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World Heritage in Iran

Iran is a vast land with a long history of civilization and significantcontributions to the entirety of human civilization. In a span of severalthousand years, many wondrous monuments have been created in Iran; monuments thatwould make us stand in awe and wonder, watching for hours and hours. In 1979,Iran joined the UNESCO World Heritage Convention —three years after itsadoption in 1972. Three monuments in Iran were registered in UNESCO WorldHeritage List in the same year. As of 2009, Ten Iranian monuments areofficially registered as world heritage properties and several other monumentsare nominated for registration in the near future. Two Iranian manuscripts arealso nominated for registration in UNESCO Memory of the World List.

 

Persepolis
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It was one of the first Iranian sites to be registered in UNESCO World HeritageList. The Persepolis compound, known to Iranians as Takht-e Jamshid, is a veryremarkable example of ancient monuments of Iran. The structure is built in theancient city of Parseh which was built by the order of Daruis I the Great ofAchaemenid dynasty. Xerxes, his son and successor, built the Gate of AllNations and added a few other places to the city of Parseh and it was then thatPersepolis reached its legendary glory.

Today you can see the remains of the glorious Gate of All Nations on which theimages of the representatives of different nations are carved into the stone.As you walk up the stairs, stone carvings of humans, plants and animals stillcommunicate the ancient Persians’ ideals of Life, Peace and Beauty to you.

 

Tchoghazanbil
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TheTchoghaZanbil site holds the remains of the world’s largest ziggurat built inthe ancient Elamite city of Dur Untash. The site is located near Susa (Shush)in southwestern Iran. Constructed in about 1250 BC, the ziggurat temple wasdedicated to Elamite deity Ihushinak. The receding stairs of the ziggurat leadto a temple of the second millennium BC, where in the flashing of an eye onecan get immersed in a world of ancient mysteries. The site was added to UNESCOWorld Heritage List in 1979, in the same year Persepolis was registered.

 

Meidan-e Emam
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Known also as Naghsh-e Jahan, the square is a masterpiece of urban constructionsituated at the heart of the legendary city of Isfahan. Built in the 17thcentury CE by Shah Abbas of the Safavid dynasty at the time of flourishing ofIsfahan, the compound consists of bazaars, mosques and government headquarters.

Its name, Naqsh-e Jahan means “image of the world” in Persian. The compound hasbeen described as a Persian equivalent to Saint Mark’s in Venice. Two beautifulmosques of Masjed-e Imam and Masjed-e Sheikh Lotfullah situated at the sides ofthe square would charm your eyes with their intricate but simple design anddecoration. The Aliqapu compound situated on the other side of the square is asix-storey Safavid structure with exquisite design and decoration. The Naqsh-eJahan square was registered in UNESCO World Heritage List in 1979, togetherwith Chogha Zanbil and Persepolis.

Takht-e Soleyman
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Near the town of Takab in West Azarbaijan lies a unique memorial to Persianhistory, philosophy and art. The Takht-e Soleyman Complex comprises monumentsfrom the Sassanid (224-420 CE) to Il-Khan eras (13th century CE).     


There are remains of Sassanid royal architecture and a holy place where towsacred elements of Zoroastrian philosophy, fire and water, are broughttogether. This is the Azargoshasp Fire Temple, one the three largest firetemples of ancient Iran which was built for warriors. In Takht-e Soleymanyou’ll be an eye-witness to an enchanting, mysterious place whose name wasmentioned in several old documents and diaries.

Pasargadae
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Hereis the Holy Land of Pasargadae. The burial place of Cyrus The Great: thefounder of the Persian Empire, a man who denounced slavery and forced labor andbelieved in religious freedom, a monotheist of the ancient world who labored topromote goodness and justice as attested by the cuneiforms he ordered to bewritten on the Cyrus Cylinder in the ancient Babylonia.       

The site contains monuments from 5000 years ago as well as the ruins of severalroyal palaces, the trace of a royal garden and several towers. Pasargadae islocated a few kilometers away from the Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid). ThePasargadae complex was registered in UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004

 

Pasargadae
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Hereis the Holy Land of Pasargadae. The burial place of Cyrus The Great: thefounder of the Persian Empire, a man who denounced slavery and forced labor andbelieved in religious freedom, a monotheist of the ancient world who labored topromote goodness and justice as attested by the cuneiforms he ordered to bewritten on the Cyrus Cylinder in the ancient Babylonia.       

The site contains monuments from 5000 years ago as well as the ruins of severalroyal palaces, the trace of a royal garden and several towers. Pasargadae islocated a few kilometers away from the Persepolis (Takht-e Jamshid). ThePasargadae complex was registered in UNESCO World Heritage List in 2004

 

Warm Welcome
As an American I was somewhat concerned about visiting Iran, despite assurancesthat Americans are warmly welcomed. Indeed I was! My status as an American wasnever an issue and actually seemed to delight those who approached me. Nor wasmy gender a deterrent. Iranian women are full participants in society and withmy headscarf firmly in place, I was too. I had the privilege of visiting Iranin November 2006.    
 

Bam and its Cultural Landscape
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The horrible 2003 earthquake drew the attention of the world to Bam, the cityholding the world’s largest brick structure. The Arg-e Bam is spread on a landarea of about 20 hectares and its Cultural Landscape encompasses an area ofabout 492 hectares where you can find many palm groves, subterranean watercanals – the traditionally made aquaducts or Qanat in Persian--- and severalother natural attractions. In Arg-e Bam, several monuments from prehistoric timesto the Islamic era have been discovered. As you pass the gate of Bam, you stepto a silent city. With the help of your imagination, however, you can stillhear the sounds of life—the sounds of people in the streets, houses andcommerce buildings—for the echo is forever preserved in Bam’s clay buildings.         

Bam and its Cultural Landscape were registered in UNESCO World Heritage Listfollowing the devastating 2003 earthquake that destroyed over 90 percent of theclay structure.

Soltaniyeh
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Fortykilometers to the City of Zanjan lies Gonbad-e Soltanieh, the mausoleum ofIl-Khan ruler Oljeitu. The brick structure was created in mind-fourteenthcentury in Il-Khan capital city of Soltanieh.

This is the world’s highest brick dome. The dome is 50 meters high and itsoctagonal base is 25 meters wide. An interesting feature of the compound is tenthousand square meters of plaster-work and painting. A wide array of ornamentalworks such as plaster-work, tile-work, painting on plaster and mosaic wouldmeet the eye. Soltanieh is one of the world’s highest domes, along with SantaMaria dei Frari Church in Venice and Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul.

Bisotun
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Thirty kilometers east of Kermanshah lies Bisotun Mountain. In Bistun andnearby mountains you can see traces of human endeavor to record the history ofa nation. The site contains about 200 culturally significant monuments fromprehistoric times to Il-Khan period. Examples include a Median temple, a Mediancity, a Sassanid city and a Safavid caravanserai etc.       

The most important monument of the site, however, is an Achaemenid bas-reliefdepicting Darius The Great and a group of rebels. Under the bas-relief, thereis a large inscription dating back to 520 BC. The inscription, which is one ofthe world’s most famous and reliable historical documents, is a narration ofhistorical events during the reign of Darius I as well as the names of Iran’sneighboring countries and geographical regions of the time in three ancientlanguages. The rectangular cuneiform inscription is 21 meters long and 8 meterswide. This was the first cuneiform inscription to be translated to modernlanguages. Bisotun was registered in UNESCO World Heritage List in 2006.        
This is the world’s highest brick dome. The dome is 50 meters high and itsoctagonal base is 25 meters wide. An interesting feature of the compound is tenthousand square meters of plaster-work and painting. A wide array of ornamentalworks such as plaster-work, tile-work, painting on plaster and mosaic would meetthe eye. Soltanieh is one of the world’s highest domes, along with Santa Mariadei Frari Church in Venice and Hagia Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul.

 

Memory of the World and Intangible CulturalHeritage
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Memory of the World is a UNESCO program aiming at preservation anddissemination of valuable archive holdings and library collections worldwide.Two exquisite Iranian manuscripts, namely the Shahnameh Bayasonghori and Rab’I-Rashidi Endowment were registered in UNESCO Memory of the World List in June 2007.Duringthe meeting of The Inter-governmental Committee for the Safeguarding of theIntangible Heritage of the United Nations, held between 28 September – 2October 2009 in Abu Dhabi, Nowruz and The Radif of persian Music wereofficially registered on the UNESCO List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage ofHumanity.   

 

Baysanghori Shanhnameh:
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It is a copy of the Book of Kings or Shahnameh by famous Iranian poet Ferdowsimade in 1430 at the request of Prince Bayasanghor (1399-1433). The manuscriptis written Master Ja'far Bayasonghori, a renowned calligrapher of the Timuridera. The book is beautifully illuminated and illustrated. It has been publishedseveral times inside and outside Iran.     


The deed for endowment (Rab’ I-Rashidi):          

Deed written by Rashid al-Din (1247-1318), Persian statesman and historian whobuilt a huge complex on the outskirts of Tabriz comprising schools, hospitals,libraries, hammams, caravanserai, workshops, etc, known under the name of Rab’I-Rashidi.           
 

Nowruz: The greatest Iranian festival
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It is at least 3000 years the Iranian people celebrate the first day of spring–when the Sun enters the point of Vernal Equinox-- as the beginning of thePersian New Year. The Nowruz (lit. New Time) is one of the oldest nationalfestivals of Iran surviving to the present day. It has played a significantrole in helping preserve the continuity of the Persian culture.  
In spite of Iran's eventful history from 1000 BC to the present day, there isreason to believe that the celebration of Nowruz has not experienced anysignificant changes since the ancient times. It is thus a means of maintainingcultural concord among the people of Iranian plateau and the entirePersian-speaking world. Today, No wruz is celebrated in the same way in numerousparts of the globe. It is also revered by Iranians as a symbol of theirnational identity and cultural heritage.       
The legend says King Jamshid celebrated the rushing fires of spring after thelast glacial period was over. An account of this age is given in the Avesta:        
"There were ten months of winter there, and two months of summer, andthese were cold for the waters, cold for the earth, cold for the trees."       
The ancient people thought it was the best day of the year because it was a dayof renewal for the Nature.
Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet Omar Khayyam in his Noruz Namah (Thebook of Nowruz) writes that King Jamshid celebrated Noruz because of the Sun'sentry into the point of the Vernal Equinox.
In 534 BC, Cyrus the Great made Nowruz an official festival. The militaryofficers would receive promotions on Nowruz, the convicts would receive amnestyand the natural environment would be purified of pollutions.       
 

The Radif of Iranian music
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The classical music of Iran is based on the Radif, which is a collection of oldmelodies that have been handed down by the masters to the students through thegenerations. Over time, each master's own interpretation has shaped and addednew melodies to this collection, which may bear the master's name.
The preservation of these melodies greatly depended on each successivegenerations' memory and mastery, since the interpretive origin of this musicwas expressed only through the oral tradition.
To truly learn and absorb the essence of the Radif, many years of repetitionand practice are required. A master of the Radif must internalize the Radif socompletely to be able to perform any part of it at any given time.    
The Radif contains several different Maqam's which are distinguished from eachother by their relationship of note intervals and the form of the movement ofthe melodies within them. A Maqam portrays a specific sonic space. A Dastgahmay contain approximately from 10 to 30 gousheh's (melodies). The principleGousheh's of the Dastgah specify the different Gaqams within that Dastgah. Thenote, upon which the Gousheh is based and often is the center of the Gousheh,is called the Shahead. The Shahead moves when we modulate between principleGousheh's, and this movement creates a new sonic space. Rhythm in thesemelodies takes three different forms: symmetric, asymmetric(lang), and freeform. The rhythm is greatly influenced by the rhythm and meter of the Persianpoetry. The instrumental and vocal Radif are different from the rhythmicalpoint of view; however, their melodic structures are the same. The Radif ofIranian music is the traditional repertoire of the classical music of Iran andreflects the cultural and national identity of the Iranian people.

 

The Armenian Monastic Ensembles in Iran
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Situated in the north-west of the country, the property consists of threemonastic ensembles of the Armenian Christian faith: St Thaddeus and St Stepanosand the Chapel of Dzordzor (also known as Qara Kelisa). These edifices - theoldest of which, St Thaddeus, dates back to the 7th century – are examples ofoutstanding universal value of the Armenian architectural and decorativetraditions. They bear testimony to very important interchanges with the otherregional cultures, in particular the Byzantine, Orthodox and Persian. Situatedon the south-eastern fringe of the main zone of the Armenian cultural space,the monasteries constituted a major centre for the dissemination of thatculture in the region.

They are the last regional remains of this culture that are still in asatisfactory state of integrity and authenticity. Furthermore, as places ofpilgrimage, the monastic ensembles are living witnesses of Armenian religioustraditions through the centuries.

 

Shushtar Historical Hydraulic system
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Shushtar, HistoricalHydraulic System, inscribed as a masterpiece of creative genius, can be tracedback to Darius the Great in the 5th century B.C. It involved the creation oftwo main diversion canals on the river Kârun one of which, Gargar canal, isstill in use providing water to the city of Shushtar via a series of tunnelsthat supply water to mills. It forms a spectacular cliff from which watercascades into a downstream basin. It then enters the plain situated south ofthe city where it has enabled the planting of orchards and farming over an areaof 40,000 ha. known as Mianâb (Paradise).           

The property has an ensemble of remarkable sites including the Salâsel Castel,the operation centre of the entire hydraulic system, the tower where the waterlevel is measured, damns, bridges, basins and mills. It bears witness to theknow-how of the Elamites and Mesopotamians as well as more recent Nabateanexpertise and Roman building influence.


 


(FIA)The history of the federation of international automobile The  establishment of automobile club started from England. . .

 

 


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