Out of 26 UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iran, 24 are historical monuments. The oldest civilization found in Iran is the Tepe Sialk which was settled about 7000 years ago. Or, possibly the Jiroft civilization, once the important economical center of the Iranian plateau which was founded 3-4 thousand years back. They are all majestic memoirs of the path we have paved up to now. That’s why we do like to introduce them to you here.
Iran Main Tourist Route
An abstract of Iran’s long history, old culture, art, and remarkable architecture is available on a certain route. Known as Iran’s main route, it starts from Tehran, the capital. Then, it continues towards the south. The route passes through Kashan, Isfahan, Yazd, and Shiraz. These cities are in the central areas of Iran. Isfahan and Shiraz were once capitals of significant dynasties. The youngest capital, Tehran has been the city of government for about 300 years. Yet, Iran’s historical attractions are not limited to this single route. There are remains of once flourished kingdoms here and there, from north to south, and west to east. All these kings used to embrace artists and architects to show off their prestige. Thankfully, they are still there for us to enjoy.
Iran Historical Wonders
Iran is well known for the great Achaemenid Dynasty and its famous emblem, Persepolis. Yet, it is not the oldest Iran historical attraction. Persepolis dates back to about 2500 years ago. There are castles, temples, and remaining lost civilizations that have been created before the magnificent “City of Persia”.
10 Marvelous Historical Places in Iran
To list all the historical places in Iran needs kilometers of paper. So, we just limit it to 10 titles from different eras and places.
The most prominent ancient figure, Teppeh Sialk, is the remainder of the ancient Elamite civilization. The discovered potteries and tools showed the people’s literacy, signs of trade with other civilizations, and ability to use bronze. All these happened 7000 years ago.
Rocky Villages: Meymand and Kandovan
If we want to talk about a place where time really has stopped and saved the scene, it is either the rocky village of Meymand in the south of Iran or that of Kandovan in the northeast. Though they are at a far distance from each other, they used to serve for the same reason. The local people of about 3000 years ago needed to protect themselves from natural disasters and enemies. So, they carved into the mountain rocks. At first sight, these hand-carved houses are not identifiable. Only when you get closer, do you find out about the secret homes in them. Thanks to mother nature, the houses are there like day one.
National Museum of Iran
A thorough collection of Iran’s archaic antiques, sculptures, mummies, and so on are gathered in this museum in Tehran. It’s especially good for those with a limited time. So, they would wander Iran’s prehistoric era in a nutshell.
Zoroaster and his religion emerged from Iran. In this religion nature elements were sacred. On top of all fire was the most commemorative thing. Thus, it is not strange to see temples of different ages in different spots. Some are ruined now and a few are active. The fire temple of Yazd is one of those few active ones. Its fire there has been worshipped since 400 BC.
Pasargadae, Necropolis, and Persepolis Near Shiraz
Iranians are greatly proud of the historical remains of the Achaemenid Dynasty. In that era, the land of Persia was at its peak. The then glory is still in the air of the place while you walk under the huge pillars and the mythical guardians over them. The stone reliefs tell you the story of people visiting the king. Even some ruins of Persian gardens are still there.
A hill created by a mysterious lake whose height is added every year, ruins of a fire temple from the old times, and an abyss nearby that the locals believe was King Solomon’s prison for the monsters. This place contains some traces of the Achaemenid era is found there. But the fire temple is from the Sasanian Dynasty.
The Underground City of Nushabad Near Kashan
Another flourishing era for Iran was during the Sasanian era. Many abandoned cities, rock reliefs, and infrastructure date back to that time. Among them, an underground city is a different structure from ancient times. It is in 3 levels with 4 to 18 meters deep down the ground. It was used as a shelter for the whole city during the enemy’s raid. It had ventilation and water systems. That’s a genius for the 7th century, isn’t it?
Fin Garden in Kashan
Central Iran is the land of deserts. With two vast deserts, it seems that living there is impossible. But, that’s not true when it comes to Iranians and their ability to overcome the harsh nature. Kashan is a city on the edge of the desert. Yet, in this very dry place, there is a lush Persian garden. It has been there for 500 years. Not only the green garden by the desert is strange, but also its watering system is an engineering masterpiece. Just 500 years ago, without any electrical power or else there were fountains in the pools to pump the underground water all over the garden.
The Famous Bridges in Isfahan
There is this roaring river in the middle of Isfahan, the Zayandeh River. It has been the beginning point of the city. Still, families hang out there, lovers date next to it, and youths gather to sing and enjoy life. All these great times are over or under two brick bridges. Si-o-se-pol and Khaju bridges from the 16th century have witnessed many scenes of people trafficking or celebrating life over the river.
Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Isfahan is the city of Iranian-Islamic art and architecture. Many buildings from the 16th and the 17th century still present in the heart of everyday life. Naqshe-Jahan Square is the highlight of these structures. A civic square with four important buildings around the traditional bazaar, Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Imam Mosque, and Aali Qapu palace. There is a big pool in the middle and horse-drawn carriages that take tourists around the square. This place was once a polo field. The King used to watch the game from his palace balcony. And, people did their everyday business and prayer in the bazaar and mosque.
The Joyful Moments of History
In this article, we have talked about just ten historical monuments of Iran. Some are still as lively and functioning sites as modern buildings are. And, Some are abandoned remainders of a brilliant past. But there are still many more to visit. We didn’t talk about the Rudkhan Castle built on a mountain and its 1000 steps. The ancient Villages of Masoule and Palangan in the steep of a rocky mountain wall, or the aged villages like Varzaneh in the middle of hot deserts are truly among the wonders of Iran.
A long history needs to be seen patiently.