Meidan Emam, Esfahan
Date of Inscription: 1979
N32 39 26.82 E51 40 40.00
The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era. The Shah Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side you can find Ali Qapu Palace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and the northern side opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Today, Namaaz-e Jom’eh (the Muslim Friday prayer) is held in this square in front of the Shah Mosque. The square is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 rials banknote.
Date of Inscription: 1979
N29 56 04 E52 53 25
Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Persian Empire during the Achaemenid dynasty. Persepolis is situated 70 km northeast of the modern city of Shiraz in the Fars Province of modern Iran. In contemporary Persian, the site is known as Takht-e Jamshid (Throne of Jamshid) and Parseh. The earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BC. To the ancient Persians, the city was known as Pārsa, which means “The City of Persians”. Persepolis is the Greek interpretation of the name Πέρσης πόλις (Persēs polis: “Persian city”).
Date of Inscription: 1979
N32 01 E48 32
Tchogha Zanbil was built about 1250 BC by the king Untash-Napirisha, mainly to honor the great god Inshushinak. Its original name was Dur Untash, which means ‘town of Untash’, but it is unlikely that many people, besides priests and servants, ever lived there. The complex is protected by three concentric walls which define the main areas of the ‘town’. The inner area is wholly taken up with a great ziggurat dedicated to the main god, which was built over an earlier square temple with storage rooms also built by Untash-Napirisha. The middle area holds eleven temples for lesser gods. It is believed that twenty-two temples were originally planned, but the king died before they could be finished, and his successors discontinued the building work. In the outer area are royal palaces and a funerary palace containing five subterranean royal tombs.
Date of Inscription: 2003
N36 36 14.0 E47 14 06.0
Takht-e Soleyman is an archaeological site in West Azarbaijan. The originally fortified site, which is located on a crater rim, was recognized as a World Heritage Site in July 2003. The citadel includes the remains of a Zoroastrian fire temple built during the Sassanid period and partially rebuilt during the Ilkhanid period. This temple housed one the three “Great Fires” or “Royal Fires” that Sassanid rulers humbled themselves before in order to ascend the throne. The fire at Takht-i Soleiman was called Adur Wishnasp and was dedicated to the arteshtar or warrior class of the Sasanid.
Date of Inscription: 2004
N30 11 37.8 E53 10 02.3
Pasargadea, The first capital of the Achaemenid Empire, lies in ruins 43 kilometers from Persepolis, in present-day Fars province of Iran. The construction of the capital city by Cyrus the Great, begun in 546 BCE or later, was left unfinished, for Cyrus died in battle in 530 BCE or 529 BCE. The tomb of Cyrus’ son and successor, Cambyses II, also has been found in Pasargadae. The remains of his tomb, located near the fortress of Toll-e Takht, were identified in 2006.
Date of Inscription: 2005
N36 26 07.0 E48 47 48.0
Soltaniyeh used to be the capital of Ilkhanid rulers of Persia in the 14th century. Its name translates as “the Imperial”. The central magnet of Soltaniyeh’s several ruins is the Mausoleum of Il-khan Öljeitü also known as Muhammad Khodabandeh, traditionally known as the Dome of Soltaniyeh. The structure, erected from 1302 to 1312 AD, has the oldest double-shell dome in the world. Its importance in the Muslim world may be compared to that of Brunelleschi’s cupola for Christian architecture. The Dome of Soltaniyeh paved the way for more daring Iranian-style cupola constructions in Muslim world, such as the Mausoleum of Khoja Ahmed Yasavi and Taj Mahal. Much of exterior decoration has been lost, but the interior retains superb mosaics, faience, and murals. People have described the architecture of the building as “anticipating the Taj Mahal.” The estimated 200 ton dome stands 49 meters tall from its base, and is currently undergoing extensive renovation.
Date of Inscription: 2006
N34 23 18 E47 26 12
The Bisotun Inscription meaning “the god’s place or land” is a multi-lingual inscription located on Mount Bisotun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran. The inscription includes three versions of the same text, written in three different cuneiform script languages: Old Persian, Elamite, and Babylonian. Babylonian was a later form of Akkadian: unlike Old Persian, they are Semitic languages. In effect, then, the inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script. The inscription is approximately 15 metres high by 25 metres wide, and 100 metres up a limestone cliff from an ancient road connecting the capitals of Babylonia and Media. It is extremely inaccessible as the mountainside was removed to make the inscription more visible after its completion
Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System
Date of Inscription: 2009
N32 1 7 E48 50 9
During the Sassanian era, Shushtar was an island city on the Karoun river and selected to become the summer capital. The river was channeled to form a moat around the city, while bridges and main gates into Shushtar were built to the east, west, and south. Several rivers nearby are conducive to the extension of agriculture; the cultivation of sugar cane, the main crop, dates back to 226 CE. A system of subterranean channels called Ghanats, which connected the river to the private reservoirs of houses and buildings, supplied water for domestic use and irrigation, as well as to store and supply water during times of war when the main gates were closed. Traces of these Ghanats can still be found in the crypts of some houses. This complex system of irrigation degenerated during the 19th century, which consequently led to Shushtar’s decline as an important agricultural centre until revitalisation efforts began under the reign of the last Shah of Iran, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, in 1973.