Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Traveling in Iran

Iran, or ancient Persia, is a country with past so great and glorious that there would be very few countries in the world to match it. Its civilization started thousands of years ago with mighty empires that conquered half of the world. Remnants of those empires still attract curious people from all parts of the planet.
Iran is a unique country where the past and the present co-exist in a harmonious unity. Historical sights of Iran are not just a pile of half-ruined buildings or prehistoric mosques, minarets and mausoleums. In fact, this country is a piece of living history, where nothing is forgotten. The great palaces of the kings of Persia, the clay fortress wall in Bam, the tomb of biblical prophet Daniel, paradisiacal gardens, ancient bazaars, and many other things are symbols of Iran.
Iran is a very interesting country in all spheres of life, but its rich history, full of different events, is the factor that motivates people from the rest of the world to come here and personally get acquainted with this legendary place.
Iran is mentioned in many legends and stories often as the scene of unbelievable events. According to some scientists, Iran's ancient city of Tabriz was the place of the divine Eden garden. Another Iranian city of Shush, located on the site of the ancient city of Susa, had been the capital of one of the most advanced civilizations in the world. Unique castles, palaces, mausoleums, and tombs are all the icons of modern Iran, which are definitely worth seeing with your own eyes.
The capital of Iran, Tehran, is a real metropolis, bustling with the voices of millions of people. However, modern concrete structures have diminished the oriental flavor of the city. In Tehran, there are not so many tourist spots. You can visit the National Museum and the Museum of Persian Carpets, Azadi Square with the monument to freedom, where from you can get a panoramic view of the city. Golestan Palace is the best place to admire Arabic architecture. At the head office of the Central Bank, you will be able to see a small museum of jewelry treasures, formerly owned by Persian shahs. The city has many parks and beautiful lakes. But the best kind of entertainment in Tehran is visiting the old bazaar, which is so big that it actually seems to be a separate town and, in fact, is one of the biggest bazaars in the world.
The tourists will have to travel far from Tehran to see the pearl of Iran - the ancient fortress city of Bam, surrounded by plantations of eucalyptus and palm trees. Iran has many interesting places, but the small town of Bam can be called one of the wonders of the world. Bam was a major trading center on the famous Spice Road, which ran from China and Indo-China through Central Asia and Iran. The town is small and cozy, but its majestic monuments dominate the landscape. They include the Arg-e-Bam Citadel, the remnants of the outer rampart, the internal castle complex, and the tomb of the famous astronomer Mirza Naim.
One of the oldest cities in the world and the first capital of ancient Persia is the city of Hamadan. Today, it is the major commercial and industrial center famous for its pleasant summer climate, lots of interesting places and beautiful gardens. In Hamadan, one will find the mausoleum and the museum of the philosopher and physician Avicenna, the Jewish mausoleum, Hakmatana hill with the ruins of fortifications of the Median period, the palace of Darius, and the Burj-e Qurban Tower. In the 16th century, the city of Esfahan was called 'half of the world.' Even today this city is unique and inimitable. Esfahan is the homeplace to a great number of architectural and historical monuments and great mosques. In this city one can find a small women's mosque of Sheikh Lotfollah, the mosque of Imam Ali Kapu and his Palace. Imam Mosque impresses with its grandeur and richness of decoration. The most romantic city of Iran is Shiraz. The city of love, poetry, and blooming roses, it was rightly called 'the capital of the poetry of Persia'. Literally any old city of Iran is a museum under the open sky. Once you enter it, you feel being transmitted to the Middle Ages, and that is the real Iran.

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