Sights & Landmarks in Mashdad
Apart from Imam Reza shrine there is a number of large parks, the tombs of historical celebrities in nearby Tus and Nishapur, the tomb of Nadir Shah and Kooh Sangi park and Mellat Park that have modern attractions for children such as the tallest Ferris wheel or fanfar in Iran and Koohestan Park-e-Shadi Complex that includes a zoo, where many wild animals are kept and which attracts many visitors to Mashhad. It is also home to the Mashhad Airbase (formerly Imam Reza airbase), jointly a military installation housing Mirage aircraft, and a civilian international airport.
Some points of interest lie outside the city: the tomb of Khajeh Morad, along the road to Tehran; the tomb of Khajeh Rabi' located 6 kilometers north of the city where there are some inscriptions by the renowned Safavid calligrapher Reza Abbasi; and the tomb of Khajeh Abasalt, a distance of 20 kilometers from Mashhad along the road to Neishabur. (The three were all disciples of Imam Reza).
Among the other sights are the tomb of the poet Ferdowsi in Tus, 24 kilometers distance, and the summer resorts at Torghabeh, Torogh, Akhlamad, Zoshk, and Shandiz.
The Shah Public Bath, built during the Safavid era in 1648, is an outstanding example of the architecture of that period. It was recently restored, and is to be turned into a museum.
- Imam Reza Shrine Complex (The shrine is visible from far away and has entrances on all sides. There are separate entrance doors for brothers andsisters, bags and cameras have to be left at luggage deposit offices outside the shrine for a 10,000 Rials fee. All visitors will be frisked at the gates leading to the Shrine. Mobile phones can be brought into the shrine. Women have to wear a chador.). This complex has been developed around the tomb of the eighth Imam of Shia Islam. The burial chamber where the Imam rests is the holiest place for all Shia Iranians. Foreigners are allowed to visit the complex, while the central area and certain courtyards allegedly are off-limits for non-Muslims. Shiites come to this place as pilgrims to mourn the death of their religious leader and don't want to be disturbed by crowds of tourists. That said, there are no marks of any kind telling where you can go and where not. If you manage to blend into the crowd, it is possible to visit the core of the shrine. It is impressing from the architectural point of view with the corridors and domes completely adorned with Persian mirror mosaic. It pays off to take some time and soak in the athmosphere of praying and mourning. The complex also includes a library and the Ghoharshad Mosque, which is the largest mosque in the world by area and the second largest in capacity. Travellers have the option to visit theForeign Pilgrims Assistance Office where you will be shown some videos about the shrine (from PRESS-TV) and handed out some booklets. There are some English-speaking volunteers available to guide you around in the complex, but they will not show you the Holy Shrine itself. Free.
- Central Museum (Located inside the Holy Shrine complex, it is signposted in English). Weekdays 08:00 am till 05:45 pm, Holidays 08:00 am till noon. This museum shows an arbitrary mix of items such as coins, stamps, European clocks and astronomical instruments, pictures of marine animals, but also some interesting items like the old tombs of Imam Reza and pictures dating back to the beginning of photography in Iran. Some of the explanations are in English. Avoid visiting this museum with a guide from the Foreign Pilgrims Assistance Office, as they will press you to adequately appreciate each of the items, even the Euro coins. 10,000 Rials (also for foreigners).
- Carpet Museum (Located inside the Holy Shrine complex, it is signposted in English). Saturday till Wednesday 08:00 am till 12:30 pm, Thursdays 08:00 am till 11:30 am, Holidays 08:00 am till 12:00 pm. The name says it all. Great and impressive pieces on display. 10,000 Rials (also for foreigners).
- Nader Shah Park & Mausoleum. Monument to the founder of Afshar dynasty (1736–1747)
- Ferdowsi Park & Mausoleum.
- Gombade Sabz Mausoleum.
- Torghabeh. Sightseeing, village restaurants
- Shandiz. Village restaurants
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