Area: 328 km²
Population: 3,001,184
Language: Persian

Spiritual Heart of Iran

Mashhad has been governed by di groups over the course of its history. Many fferent ethnic Arab, Turkish, and especially Mongolian and Afghan tribes have brought great changes in the language, ethnicity and culture of the people each in their own time. Surprisingly, Mashhad enjoyed relative prosperity in its economy in the Mongol period. The ancient Parthian city of Patigrabanâ, mentioned in the Behistun inscription (520 BCE) of the Achaemenid Emperor Darius I, may have been located at the present-day Mashhad. At the beginning of the 9th century, Mashhad was a small village called Sanabad, which was situated 24 kilometres away from Tous. There was a summer palace of Humayd Ebn-e Qahtaba, the governor of Khurasan. In 808, when Harun al-Rashid, Abbasid caliph, was passing through there to quell the insurrection of Rafi Ebn-e al-Leyth in Transoxania, he became ill and died and was buried under the palace of Humayd Ebn-e Qahtaba. Due to this historical event, the Dar al-Imarah was known as the Mausoleum of Haruniyyeh. Several years later in 818 Ali al-Ridha was martyred by al-Ma’mun and was buried beside the grave of Harun. Although Mashhad is considered as the owner of cultural heritage of Tus (including its figures like Nezam al-Molk, AlGhazali, Ahmad Ghazali, Ferdowsi, Asadi Tousi and Sheikh Tousi). The earlier Arab geographers have correctly identified Mashhad and Tous as two separate cities, which are now located about 19 km from each other. Mashhad was not considered a great city until Mongol raids in 1220, which caused the destruction of many large cities in Khorāsān, leaving Mashhad relatively intact in the hands of Mongolian commanders because of the cemetery of Imam Reza and Harun al-Rashid. Thus the survivors of the massacres migrated to Mashhad. During the Safavid era, Mashhad gained even more religious recognition, becoming the most important city of Greater Khorāsān, as several madresah and other structures were built besides the Imam Reza shrine. Mashhad saw its greatest glory under Nader Shah, ruler of Iran from 1736 to 1747 and also a great benefactor of the shrine of Imam Reza, who made the city his capital.

Whats On?

Tehran International Book Fair

Fajr International Film Festival

Tehran International Tourism Exhibition