Before 1935 it was officially known as “Persian Empire.” In 1935 the official name changed to “Iran” and after 1979 Islamic Revolution, the official name was changed to “Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI)”
Iran is a country with the total area of 1,648,195 sq. km (636,372 sq. mi) (18th) and 31 provinces. Iran has borders with 10 countries: Armenia, Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Iraq, Kazakhstan*, Nagorno-Karabakh Republic, Russia*, Pakistan, Turkey, and Turkmenistan (*Across Caspian Sea). Iran has a total population of 79,115,000 (2016 estimate) (18th). The largest cities (2011 National Census) are Tehran: 8,154,051, Mashhad: 2,749,374, Isfahan: 1,756,126, Karaj: 1,614,626, and Tabriz: 1,494,988.
The climate is interesting and in winters with a just about 1-hour flight you can travel from a region with -20°C to a region with +30°C temperature.
A few facts about Iran are as follows:
The World 2nd largest natural gas reserves (after Russia), The World 4th largest oil reserves (2nd OPEC oil exporter), and The World 6th largest precious mineral reserves.
Iran is also well known for:
- Best caviar in the world
- Best hand-woven carpets in the world (“Persian Carpet”)
- Best saffron in the world
- Best pistachio
- High-quality rice
- High-quality tea
IRAN-AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION
The history of Iran, commonly also known as “Persia” since ancient time in the Western world, is intertwined with the history of a larger region, also to an extent known as Greater Iran, comprising the area from Anatolia, the Bosphorus, and Egypt in the west to the borders of Ancient India and Syr Darya in the east, and from the Caucasus and the Eurasian Steppe in the north to the Persian Gulf and the Gulf of Oman in the south.
Iran is home to one of the world’s oldest continuous major civilizations, with historical and urban settlements dating back to 4000 BC. In 2500 B.C. the first small wave of Arian migration (Indo-Aryan) to Persia and the beginning of the distinction between Indo-European tribes started. The time period for the second Mass Aryan migration wave is assigned to roughly 2000-1000 B.C. The Aryans gave Persia its historical name: Airyana, “The land of the Aryans” from which the name “Iran/Aryan” comes. Arian Tribes who emigrated to the west became the ancestors of Greeks and people who chose east as their destination came to be known as Indo-Iranians. Aryan (Arian) means “noble” or “honorable”. It is widely held to have been used as an ethnic self-designation of the Iranians. When the Arians finally took over most of the Persian plateau they started organizing their domains. Small cities, headed by local mayors, and each independent of each other with almost no unity. This method soon proved useless, especially under the constant attack of new masters of Mesopotamia, Assyrians. Slowly, the Iranian tribes re-organized themselves into united kingdoms.
The Medes unified Iran as a nation and empire in 625 BC. The Achaemenid Empire (550–330 BC), founded by Cyrus the Great, was the first of the Persian empires to rule from the Balkans to North Africa and also Central Asia, spanning three continents, from their seat of power in Persis (Persepolis). It was the largest empire yet seen and the first world empire. They were succeeded by the Seleucid Empire, the Parthians and the Sasanians who governed Iran for almost 1,000 years, and would put Iran once again as the leading powers in the world, only this time amongst their arch rival, the Roman Empire and the successive Byzantine Empire.
Once a major empire of superpower proportions, having conquered far and wide, Iran has endured invasions too, by the Greeks, Arabs, Turks, and the Mongols. Iran has continually reasserted its national identity throughout the centuries and has developed as a distinct political and cultural entity.
The Islamic conquest of Persia (633–656) ended the Sasanians and was a turning point in Iranian history. Islamicization in Iran took place during 8th to 10th century and led to the eventual decline of the Zoroastrian religion in Persia, as well as many of its dependencies. However, the achievements of the previous Persian civilizations were not lost, but were to a great extent absorbed by the new Islamic polity and civilization.
Iran was once again reunified as an independent state in 1501 by the Safavid dynasty which established Shi’a Islam as the official religion of their empire, marking one of the most important turning points in the history of Islam. Functioning again as a leading power, this time amongst their neighboring Ottoman arch rival for centuries, Iran had been a monarchy ruled by a shah, or emperor, almost without interruption from 1501 until the 1979 Iranian revolution, when Iran officially became an Islamic Republic on 1 April 1979.
Over the course of the first half of the 19th century Iran lost many of its territories in the Caucasus (which it had been ruling intermittently encompassed for millennia), comprising modern day Eastern Georgia, Dagestan, Azerbaijan, and Armenia, to its rapidly expanding and emerged neighboring rival the Russian Empire, following the Russo-Persian War (1804-1813) and Russo-Persian War (1826-1828).
Persia was a power house of academic knowledge in ancient times. They were leaders in astronomy, medicine, mathematics, literature and philosophy. Throughout the millenniums of invasions and conquests, Persians have been tough enough to live through it and repel the invaders. Even during Middle Ages Persia produced the best scholars in the world in all fields of science. One of them was Avicenna and his “Canon of Medicine” was the leading textbook in medical science in the world and is very much respected even until modern times, he is still considered by many to be the “Father of Modern Medicine”.
Persian emperors of the 6th century BC are among the first to make a display of lavish floor coverings. Hand-woven Persian carpets and rugs were regarded as objects of high artistic and utilitarian value and prestige from the first time they were mentioned by ancient Greek writers, until today. Carpets woven in towns and regional centers like Tabriz, Kerman, Mashhad, Kashan, Isfahan, Nain and Qom are characterized by their specific weaving techniques and use of high-quality materials, colours and patterns. Carpet weaving still plays a major part in the economy of modern Iran.
Iran exports 150,000 to 200,000 tons of pistachios annually. There is no doubt that Iranian pistachio has the best taste and maximum nutrition. Iranian pistachios have a world-famous taste that is unrivalled. The English name pistachio is derived from “Pisteh”, which is a Persian name. Pistachio nuts are intertwined with Iranian culture and are actually present in all facets of Iranian life. For Iranians no festivities and feasts can be held without pistachio nuts as well as other nuts like walnuts, almond, raisin, hazelnuts, etc. The special climate of Kerman province is the only best place for growing pistachios.
Iran is the second largest economy in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region after Saudi Arabia, with an estimated Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2015 of US$393.7 billion. It also has the second largest population of the region after Egypt, with an estimated 78.8 million people in 2015. Iran’s economy is characterized by a large hydrocarbon sector, small scale agriculture and services sectors, and a noticeable state presence in manufacturing and financial services. Iran ranks second in the world in natural gas reserves and fourth in proven crude oil reserves. Economic activity and government revenues still depend to a large extent on oil revenues and therefore remain volatile. Iran is a very safe country and the safest country of all the countries of the region.
Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 9 million in the city and 16 million in the wider metropolitan area. Tehran is the largest city of Iran and the 2nd-largest city in Western Asia, and the 3rd-largest in the Middle East. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.
Tehran was first chosen as the capital of Iran by Agha Mohammad Khan of the Qajar dynasty in 1796, in order to remain within close reach of Iran’s territories in the Caucasus, before being separated from Iran as a result of the Russo-Persian Wars, and to avoid the vying factions of the previously ruling Iranian dynasties. The capital has been moved several times throughout the history, and Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran.
The city was the seat of the Qajars and Pahlavis, the two last imperial dynasties of Iran. It is home to many historical collections, such as the royal complexes of Golestan, Sa’dabad, and Niavaran, as well as the country’s most important governmental buildings of the modern period.
Large scale demolition and rebuilding began in the 1920s, and Tehran has been a destination for the mass migrations from all over Iran since the 20th century.
The most famous landmarks of the city include the Azadi Tower, a memorial built during the Pahlavi period, and the Milad Tower, the world’s 17th tallest freestanding structure which was built in 2007. Tabiat Bridge, which was completed in 2014, is considered the third symbol of the city.
The majority of the people of Tehran are Persian-speaking people, and roughly 99% of the population understand and speak Persian; but there are also large populations of other Iranian ethnicities in the city such as Azerbaijanis, Armenians, Lurs, and Kurds who speak Persian as their second language.
Tehran is served by the Mehrabad and Khomeini international airports, a central railway station, the rapid transit rail system of the Tehran Metro, as well as a trolleybus and a BRT system, and has a huge network of highways. Location of Tehran makes both land travel and air travel easily accessible.
GETTING HERE AND GETTING AROUND IN TEHRAN
Tehran is one of the 10 largest cities in the world. There are many forms of transportation to use. The metropolis of Tehran enjoys a huge network of highways (280 km) and of interchanges’ ramps & loops (180km). In 2007 there were 130 kilometers of highways and 120 kilometers of ramps and loops under construction. The city has a wide line of buses and has experienced BRT lines from 2007 in from east side to west. There is a huge amount of Taxis and many Taxi agencies in Tehran. Many people prefer buses and taxis in the city which provide good transportation and are affordable to use.
In 2001 a metro system that had been in planning since the 1970s opened the first two of seven envisaged lines. Development of the Tehran metro system had been interrupted by the Islamic Revolution and the Iran-Iraq War. The metro is a clean and affordable means of transportation in Tehran. The Tehran Metro is a rapid transit system serving Tehran, the capital of Iran. The system consists of four operational metro lines (and a fifth commuter rail line), with construction begun on a further two lines in 2007.
The Tehran Metro carries more than 3 million passengers a day. In 2014, 815 million trips were made on Tehran Metro. As of 2015, the total system was 170 kilometers (110 mi) long, 127 kilometers (79 mi) of which it metro-grade rail. It is planned to have a length of 430 kilometers (270 mi) with 9 lines once all construction is complete by 2028. On all days of the week, the Metro service runs from approximately 05:30 to 23:00.
The line uses standard gauge and is partly underground. Ticket price is 5000 IRR for each journey (about USD 0.15), regardless of the distance traveled, but using prepaid tickets costs much less. Seniors may travel for free on the metro. On all Tehran metro trains the first, the second, and the last carriages are reserved for women who do not wish to ride with men in the same car. Women can still ride other cars freely.
Tehran also has a central train station with connecting services round the clock to various cities in the country. There are four bus terminals that also provide connections at low fares. These are the South, East, West, and Bei-haghi Park-Drive Terminals.
While the center of the city houses the government ministries and headquarters, the commercial centers are more located toward Valiasr Street, Taleghani Ave, and Beheshti Ave further north. Although administratively separate, Rey, Shemiran, and Karaj are often considered part of the larger Tehran metropolitan area.
Tehran is served by Mehrabad Airport, the old airport which doubles as a military base located in the western part of the city, and Imam Khomeini International Airport, 30 kilometres (19 miles) south, which handles flights from the Persian Gulf but which will eventually handle all international flights.
Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport, also known as Tehran-IKIA or IKIA, is the main international airport of Iran, located 30 kilometers (19 mi) southwest of the city of Tehran, near the localities of Robat-Karim and Eslamshahr, on a 13,500-hectare (135 km2) site. It was designed to replace Mehrabad International Airport, which is in the west of the city, now inside the city boundaries. The airport was originally designated as Ahmadabad but was later renamed to “Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport”. It is capable of handling wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A380 super heavy aircraft.
The airport, operated by the Iranian Airports Holding Company, is the home base of Iran Air, Meraj Airlines, Mahan Air, Iran Aseman Airlines, Qeshm Airlines, Taban Air, and Zagros Airlines. As of August 2014, Imam Khomeini International Airport serves more than 40 airlines operating over 850 of weekly flights connecting Tehran to cities in over 30 countries and territories worldwide.
Tehran Mehrabad Airport is an airport that serves Tehran, Iran. It was the primary airport of Tehran in both international and domestic passenger traffic but has been replaced by the new Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport for most of its international traffic. Mehrabad however is still by far the busiest airport in Iran in terms of passenger traffic and aircraft movements, handling 13,617,094 passengers in 2014. It is capable of handling wide-body aircraft such as the Boeing 747 and Airbus A340-600. Besides, it is also being used for all the Air transports for the Heads of State and Government of Iran, which operates by Meraj Airlines in the VIP’s and CIP’s Terminal.
Travelling to Iran is easily accessible and almost all airlines fly regularly to Iran. The list of the airlines in operation that offer scheduled service to people travelling to Iran are as follows: Air France, Turkish Airlines, Lufthansa, Etihad Airways, Qatar Airways, Oman Air, Fly Dubai, Emirates, and Alitalia.
HISTORY OF DERMATOLOGY IN IRAN
Approximately 3000 years ago, the Avesta (religious book of the Zoroastrians) included the clinical features of diseases such as scabies, leprosy, and vitiligo. During the Islamic era, Zakarya Razi, also known as Rhazes(ad 865–929), and Abu-Ali Sina, also known as Avicenna (ad 980–1037), described many cutaneous diseases.
The establishment of modern medicine in Iran was marked by the opening of Tehran University in 1934. The late Dr. Mohammad Ali Maleki founded the university’s first dermatology department in 1939 in Razi Hospital.
DERMATOLOGY AND TRAINING RESEARCH IN IRAN
Currently, all Iranian medical schools offer a 4-week dermatology rotation. 4-year Dermatology residency training program has been established in 11 universities. 10 dermatology related research centers are present. There are about 40 newly-graduated dermatologists every year.
SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH GROWTH IN IRAN
Iran has achieved a rapid scientific growth in the past two decades. Iran’s scientific output rose 18 folds between 1996 and 2008, from 736 published papers to 13,238. (Coghlan A. Iran is top of the world in science growth. NewScientist 2011. )
RESEARCH IN DERMATOLOGY
Considerable growth in the number of publications by Iranian dermatologists in recent years. From January 1964 to December 2004: 153 MEDLINE-indexed papers from Iran was identified. The three most frequently published topics were leishmaniasis (41 articles), Behcet’s disease (16), and dermatitis (8).
Firoozabadi MR, Firooz A, Gorouhi F, Dowlati Y. Iran’s contribution to the dermatology literature. Int J Dermatol 2007 Jun; 46(6):659-60.
It can be well concluded that the contribution of modern Iranian dermatology scientists to the global literature has significantly improved during the past decades.
ORGANZER OF THE CONGRESS: CENTER FOR RESEARCH AND TRAINING IN SKIN DISEASES AND LEPROSY (CRTSDL): THE FIRST DERMATOLOGY RESEARCH CENTER IN IRAN
Center for Research and Training in Skin Diseases and Leprosy (CRTSDL) is an affiliation of Tehran University of Medical Sciences (TUMS) – the first and largest medical university in Iran founded in 1934- located in an area close to the university main campus at the center of the city of Tehran. This center is devoted to research and educational activities on various aspects of skin diseases. CRTSDL is the oldest and biggest skin research center in Iran established in 1992 by Professor Yahya Dowlati, the director of the center.
The team working at the center is composed of physicians including dermatologists, dermato-pathologists, pharmacists, general practitioners, immunologists, basic science experts, research fellows, nurses, technicians, a librarian, and administrative staff. Physicians working in the center are trained in Good Clinical Practice (GCP) and the team has the potential to implement phase I to phase IV clinical trials, and to study pharmaceutical, cosmeceutical and hygienic skin products applied in dermatology using biometrological methods and cellular, molecular and pharmacological studies.
INTERNATIONAL CONGRESSES HELD BY CRTSDL:
The last congress held by CRTSDL was the International Congress of Dermatology, Cosmetic and laser as a regional meeting of ISD and in collaboration with ESLD Tehran on 15-17 April 2016, which 43 speakers from 16 countries participated in it. .
WORDS OF APPRECIATION FROM THE SPEAKERS OF THE 2016 INTERNATIONAL CONGRESS OF DERMATOLOGY, COSMETIC & LASER
- I would like to express my deep appreciation and thankfulness to you and all the people who were involved in the preparation of the congress about all you have done for my colleagues and me. Also I want to express my deep appreciation and respect to the other doctors and all other Iranians who have participated in such a wonderful congress. And to your welcome, hospitality, and the generous respect and behaviourto me and my colleagues. Your country is a great country and you are great people. (Dr. Ihsan Ali Muhsin Al-Turfy, Consultant Dermatologist and lecturer at the college of Medicine/University of Baghdad.)
- Thank you all for the fabulous congress and outstanding hospitality. (Dr. Venkataram Mysore, Director of Venkat Charmalaya, Centre for Advanced Dermatology and Postgraduate training, Accredited to Rajeev Gandhi University of Health Sciences, Bangalore, India.)
- Wonderful meeting you all. Great meeting, outstanding hospitality and a great feeling to meet old friends and new. (Dr. Shyam Verma, MBBS, DVD, FAAD, FRCP (London) is a practicing dermatologist in Vadodara, India.)
- I do not have proper words to express my gratitude. Dr. Dowlati was the host par excellence. (Dr. Koushik Lahiri, MBBS, DVD(CAL), FIAD, FFAADV, MRCPS(Glasgow), FRCP(Edin), Editor, Indian Journal ofDermatology ,Director, International Society of Dermatology.)
- Thank you very much for inviting me to this wonderful meeting and your warm hospitality. I am going back with lots of happy memories. We missed seeing Isfahan and Shiraz but hope to be back again. Congratulations on the success of the meeting. (Dr. Rashmi Sarkar, MD MNAMS, is Professor of Dermatology at Maulana Azad Medical College and Associated LN Hospital, New Delhi, India.)
- We are back home with marvellous memories from your wonderful country and your wonderful team. You really made our stay unforgettable. (Dr. Nejib Doss, Professor of Dermatology, Head of the department of Dermatology in the Military Hospital of Tunis, Coordinator of the Arab Psoriasis Network.)
- It was a great pleasure to visit your clinic and meet so many colleagues!
The trip to Shiraz and beyond was amazing. Thank you so much for spending time with me in Tehran and we too look forward to collaborations and a visit by you in the future. (Professor Neil H Shear, MD, FRCPC, FACP, the Chair of Dermatology at the University of Toronto, Canada and Head of Dermatology at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre in Toronto.)
- I would really like to thank you for organizing this conference. Our guests had a wonderful time and nothing but good things to say about Tehran. (Dr. Martin Kassir, MD, FAAD, Board Certified in Dermatology, Executive Director Worldwide Laser Institute, Board of Directors, International Society of Dermatology.)
- I am back home after a wonderful staying in Iran. Thank you very much for your invitation and for your great hospitality. Congratulations for you and for all your colleagues for the successful congress. I look forward to seeing you and collaborating with you in Iran or Tunisia. (Dr. Mourad Mokni, Professor of Dermatology in Tunis, Tunisia.)
- I am very grateful for your kind attention to my comfort and enjoyment while in Tehran. I was again impressed with the generous hospitality, warmth of your colleagues and sophistication of dermatology in your country. It was really a pleasure to attend your meeting and deepen the relationships I have with you and faculty. Thank you again for inviting me and I hope I can return the favor in the future. (Dr. George Reizner, MD, Professor of Dermatology, University of Wisconsin, Department of Dermatology.)
- Many thanks again for the invitation and the enjoyable times and more than happy to collaborate on valuable projects or exchange students if possible. (Dr. Kiarash Khosrotehrani, Experimental Dermatology Group Leader, The University of Queensland Centre for Clinical Research, The University of Queensland Diamantina Institute.)
- It was a great meeting and the academic agenda was great. I am always glad to participate. I just wanted to say it was a great stay in Tehran and I look forward to being back soon with my wife Susan. I appreciate all you and your staff’s care, hospitality and kindness. (Dr. David A. Mehregan, M.D. is Professor of Dermatology at Wayne State University, Department of Dermatology in Detroit, Michigan.)
- Thanks a lot for the excellent organization of this successful meeting. It was a great pleasure to meet you all again. The development of clinical research in Iran is a very important project and I am confident that your Research center will play a leading role. If the FRT may be of help through the Psoriasis International Network or the dermatology portal it would be a great honor for us. (Prof. Louis Dubertret, Emeritus Professor of Dermatology, University of Paris VII, Honorary Chairman of the Dermatology Department, Hospital Saint Louis)
- I wish to thank you for the superb arrangements and for going well beyond the call of duty to make this a most memorable trip. The conference was very well-organized and I thoroughly enjoyed participating in it. Once again, I would like to express my sincere thanks for the wonderful trip. (Dr. Noufal Raboobee, MBChB (Natal), FFDerm (South Africa), Dermatologist.)
- Thank you very much for your hospitality and excellent organization. I had a wonderful time in Iran. I really felt at home. (Dr. Hayder Al-Hamamy, Professor of Dermatology, Head of the Department of Dermatology /College of Medicine/ University of Baghdad.)
- Dear Dr Dowlati and the organizers of the conference: I really enjoyed it and this was one of the best conferences I had in my academic career. I made lots of good friends for future collaboration. Thanks again and hope to see you all again in near future. (Dr. Ali Nokhodchi, PharmD, PhD, Professor of Pharmaceutics and Drug Delivery, School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, UK.)
PRE AND POST-CONGRESS TOURS
Iran is a historical country and 10% of the World historic attractions are located in Iran. Tours for Tehran, Isfahan, Shiraz, Yazd, Caspian Sea, Kish Island, etc., will be arranged before and after the congress for those who are interested too visit these magnificent places.
Tehran is a wonderful city and there are plenty of fun things to do in Tehran.
There are many cultural places to visit in Tehran including Golestan Palace, Niyavaran Palace Complex, Sa’dabad Palace Complex, Saheb Gharani-e Palace, Tabiat (Nature) Bridge, Bagh-e Ferdows, Tehran’s Bird Garden, Carpet Museum, Jewelry Museum, National Museum of Iran, and Milad Tower.
There are many modern shopping malls in Tehran such as Palladium, Kourosh Complex, Elahiyeh Modern Shopping Mall, Tiraje Shopping Mall, and Tandis Shopping Mall.
The Grand Bazaar is an old historical market in Tehran located at the Arg Square in Southern Tehran, it is split into several corridors over 10 km in length, each specializing in different types of goods and has several entrances, with the main being the entrance of Sabze Meydan.
Cafes and Restaurants
There are a lot of beautiful traditional and modern cafes and restaurants with amazing Iranian and international food. Nayeb, Alighapoo, Dizi, Daloon-e-Deraz, Gilac and Gilaneh are among the best traditional restaurants. There are also a lot of great modern cafes and restaurants such as Nayeb restaurant and Milad tower revolving restaurant.
Many famous parks are located in Tehran. Chitgar Park, Laleh Park, Jamshidiyeh Mountain Park, Honarmandan (Artists) Park, Ab-o-Atash (Fire and Water Park), Mellat Park, and Daneshju Park.
Sports such as mountain climbing, rock climbing, ski, bowling and bungee jumping are available in Tehran. Tehran is geographically located in the southern slopes of Alborz Mountains. In the north of Tehran there are some beautiful mountains to ascend, Tochal (~4000m), Kolakchal, etc. Also the local access of Tehran to Alborz Mountains is a brilliant advantage. You could access easily to Damavand (highest mountain of Iran, 5600m).Thehigh mountains near Tehran provide good days for Ski at Tochal Ski Complex, Shemshak and Dizin Ski complex.
Shiraz is the fifth most populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province (Old Persian as Pârsâ). Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. It is regarded as one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia.
The earliest reference to the city, as Tiraziš, is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters, due to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. It was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1800. Two famous poets of Iran, Hafez and Saadi, are from Shiraz, whose tombs are on the north side of the current city boundaries.
The Nasir ol Molk Mosque also known as the Pink Mosque, is a traditional mosque in Shiraz. It is located at the district of Gowad-e-Arabān, near Mosque. The mosque includes extensive colored glass in its facade, and displays other traditional elements such as the Panj Kāse (“five concaved”) design. It is named in popular culture as the Pink Mosque, due to the usage of considerable pink color tiles for its interior design.
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, wine and flowers. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to the many gardens and fruit trees that can be seen in the city, for example EramGarden. Shiraz has had major Jewish and Christian communities. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; pile carpet-weaving and weaving of kilim, called gilim and jajim in the villages and among the tribes. In Shiraz industries such as cement production, sugar, fertilizers, textile products, wood products, metalwork and rugs dominate. The Eram Garden (Bagh-e Eram) in Shiraz is a striking location for visitors with a variety of plants as well as a historic mansion. Other historical Persian gardens are Afifabad Garden and The Museum of Weapons, Delgosha Garden and Jahan Nama Garden.
The citadel of Arg of Karim Khan sits adjacent to the Vakil Bazaar and Vakil Bath at the city’s central district. The most famous of houses are Zinat-ol-Molook House and Gahavam’s House, both in the old quarters of the city. The Qur’an Gate is the entrance to Shiraz.
Within a relatively short driving distance from Shiraz are the ruins of Persepolis, Bishapur, Pasargadae, and Firouzabad. At Naqsh-e Rostam can be found the tombs of the Achaemenid kings as well as the Ka’ba-ye Zartosht, which has been thought to be either a Zoroastrian fire temple or possibly even the true tomb of Cyrus the Great. Maharloo Lake is a popular breeding ground for various bird species. Naqsh-e Rostam site contains funerary related works belonging to the Elamite (second millennium BCE), Achaemenid (550–330 BCE) and Sassanid (226–651 CE) eras. Naqsh-e Rostam is a site believed by archaeologists to have been a cemetery for Persepolis, where Achaemenid, Parthian and Sassanid royalty were laid to rest.
Isfahan Esfahān historically also rendered in English as Ispahan, Sepahan, Esfahan or Hispahan, is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 kilometres (211 miles) south of Tehran.
Isfahan is located on the main north–south and east–west routes crossing Iran, and was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Even today, the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Persian–Islamic architecture, with many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. This led to the Persian proverb “Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast” (Isfahan is half of the world).
The Naghsh-e Jahan Square in Isfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world and an outstanding example of Iranian and Islamic architecture. It has been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The city also has a wide variety of historic monuments and is known for the paintings, history and architecture.
Isfahan City Center is also the 5th largest shopping mall in the world, which is located in this city, mixing the traditional isfahanian architecture with the modern one.
Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is one of the architectural masterpieces of Safavid Iranian architecture, standing on the eastern side of Naghsh-e Jahan Square. Construction of the mosque started in 1603 and was finished in 1619. It was built by the chief architect Shaykh Bahai, during the reign of Shah Abbas I of the Safavid dynasty.
Chehel Sotoun (literally: “Forty Columns”) is a pavilion in the middle of a park at the far end of a long pool, in Isfahan, built by Shah Abbas II to be used for his entertainment and receptions. In this palace, Shah Abbas II and his successors would receive dignitaries and ambassadors, either on the terrace or in one of the stately reception halls.
The name, meaning “Forty Columns” in Persian, was inspired by the twenty slender wooden columns supporting the entrance pavilion, which, when reflected in the waters of the fountain, are said to appear to be forty.
As with Ali Qapu, the palace contains many frescoes and paintings on ceramic. Many of the ceramic panels have been dispersed and are now in the possession of major museums in the west. The Chehel Sotoun Palace is among the 9 Iranian Gardens which are collectively registered as one of the Iran’s 17 registered World Heritage Sites under the name of the Persian Garden.
Ali Qapu is a grand palace in Isfahan, Iran. It is located on the western side of the Naqsh-e Jahan Square, opposite Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, and had been originally designed as a vast portal. It is forty-eight meters high and there are seven floors, each accessible by a difficult spiral staircase. In the sixth floor, Music Hall, deep circular niches are found in the walls, having not only aesthetic value, but also acoustic. Ali Qapu is rich in naturalistic wall paintings by Reza Abbasi, the court painter of Shah Abbas I, and his pupils. There are floral, animal, and bird motifs in his works. From the upper galleries, the Safavid ruler watched Chowgan (polo), maneuvers and the horse-racing opposite the square of Naqsh-e Jahan.The palace is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 rials banknote.
Yazd is the capital of Yazd Province, Iran. The city is located 270 km (170 mi) southeast of Esfahan. Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd has a unique Persian architecture. It is nicknamed the city of windcatchers (Shahr-e Badgirha) because of its ancient Persian windcatchers. It is also very well known for its Zoroastrian fire temples, ab anbars, qanats, yakhchals, Persian handicrafts, silk weaving, and its high quality Yazdi confectionery. Dowlat Abad Garden and Amir Chakhmaq Complex are among the main sights in Yazd.
THE CASPIAN SEA
The Caspian Sea is the largest enclosed inland body of water on Earth by area, variously classed as the world’s largest lake or a full-fledged sea. It is in an endorheic basin (it has no outflows) located between Europe and Asia. It is bounded to the northeast by Kazakhstan, to the northwest by Russia, to the west by Azerbaijan, to the south by Iran, and to the southeast by Turkmenistan.
In Persian antiquity, as well as in modern Iran, it is known as the Mazandaran Sea; it is also sometimes referred to as Daryā-e Xazar in Iran. Ancient Arabic sources refer to it as Baḥr Gīlān) meaning “the Gilan Sea”
Kish is a 91.5-square-kilometre (35.3 sq mi) resort island in the Persian Gulf. It is part of the Hormozgān Province of Iran. Due to its free trade zone status it is touted as a consumer’s paradise, with numerous malls, shopping centers, tourist attractions, and resort hotels. It has an estimated population of 26,000 residents and about 1 million people visit the island annually.
Kish Island was ranked among the world’s 10 most beautiful islands by The New York Times in 2010, and is the fourth most visited vacation destination in Southwest Asia after Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and Sharm el-Sheikh. Foreign nationals wishing to enter Kish Free Zone from legal ports are not required to obtain visas prior to travel. Valid travel permits are stamped for 14 days by airport and Kish port police officials.