During 2012 following the Silk Route of Alexander the Great I visited Iran, and persepolis and this great Necropolis; Naqsh-e Rustam where the great kings of Persia, Darius and Exercese and Artaxerxes I Makrocheir, Darius II Nothus. A beautiful landscape and a place I will always remember….
During my “Silk Route” journey in 2012 I travelled through Iran and of course the route Alexander the Great took to Persepolis the ancient City of Persia. Now in ruins, this UNESCO World Heritage is one that you really need to see to understand and get a feel of. The area of the site is vast and seems to just keep going and going. It is pretty amazing to walk around and imagine how it would have looked in the 4th century.
The Golestan Palace (the Palace of Flowers) is the oldest historical attraction in Tehran and refers to a collection of buildings that were once held within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s historic citadel (Arg).
When we arrived here we were stunned at the tile work and grandness of this building, the oldest in Tehran at 400yrs old!
Beautifully landscaped and kept in the manner to which it should be we were free to walk around the buildings and gardens after paying for an assortment of tickets. Some of the buildings look newer and it was hard for me to reconcile that this was such an old building.
I loved the tile work at the best of times and this was no disappointment the intricacy of many of the paintings on them were breathtaking, especially as in Islam the depicting of people or animals is forbidden, I am so pleased that they state did not remove these.
One of my favourite and coolest buildings was the one where we descended some stairs into a basement which had been converted into a tea room with refreshing drinks.
Rayen Castle (Persian: ارگ راين Arg-e Rāyen) is an adobe castle in 100 Kilometers south of Kerman province, Iran. It is situated on the skirts of the mountain Haraz. The medieval mudbrick city of Rayen is similar to Arg-e Bam which was destroyed in an earthquake in December 2003.
Shazdeh Mahan Garden meaning Mahan Prince’s Garden is a historical Persian garden located near Mahan in Kerman province, Iran. The garden is 5.5 hectares with a rectangular shape and a wall around it.
About 2 hours drive out of Shiraz is another old city of Iran, Bishapur. Built by King Shapur (the second Sassanid King)it lies on the river Shapur and very close to Persepolis. The City itself is a cross of Persian Roman architecture, and the city consisted of a super castle perched up on the side of the mountain, and hills and hills of excavated ruins. Along with several bas-relief of the king and his battle.
one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever seen is Anahita’s temple, which was a massive, very tidy stone courtyard 7 meters underground where there would have been a pool for worshippers. I’ve never seen an old city with something so big and open below the level of the land, and it was so well constructed with massive stone blocks that fitted together almost without mortar. A square corridor around it disappeared underground. It would have been a beautiful building and a beautiful pool, but the fact that it was so complete and intact and underground as well (the underground bit was what allowed it to be intact) were quite amazing!
We hired a car and driver for the day and had the most amazing and solitary trip once outside in the open. although I am wearing a headscarf in one image it was not because I had to at that point. Again with no one around we could dispatch our scarves. The one thing I did wear it for was to cover my head from the relentless sun, so not always is it a law but a genuine practicality!
The Vank Cathedral was one of the first churches to be established in Isfahan by Armenian immigrants settled by Shah Abbas I after the Ottoman War of 1603-05.
Church construction is believed to have begun in 1606, and completed with major alterations to design between 1655 and 1664 under the supervision of Archbishop David.
Vank means “cathedral” in the Armenian language.
The cathedral has greatly influenced the architecture and decorative treatment of many subsequent and smaller Orthodox churches in the entire Persian-Mesopotamian region.
Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque is located in the city of Shiraz, and was built in Qajar era by Nasir Al-Mulk. This mosque has two eastern and western bedchambers, and the eastern one has a tiled altar accompanied with 12 columns and windows with colorful glasses.
In autumn and winter seasons when sunlight shines through the colorful glasses, it presents as exemplary beauty to the interior of the bedchamber, making this mosque outstandingly aesthetical among other mosques of Iran. The tiling and paintings of the bedchambers are of exceptional beauty as well.
I have seen Stained glass work in many architectural buildings, however the stained glass in The Nasir ol Mulk Mosque is Exceptional.