Mashhad, the Holly City in Iran

Mashhad, the Holly City in Iran

Mashhad is a city in northeast Iran, known as a place of religious pilgrimage. It’s centered on the vast Holy Shrine of Imam Reza, with golden domes and minarets that are floodlit at night

 The circular complex also contains the tomb of Lebanese scholar Sheikh Bahai, plus the 15th-century, tile-fronted Goharshad Mosque, with a turquoise dome. Museums within the shrine include the Carpet Museum, with many rare pieces.



Places to Visit in & around Mashhad

Tomb of Nader Shah

Nader Shah was the last conqueror of Afsharid dynasty. He was a powerful and influential king throughout Iran’s history. When he was alive, he ordered to build a small tomb across from the holy shrine of Imam Reza in Mashhad. They constructed the tomb with mud and brick. After his assassination, he was buried in that place, then in Qajar period, they built a new tomb for him to honor his effort. Nader Shah Tomb is the second most important attraction of Mashhad. Before you enter the tomb, you would be amazed by a statue of Nader Shah locating on the entrance path. In addition to his tomb, a book shop and two museum halls are located there to make your visit more enjoyable.


Tomb of Ferdowsi

The tomb of Abul-Qasim Ferdowsi Tusi is located in the middle of a landscaped garden 20 kilometers north of Mashhad City. This great monument was designed and refurbished by Hooshang Seyhoun based on Hossein Lorzadeh's preliminary design with some modifications in its dimensions, size, and decorations. The current building of the mausoleum was opened in 1934 simultaneously with Ferdowsi Millenary Celebration. May 14th is celebrated as "Ferdowsi Day" in Iran. Every year on this day, Ferdowsi and Shahnameh commemoration is celebrated at universities and research institutes.



Haruniyeh is an unknown and mysterious monuments and the only monument remaining from the ancient Tus City. This monument is 20 kilometers from the North West of Mashhad on the western borders of Mashhad - Tus Road and at the beginning of Pardis Boulevard, the main Boulevard and the entrance to Tus City. Harunieh is a brick and square monument. The interior space includes the porch entrance, four daises, dome and three minor rooms and all these parts are seen in public. In the exterior space, there is a small memorandum tombstone from Imam Mohammad Ghazali and a big rectangular garden is also built in front of Haruniyeh Porch according to the plans and designs. There are different ideas about the date of Haruniyeh construction and it dates back to about eighth and seventh hijri centuries and even to the time before that. Some recognize it a monastery and teaching place of Imam Mohammad Ghazali that was built before the attack of Mongols. Some others call the monument the prison of Harun.

This monument is the only remains of the ancient Tus that was repaired and reconstructed in recent decades by attempts of National and Cultural Heritage Association of Khorasan and it has become one of the the visitable and historical centers in Mashahd to be visited by pilgrims and travelers.


Khorshid Palace

Khorshid (Sun) Palace or Khorshid Mansion is one of the most elegant palaces in Iran that was built to the order of Nadir Shah Afshar, founder of Afsharieh Dynasty at the beginning of his reign and in 1108 solar year. The palace is in Kalat City and 150 kilometers from Mashhad in Khorasan Razavi Province.

This palace is in the center of an enormous garden and has three floors. It is a tombyard and not a living place or king palace. It was built with the intention of being Nadir Shah’s shrine. However, it was never completed and it was left half-way when Nadir Shah died. The interior inscriptions hold verses of Naba’ Surah that is about death and life after death. The shape of the building also confirms this issue. Changes were applied on it in the next periods by Qajar people so that it would become suitable for settlement and government.

Enormous and heavy stones of the building with topics of tropical fruits and birds such as parrot are signs of the fact that the stone carvers probably have been brought from India by Nadir Shah since fruits likes banana, pineapple and so on did not exist in Iran at that time, let alone stone carvers being able to carves them on stones.


Robat Sharaf

Robat Sharaf, or Sharaf Caravanserai, is an important historical place that dates back to the late Seljuk era. It is located in the eastern part of the Red Road in Khorasan Razavi province. Robat Sharaf, or Sharaf Caravanserai, is an important historical place that dates back to the late Seljuk era. It is located in the eastern part of the Red Road in Khorasan Razavi province. It was completed in 1154, under the reign of Sultan Sanjar. The founder of the building is Sharafadin Abutaher Ben Sa’dadin Ala al-Qomi. He was one of the rulers of the city of Marv and once the chancellor in the court of Sutan Sanjar.

Rabat Sharaf was 4863 meters in size and composed of two yards, each with four porches. The entrance was designed with blocks. The building has six towers from outside. There used to be three plastered vaults in the caravanserai but only two of them exist right now. The building is decorated with different types of blocks, plastered layers and mixed forms of block and plaster, making it one of the masterpieces of the twelfth and the thirteenth centuries. A precious collection of metal dishes from the Seljuk era, a set of commands from the Safavid era, coins, pots and unique crimson wares were found in one of the rooms of the caravanserai as restoration process was underway. There was a plaster inscription in Sols calligraphy under the vault that was found there. Many researchers call Robat Sharaf a museum of the art of architecture.