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Sightseeing in Mashhad - what to see. Complete travel guide

Mashhad is a sacred city for all followers of Shia Islam. This settlement is a center of religious pilgrimage – numerous people come to visit the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza. Besides that, this is the second-largest city in Iran and home to many other attractions, such as various mausoleums and tombs. There are interesting landmarks in both Mashhad and its neighborhoods. Leisure tourists find it exceptionally interesting to see the new sculptures that local people make every year. Talented sculptors gather together to compete in a tournament for the best sculpture. The winner’s work is then installed on one of the major streets of the city. That being said, there are no losers in this tournament because other works are placed in parks and squares in Mashhad.
Starting from its inception and for many years, Mashhad was an important political, cultural, and religious center. In 818, the eighth Shia imam Ali ibn Musa al-Ridha died in a small village called Sanabad near the city of Tus. The great leader was poisoned and martyred here. The term “martyrium” sounds like “Mashhad” in Arabic, so this is where the name of this city came from. Later, people decided to immortalize the holy place and built a mausoleum on this site. When Tus was destroyed, the village started developing quickly, turning into a large city called Mashhad.
The first mention of this settlement as the city of Mashhad dates back to the 10th century – famous geographer Al-Maqdisi used this name in his books. Starting from that time, this settlement has become a holy Shia Islam city and the major center of pilgrimage. During its long history, the sacred Iranian city had different rulers, and each new period made its impact on the culture and lifestyle of the region. In different years, Arabian, Ottoman, Mongol, and Afghan people governed here. In 2009, then-President of the country declared Mashhad the “spiritual capital of Iran”. Copyright www.orangesmile.com
Would you like to see the main sacred shrine of Shia Islam? Mashhad is home to an important architectural complex and the major pilgrimage destination - the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza. This mausoleum includes the tomb where the spiritual leader was buried, as well as numerous buildings such as the mosque, libraries, museum, and cemetery. In the cemetery, there are tombs of the rulers of Mashhad and keepers of the shrine. The first sacred building in the complex, which was the foundation of the future shrine, was built at the end of the eleventh century exactly on the site where the eighth imam was buried.
In modern time, the Holy Shrine of Imam Reza is the main center of pilgrimage in Iran. Every year, the gates of the complex welcome twenty million pilgrims from different parts of the world. People come here to pray, perform sacred rituals, and get a blessing from great Imam Reza. Even though only Muslim people can enter the complex, the city’s government and clerics make exceptions when there are many visitors and pilgrims.
When visiting the Mausoleum of Imam Reza, many tourists don’t forget to see the exhibition of the museum. This museum is recognized as the main cultural establishment in Mashhad. The city’s authorities and civilians make donations to the museum every year to keep the venue in good condition. There is an art gallery on the first floor of the wonderful building. Visitors can see masterpieces of talented artists of the past and works of modern Iranian painters here.
Go to the second floor to visit a fabulous carpet museum. The collection of this museum features different items including absolutely unexpected works, for example, the carpet portrait of Kaiser Wilhelm II. Go one more floor higher, and you will reach an interesting gallery dedicated to calligraphy. This gallery exhibits the most precious editions of the Quran. When looking at many of these gorgeous items, it is often hard to imagine that the age of many of them is several thousand years.
The Khajeh Rabi Mausoleum is one more sacred place in Mashhad that is worth visiting. Outside, this is a harmonious building with a gorgeous blue-colored cupola. The tower got its modern look in 1612. This is when skillfully made calligraphic inscriptions by Ali Riza Abbasi decorated the tower. An old cemetery with approximately one thousand old tombs surrounds the mausoleum.
There is an international airport in Mashhad that serves flights from the biggest Iranian cities such as Tehran, Isfahan, and Shiraz. It is also possible to get to the sacred Shia Islam city from such destinations as Dubai, Bishkek, Beirut, Dushanbe, Almaty, and Istanbul. If you want to travel by train, there is a train to Mashhad from Tehran. In this case, however, the journey time will be from nine to fourteen hours long.

City tours, excursions and tickets in Mashhad and surroundings

Reference information
Map of all shopping areas
Shopping streets in Mashhad
♥   Shopping area ' Ahmad Abad Avenue' Mashhad, 5.5 km from the center. On the map   Photo
♥   Shopping area ' Sajad Boulevard' Mashhad, 8.7 km from the center. On the map   Photo

Sightseeing in Iran: things to see

The Persian culture suffered a major decline in the 7th century when the country’s army was defeated by Arabian conquerors. The Islamisation of the country started in 632. Naturally, this factor has seriously changed the country’s culture. Art and medicine were rapidly developing in the first half of the 7th century, and philosophy and literature also got an impressive boost. This period marks the start of the so-called ”The Golden Age of Islam”, and great achievements of that period impress people even nowadays. … Open
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Sightseeing in regions nearby Mashhad

All about Mashhad, Iran - sightseeings, attractions, touristic spots, architecture, history, culture and cuisine. Prepare your trip together with OrangeSmile.com - find out the 'must see' things in Mashhad, which places to visit, which excursions to take, where the breathtaking views are waiting for you. Planning your trip with this travel guide will help your to get the most out of Mashhad in few days.
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