World Heritage Sites in Iran Part IV

By | September 20, 2021

Iran is a country in West Asia with (2018) 81.8 million residents; The capital is Tehran.

Iran borders Turkey in the northwest, Armenia, Azerbaijan, the Caspian Sea and Turkmenistan in the north. Afghanistan is the neighbor in the east, Pakistan in the southeast and Iraq in the west. Iran meets the Arabian Sea in the south and the Persian Gulf in the southwest.

Iran is a mountainous country. The most powerful mountain ranges are the Zagros Mountains and the Elburs Mountains. The more than 4500 m high Zagros Mountains stretch over 1200 km from northwest to southeast. The Elbursgebirge in the north has the highest peak in the country with the Demawend (5671 m). Where both mountains meet is the salty Urmia Lake, the largest lake in Iran. After Mesopotamia , the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea to pull lowlands. The central highlands occupy most of the country. There is a 1000 km long and 200–400 km wide belt of sand, gravel and salt deserts. The Lut desert in the east with its bizarre rock formations is particularly hot and almost devoid of vegetation. Since several tectonic plates collide in Iran (continental drift), there are always earthquakes.

Archaeological landscape of the Sassanids in the Fars region (World Heritage)

Archaeological landscape of the Sassanids in the Fars region (World Heritage)

The world heritage includes eight archaeological sites located in three areas in the southeast of the Iranian province of Fars: Firusabad, Bischapur and Sarwistan. Sights include the ruins of the first capital Gor, built by the founder of the dynasty, Ardashir I, as well as another city with architectural remains, the construction of which was ordered by his son and successor Shapur I. The sites are also an impressive testimony to how the architecture has been optimally adapted to the natural topographical conditions.

The fortified buildings, palaces and city complexes of the world heritage site reflect the political, historical, cultural and artistic developments of the powerful Sasanid Empire, which stretched across the region between the 3rd and 7th centuries AD and which also included the Roman-Byzantine Empire then counted leading powers.

Iranian art experienced a great boom under the Sassanids. The architecture often assumed grandiose proportions, as can be seen in the palaces in the ancient sites of Ctesiphon, Firusabad and Sarwistan. Among the most characteristic and striking relics of the Sassanid period are the monumental rock sculptures in Bishapur, Naksch-e Rostam and Naksch-e Rajab, which show the power and triumphs of the kings Ardashir and Shapur, including the victory of Shapur I over the Roman emperor Valerian.

Sassanid Archaeological Landscape in the Fars Region: Facts Hide table

Official title: Archaeological landscape of the Sassanids in the Fars region
Cultural monument: eight archaeological sites in three areas of the Iranian province of Fars
Continent: Asia
Country: Iran
Location: Fars region
Appointment: 2018
Meaning: Archaeological evidence from the earliest to the latest times of the Sassanid Empire

Yazd Old Town (World Heritage)

Yazd is located in the Iranian highlands, between the deserts of the Dascht-e Kavir and Dascht-e Lut. In its long history, many rulers have left their mark: the name probably comes from the Sassanid period. The Arabs brought their Islamic faith with them, which gradually replaced Parsism (Zoroastrianism). The city was spared the destruction of the Mongols, which swept through the country like a hurricane. Long-distance trade in precious silk fabrics, for which Yazd is still famous today, flourished under the Safavids. Also famous are the traditional clay buildings in the historic city center with the bazaars, hammams, cisterns, mosques, synagogues and Zoroastrian temples, which have survived all modernization measures so far.

Yazd Old Town: Facts

Official title: Old town of Yazd
Cultural monument: historical center with remains of the old city wall (14th century), the Friday mosque (14th century) with the mighty domed hall and rich faience decorations (14th-18th century) as well as a towering entrance portal with two minarets (15th century).), the Mir-Tschamak-Mosque on the square of the same name (1426; minarets of the high entrance portal around 1800); several mausoleums, including the Duvazdah Imam (Twelve Imams; 1036/37) with richly decorated trumpet dome; Indian fire temple of the Zoroastrian community
Continent: Asia
Country: Iran
Location: Iranian highlands, between Dascht-e Kavir and Dascht-e Lut (World Heritage since 2016); 270 km southeast of Isfahan
Appointment: 2017
Meaning: impressive testimony to the cultural tradition and way of life of people in arid regions

Adaptation to the extremes

According to militarynous, Clay is the main building material in Yazd and is used for both the walls and the dome or vaulted roofs. The adobe residential buildings with inner courtyards and thick walls are recessed, accessible underground and are cooled by high wind towers whose chimneys direct the (night) air into the basement. These badgirs tower over the roofs of the city and give it its special appearance. The tallest and most famous wind tower is in the historic garden of Dolatabad (world heritage since 2011). The water supply is still carried out today via the tried and tested Kanat system. The groundwater and seepage water at the foot of the surrounding mountain ranges are collected through underground channels and, on a slight slope, directed over many kilometers into the city or onto the fields and orchards.

Yazd Old Town (World Heritage)