UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran
UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran
Here is a list of UNESCO World Heritage sites in Iran and the year they were inscribed to the list.
Bam and its Cultural Landscape (2004)
Bam, situated in Dasht e Lut desert, on the southern edge of the Iranian high plateau, was an ancient walled citadel until much of the city was destroyed in the devastating earthquake of 2003.
Bam dates back to the Achaemenid period (553 BCE - 330 BCE) and was an important trading city on the crossroads of Asia. The Citadel of Bam (Arg-e Bam) was a magnificent fortified medieval town built using mud layers (chineh) and mud bricks (khesht). Water was supplied to the town using a system of irrigation channels known as qanat. The city reached its zenith in the 7th to 11th centuries and was known as a production center of silk and cotton.
Bisotun is located along ancient trade routes and contains significant remains from the Achaemenid (553 BCE - 330 BCE) and Sassanian (226-650CE) periods. The main monument of the archaeological site near the village of Bisotun is a life-sized bas relief of Darius I (holding a bow) with two attendants leading away 10 smaller figures chained at the neck, representing defeated enemies, while treading, according to legend, on the figure of Gaumata, a pretender to the throne.
Around the reliefs are cuneiform inscriptions written in various languages, including an Elamite text, and a Babylonian version relating the story of Darius' defeat of rebels in his empire.
Meidan Emam, Esfahan (1979)
The Meidan Emam or Meidan-e Imam was built by Shah Abbas I the Great at the beginning of the 17th century during the Safavid period. The monumental place is bordered on all sides by huge buildings, the Ali Qapu Palace, the Mosque of Sheikh Lotfallah, the Royal Mosque all linked by a series of two-storeyed arcades.
Pasargadae was founded by Cyrus II, the Great as the first capital of the vast, multi-cultural Achaemenid Empire. The 160-hectare archaeological site includes the Tomb of Cyrus II, Tall-e Takht, a fortified terrace and ruins of various other royal palaces, gatehouses and gardens.
Persepolis was founded as the capital of the Achaemenid Empire by Darius I in 518 BCE. Built up on a vast half-natural, half-man-made terrace, Darius constructed a palace complex where he reigned over an empire stretching from the Mediterranean to India.
The wonders of Persepolis
The mausoleum of Oljaytu was built in 1302-12 in Soltaniyeh, the then capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty. The octagonal mausoleum is topped with a 50m-tall turquoise dome and surrounded by eight minarets. Soltaniyeh is a defining building in the development of Islamic architecture.
Takht-e Soleyman (2003)
Takht-e Soleyman (Throne of Solomon) is a Zoroastrian religious complex dating back to the Sassanid Period (226-650CE). The site includes a temple dedicated to the god of water, Anahita, as well as a large royal ceremonial hall. Much of the 13m high perimeter wall with its 38 towers is still in evidence today.
Tchogha Zanbil (1979)
The archaeological site of Tchogha (Choqa) Zanbil contains the ruins of the sacred city of the Elamites. Founded around 1250 BCE, the city is surrounded by three concentric walls but remained unfinished after it was attacked by Ashurbanipal. A huge 105m-sided brick ziggurat of the Elamite period, built by King Untash Gal, served as a temple dedicated to the god Inshushinak, until its destruction in 640BC. The well-preserved brickwork contains cuneiform (the world's first alphabet) inscriptions. The site around the zuggurant contains evidence of the early qanat water channels that brought water from an incredible 45km away.
Entrance gate to the complex at Chogha Zanbil
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