The Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the largest republics in Western Asia. Iran has a history of five thousand years and it is one of the oldest in the world. For hundreds of years, Iran has played an important role in its region and has greatly influenced the cultural development of neighboring states. Iran has borders with Afghanistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan. Like Turkmenistan, Iran is washed by the Caspian Sea and also has access to the Indian Ocean.
The climate in Iran varies from region to region. In the mountains, it is very cold and the temperature tends to zero, near the sea, the summer is very humid, in contrast to the arid climate in the center and regions far from the sea. Iran is a mountainous country, there are no flatlands, and closer to the water the mountains recede, giving way to the plateau.
Iranian cuisine has its own traditions, and it is not without the influence of Turkey and Azerbaijan. The entire coast of Iran is abundant in fish, and the central region consumes more beef, lamb, and poultry. Pork cannot be found here, as Iran is a Muslim country. It will not be difficult for vegetarians to find vegetable dishes, Iranians often feast on eggplants, pumpkins, and tomatoes, and many varieties of fruits are also honored. Of course, as in another eastern country, in Iran, you can taste pilaf, which is different from Central Asian in its own way.
It will be useful for a traveler to know that the infrastructure of Iran is not well-developed for road transport, but ports and more than three hundred airports are open for tourists. The railway communication with neighboring countries is developed, and the metro operates in the six largest cities.
Tehran is the capital of Iran, as well as the cultural and political center of the country. With a population of around 13 million, Tehran is considered the most populous city in the country. Among the residents of the capital, in addition to Iranians, there are Jews, Armenians, Azerbaijanis, and others.
The architecture of Tehran is predominantly oriental; a large number of monuments located in the city date back to the XIII-XX centuries. In addition to standard leisure venues such as restaurants, cafes, museums, and exhibitions, Tehran has several hundred parks. All parks are designed in accordance with their surroundings and the largest of them are highly recommended to visit.
Isfahan can be considered one of the most ancient cities in Iran. The first settlement on the territory of the city can be attributed to the Paleolithic era. The first written mention of Isfahan can be attributed to the 6th or 7th century BC, to the period of the unification of the Persian lands. The city was destroyed by the Mongols in the XIII century, and immediately after the restoration, already in the XIV century, it was invaded by Tamerlane. Despite his fair attitude towards the prisoners of war, Tamerlane treated the Isfahan people very cruelly – he killed all members of the militia.
Isfahan has changed rulers many times, but due to its location and cultural significance, the city has been rebuilt over and over again. Now there are many architectural monuments on the territory of the city, whose age reaches almost a thousand years, so Isfahan is a must-visit city in Iran. In addition, it was here that Avicenna, one of the most prominent doctors of his time, lived and worked.
Another undoubtedly ancient city of Iran is Shiraz. Sixty kilometers from the city are the ruins of Persepolis – the ancient capital of the Persian Empire, founded long before our era. In the vicinity of Shiraz, there are other less-known ruins of ancient cities.
The city itself is also rich in architectural sights: mausoleums, mosques, and bazaars have become favorite places of tourists in Iran. It is not for nothing that Shiraz attracts poets and other creative people, like other cities with a population of over one million, Shiraz boasts an abundance of green spaces – a real garden city.
Perhaps the most ancient city of Iran is Yazd. It is a very small town with low-rise buildings, but its history goes back up to 5 thousand years. For the first time, Yazd was mentioned as a city in Media, a state that ceased to exist in the VI century BC.
Even now, barely half a million people live in Yazd, and its remoteness from the historical capitals allowed the city to survive during raids and wars. To the delight of historians, cultural values were brought to Yazd during the wars, and many people of science and creativity were able to find shelter here from persecution.