouth open and oblivious to our tour’s guide’s explanations, starring at what must be the world’s most stunning graveyard. Persian kings were buried over many centuries, in tombs carved into the side of the rocky mountain and decorated with giant..

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Melancholy at Persepolis

Persepolis, near Shiraz, Iran

“Now you know why Iranians are so proud,” my wife told me after I visited Persepolis today. “This history is why they think they have everything and no one else – the Americans, the Europeans, no one else – compares to them.” I’m tempted to deduce just the opposite, that contemporary Iranians – who don’t..

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Waiting in Iran, for 400 years

Village of Zafaraniyeh

A postal route operated here when North America wasn’t yet settled by Europeans. Travelers and businessmen slept here in style 200 years before there was even such a thing as the United States. But today the caravanserai of Zafaraniyeh sits empty and abandoned, like thousands of other ancient jewels all over Iran, victim of time, cultural amnesia and..

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Stumbling Upon Antiquities in Iran

Child at the Village of Zafaraniyeh, near Sabzevar, Iran

Near SABZEVAR, Iran – Iran is so old that sometimes even aimless tourists get to discover a village chock full of antiquities seemingly unnoticed by a government overwhelmed with the upkeep of thousands of similar jewels. It’s mid-August afternoon and wife Saeideh and I are speeding toward Sabzevar on the highway that used to be..

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Iran’s Wailing Wall

The Wailing Wall at Iman Reza Shrine Dar-al Hojjeh, Mashhad, Iran

IMAM REZA SHRINE, MASHHAD, Iran – Beneath giant chandeliers and surrounded by bewilderingly intricate mirror artwork and calligraphy sits this nation’s equivalent of the Wailing Wall. Dar-al Hojjeh is an immense underground hall adjacent to the burial chamber of Imam Reza (Persian: امام رضا), whose 1000-year-old shrine is Iran’s spiritual nucleus and the world’s largest..

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