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Iran World Heritage Sites

The Islamic Republic of Iran enjoys various tangible and intangible heritage that signify its cultural and ritual diversities, rich history of civilization, epochal monuments, unique natural sites, and rituals. This cultural diversity has been the result of the deep civilization of Iran and the efforts of the people of this land over the past years. This genuine civilization is a valuable gift to all the people of the world. UNESCO's list is a major universal reference for world cultural heritage.  It includes all tangible and intangible cultural heritage of a country, and now Iran has recorded 23 monumental and also registered several and many more on the waiting list.

Tchogha Zanbil. Khozestan Province

1-Tchogha Zanbil. Khuzestan Province

Tchogha Zanbil is an ancient sanctuary built at the time of Ilam (Elamites) and about 1250 BC. Tchogha Zanbil is a part of the city of Dur Untash, located near Shush or Susa (ancient city) in Khuzestan province. In 1979, this structure was the first Iranian monument to be listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It has exceptional and universal value. The orientalists considered the Tchogha Zanbil as the first Iranian religious building. The ziggurat(Tchogha Zanbil) considered being the best-preserved example of a stepped pyramidal monument by UNESCO  In 1979, Chogha Zanbil became the first Iranian site to be inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Persepolis. Shiraz

2-Persepolis. Shiraz

Includes a collection of royal palaces built during the Achaemenid times. The complex consists of 8 palaces and some other buildings. The construction of these palaces started in 512 BC and lasted for 150 years. The English word Persepolis is taken from Greek words, Pérses, and pólis, meaning "the Persian city" or "the city of the Persians".The Achaemenid architecture is a kind of combination and invention that has adapted from the architectural style of Babylonia, Assyria, and Egypt, and the Greek cities of Asia Minor and the Urartu people.

Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Isfahan

3- Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Isfahan

Naqsh-e Jahan Square also known as Meidan Emam is the largest sq at the time (1502–1736). It was Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage SitesSafavid dynasty. It is 160 metres (520 ft) wide by 560 metres (1,840 ft) long(an area of 89,600 square metres (964,000 sq ft). This sq is decorated with the best of Isfahan's historical sites.
On the north is the Isfahan Grand Bazaar which is derived from Ottoman Bazars, in the south one of the most beautiful Iran mosques Imam mosque or Jame Abbassi mosque, also on the two sides of sq you can see two of the best Isfahan's monuments Ali Ghapoo palace and Sheikh Lotfolah mosque. This sq is now the most famous historical site in Iran that all the tourists of Isfahan visit.

Takht-e Soleyman.Takab. West Azarbaijan

4- Takht-e Soleyman.Takab in West Azarbaijan

Takht-e Soleyman also known as Azar Goshnasp literally "the Fire of the Warriors", is an archaeological site in West Azarbaijan, Iran. This is the biggest and most famous fire temple of the Zoroastrian people. This historic place has been one of the most prominent Sassanid period fire temples. The remains of this place were converted into a mosque during the Ilkhanid period. This site got its biblical name after the Arab conquest.

Pasargadae was the capital of the Achaemenid Empire

6- Pasargadae

Pasargadae was the capital under Cyrus Achaemenid Empire the Great, who had issued its construction (559-530 BC). It is also his tomb. This historical collection includes some remaining monuments of the Achaemenid period. Some of these works include the Cyrus Tomb, garden, royal palaces, and also a number of historical monuments that have been added in the following periods. In 529 BC, Cyrus attacked the tribes of the Scythians in Central Asia (northeastern Iran) and was killed in the Massage at war. He was buried in Pasargad.

Arg e Bam.Kerman

5- Arg e Bam.Kerman

Bam is the largest brick building in the world.
The origin of this huge and valuable citadel on the Silk Road can be back to the Achaemenid Empire and even beyond. The area of this citadel is nearly 180,000 square meters, surrounded by walls 6 to 7 meters high and 1815 meters in length. This historic castle has different sections such as the Military section, ruler's home, Bazaar, public Bath, School, Mosque, and other sections.

Soltaniyeh dome.Zanjan province The largest dome of the world during the rule of the  Ilkhanis

7- Soltaniyeh dome.Zanjan province

The largest dome in the world during the rule of the  Ilkhanis over Iran. It is now the second-largest dome in the world after the dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore Church in Italy. It is located 240 Km from Tehran and was built as the capital of the Ilkhanid Mongol rulers of Iran in the 14th century. The construction of the dome was begun in 702 AH on the orders of  Oljaitu in the city of Soltanieh, the capital of Ilkhanites, and completed in 712 AH. This is one of the most magnificent historical buildings in Iran.

Bisotun inscription is the world's largest stone inscription

8- Bisotun- Kermanshah

The inscription of Behistun is a multilingual inscription and a large rock relief on a cliff on Mount Behistun in the province of Kermanshah. Bisotun inscription is the world's largest stone inscription the first well-known Iranian text and one of the most famous Bas reliefs of the Achaemenid dynasty (520 BC). This is ordered by Darius the Great between his coronation as king of the Persian Empire in the summer of 522 BC and his death in the autumn of 486 BC, the inscription begins with a brief autobiography of Darius, including his ancestry and lineage.

Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran

9- Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran

The Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, located in the West Azerbaijan and East Azerbaijan provinces in Iran, is an ensemble of three Armenian churches that were established during the period between the 7th and 14th centuries A.D. The complex consists of 3 famous churches including St. Thaddeus Monastery, the Saint Stepan Monastery, and the Chapel of Dzordzor.
The three monasteries of the ensemble were inscribed in 2008 under UNESCO criteria for their outstanding value in showcasing Armenian architectural and decorative traditions, for being a major center for the diffusion of Armenian culture in the region, and for being a place of pilgrimage of the apostle St. Thaddeus, a key figure in Armenian religious traditions.

The Most Famous Iran Churches

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System. Sushtar.Khozestan Province

10- Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System. Shushtar.Khuzestan Province

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System has remained from the Sassanid era with a complex irrigation system. Shushtar's infrastructure included water mills, dams, tunnels, and canals. The GarGar weir was built in watermills and waterfalls. Shushtar aquatic structures during the Sassanian era were constructed to use water as a stimulus for industrial mills. The Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System is one of the most unique examples used for optimal water use in ancient times.

Sheikh Safi al-Din Khangah, Shrine, and maosuleum
11-Sheikh Safi al-Din Khangah, Shrine, and mausoleum

Khanegah is a spiritual place in the Sufi order. This UNESCO site is the most important Sufi mausoleum not only for its followers but also for Safavid history. This historical site has different parts with different functions: a mosque, a mausoleum, a school, a library, kitchens, a bakery and offices, a hospital, and a cistern. It is known as "Sheikh Safi Shrine in Ardabil". Besides its historical importance, the site is of great importance for Iranian architecture. The architecture of this place is so important, Also, from the Islamic architecture point of view, it’s a landmark of the Safavid era.

Tabriz Bazaar is one of the oldest and historic markets located in downtown Tabriz, Iran
12- Tabriz Bazaar

The Tabriz Bazaar is one of the oldest and most historic markets located in downtown Tabriz, Iran, and the first capital of the Safavid dynasty. It is also one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world which is recorded at UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Its Bazar has always been a place of cultural exchange, and one of the most important shopping centers on the Silk Road since ancient times. This complex was registered as a national heritage list in 1975 and at UNESCO World Heritage List in 2010.

Iranian Bazaars

Persian Garden
13- Persian Garden

Persian Garden is one of the oldest and most important gardens in the world. Iranian gardens are mentioned in different historical sources like Greek sources, Torah, and others. Agricultural and horticultural is recommended in the old tradition and rituals of Iranians with pride and dignity. After Islam, this social thought became more religious and promoted it among the people. Persian Gardens' architecture has a very close relation with Iranian homes' architecture.

Atigh Great Mosque, the oldest mosque in Isfahan
14- Atigh Great Mosque

The fact is that the Atigh Great Mosque, the oldest mosque in Isfahan, is certainly well-known as one of the Particular historical monuments for either Islamic history or the beginning of civilization. However, it is almost backdated to 1300 years ago (reigning time of Abbasian caliphs), and it can be noticed as a sensible and spiritual structure in many aspects that include the architectural, artistic, scientific, and influential efforts in religious cultural, political, and social fluctuations due to the different eras. It has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012.

Gonbad-e Qabus (Tower), The world's tallest brick Tower
15- Gonbad-e Qabus (Tower), The world's tallest brick tower

This tall tower is located in Gonbad-e Qabus city, Iran, and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site since  2012. It has been registered as a World Heritage Site, on the tower's upcoming 1,000th anniversary. It lay at the city center of  Gonbad-e Qabus with 72 meters (236 ft) in height (including the height of the platform). The baked brick tower is a huge decagon building with a conical roof. The inside of the tower is decorated with simple examples of Muqarnas decorative styles. The wall is 3 meters thick and divided into 10 sides, with a diameter of 17 m. This magnificent brick tower was built in 1006 AD on the orders of the Ziyarid Amir Shams Ol-Ma'ali Qabus ibn Wushmgir.

Golestan Museum Palace The oldest of the historical monuments in Tehran
16-  Golestan Museum Palace

The oldest of the historical monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace (Palace of Flowers) belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran's Historic Arg (citadel). The Arg was built during the reign of Tahmasb I (1524-1576, corresponding to 930-948 in the lunar calendar) of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736), and was later renovated by Karim Khan Zand (1750-1779).
Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar (1742-1797) chose Tehran as his capital. The Arg became the site of the Qajar (1794-1925). Court and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal family. During the Qajar period, like other Iranian traditional houses, the royal court and residency consisted of two internal and external sections. On 2005 October 11, the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran submitted the palace to UNESCO for inclusion on the World Heritage List in 2007. On 2013 June 23, it was proclaimed as a world heritage site during the UNESCO meeting.

Shahr-e Sukhteh (Shahr-e Sookhteh or Burnt City) an ancient city which is belong to bronze age,

16- Shahr-e Sukhteh

 Shahr-e Sukhteh (Shahr-e Sookhteh or Burnt City) an ancient city that belongs to the bronze age, dates to the 4th and 3rd millennium BC and is laid about 60 km from Zabol city and 6 Km from the Rostam Castle. This city has been one of the most civilized and most advanced cities in Iran during its time so the first artificial eye and the first cartoon painting of the world have been discovered in this city. This city was placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in June 2014.

Meymand City
17- Meymand City

It is a self-contained, semi-arid area at the end of a valley at the southern extremity of Iran’s central mountains. The villagers are semi-nomadic agro-pastoralists. This cultural landscape is an example of a system that appears to have been more widespread in the past and involves the movement of people rather than animals.

18- Susa or Shush

Susa city was an ancient city of the Proto-Elamite, Elamite, empire of the first Persian, Seleucid, Parthian, and Sasanian Empire of Iran, and one of the most important cities of the ancient Near East. It is located 140 Km from Ahvaz the capital of Khuzestan province. The modern Iranian city of Shush is located on the site of ancient Susa. Shush is identified as Shushan, mentioned in the Book of Esther and other biblical books.

The Qanats are the largest and longest man-made to sustain life on earth
19- Qanat

The Qanats are the largest and longest man-made to sustain life on earth. Qanat is one of the most important masterpieces of Iranian engineering and architecture and also is one of the most important and valuable inventions of Iran's Hydraulic engineering. The construction of Qanats represents the history of a great civilization that has been living in this area for centuries and has been the source of various developments. Qanat has technical and aesthetic principles. It represents the peak of Iranian art development not only on earth but also underground. This complicated and technical technique is the source of various buildings related to it.

Dasht-e Lut
20- Dasht-e Lut

The Lut desert, usually called the Dasht-e Lut, is a large salt desert located in the Kerman provinces and Sistan and Baluchistan, Iran. It is the 27th largest desert in the world and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List on 17 July 2016. The highest measured temperature is up to 70 ° C (159 ° F). ), making it one of the driest and hottest places in the world. It also contains extensive stony deserts and dune fields. The property represents an exceptional example of ongoing geological processes.

21- Yazd City

Yazd is one of the oldest cities in Iran, which has historical features, and natural and unique anthropological specifications. This city is known by a different name: the City of Windcatchers, The city of Qanats, the capital of the desert, the city of bicycles, the city of Zoroastrians, The city of mud, and the bride of the desert. It is currently the 15th largest city in Iran. Since 2017, the historical city of Yazd is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region
24- Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region

The eight archaeological sites are situated in three geographical areas in the southeast of Fars Province: Firuzabad, Bishapur, and Sarvestan. The fortified structures, palaces, and city plans date back to the earliest and latest times of the Sassanian Empire, which stretched across the region. Among these sites is the capital built by the founder of the dynasty. Ardashir Papakan, as well as the city and architectural structures of his successor, Shapur I. the archaeological landscape, reflects the optimized utilization of natural topography and bears witness to the influence of Achaemenid and Parthian cultural traditions and of Roman art, which had a significant impact on the architecture of the Islamic era.

Iranian Intangible Cultural Heritage on UNESCO List:
- Art of crafting and playing with Kamancheh/Kamancha (2017)
- Chogān, a horse-riding game accompanied by music and storytelling (2017)
- Flatbread making and sharing culture: Lavash, Katyrma, Jupka, Yufka (2016)
- Nowrouz (2016)
- Qālišuyān rituals of Mašhad-e Ardehāl in Kāšān (2012)
- Naqqāli, Iranian dramatic story-telling (2011)
- Traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats in the Persian Gulf (2011)
- Music of the Bakhshis of Khorasan (2010)
- Pahlevani and Zoorkhanei rituals (2010)
- Ritual dramatic art of Ta‘zīye (2010)
- Traditional skills of carpet weaving in Fars (2010)
- Traditional skills of carpet weaving in Kashan (2010)
- Radif of Iranian music (2009)