Along with the Khorasan of the North and the South, Khorasan-e Razavi is one of the three parts of the former great Khorasan. Located in northeastern Iran, the province covers 7% of the country's area, and about 8% of its population.


Along with the Khorasan of the North and the South, Khorasan-e Razavi is one of the three parts of the former great Khorasan. Located in northeastern Iran, the province covers 7% of the country's area, and about 8% of its population. Having Mashhad as its capital, this province comprises 28 cities including Ghuchan, Chenaran, Sarakhs, Kashmar, Bardeskan, Neyshbour, Sabzevar, Kalat, Khalil Abad, etc. The Binaloud and Hezar Masjed mountains are part of the highest and longest mountains of Khorassan. Many caves are found in the mountains of the province. Given its large size, this province has a diverse ecosystem, and therefore a large number of natural attractions, including many rivers and water sources. The province also has many historic attractions - the discovery of traces of human life dating back approximately 800,000 years in the bed of Kashf Roud River of Mashhad attests to the seniority of the province.



The main monuments and historical attractions of the province

 

Shrine of shiism, Imam Reza's mausoleum (haram) is the main reason why the Iranians go to Mashhad. Among the monuments present in this sacred place are the Balasar Mosque, located at the site of the tomb of the Imam (1033) and the Goharshad Mosque (1418). The haram is made up of other mosques, mausoleums, sahn (course), library, museums, etc. The oldest parts of this place date from 1230. Several parts have been renovated and rebuilt during the times. The first dome of the mausoleum was built during the Seljuk period, while the Goharshad Mosque, the Atigh Court, and the now gilded Iwan Base were built during the Timurid era. During the reign of the Safavids, Nader Shah, Qadjars and Pahlavis, other modifications and enlargements were made. After the Islamic Revolution, the development of the haram continued, until now reaching a surface of 70 hectares. The Goharshad Mosque, located within the sanctuary of Imam Reza, was built on the order of Goharshad Beygom, wife of Shahrokh, Timurid king. It is the most visited mosque in Iran because of its proximity to the shrine, and is one of the masterpieces of Iranian architecture of the time because of the finesse and beauty of the tiles, and its architectural style. It has four great iwans, seven shabestan, a courtyard of about 2800 m2, a dome of 41 m, and two minarets with a height of 43 meters; its total area is about 9400 m2. Built in 1934, the mausoleum of Ferdowsi, located in All and near Mashhad, has the shape of the monuments of Persepolis and the mausoleum of Cyrus in Pasargades. It is composed of three parts: the marble tomb, the marble room decorated with tiles, and the space of the stairs, covered with marble, where Ferdowsi's poems have been calligraphed and engraved on the walls. The first plan was designed by Karim Taherzadeh Behzad. Thirty years later, Houshang Seyhoun proposed a new plan preserving the main facade of the monument, but introducing changes in interior spaces and new additions, including an interior ceiling adorned with tiles. This plan is inspired by decorative elements of the Achaemenid era and the Ferdowsi era.

 

The Goharshad Mosque

 

The Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam in Neyshabour is an interesting example of the marriage of ancient and modern Iranian architectural styles. Designed and executed by Houshang Seyhoun from 1959 to 1962, it is supposed to evoke the life and ideas of Khayyam as a mathematician, astronomer and poet. The monument has ten feet, each of which rise two oblique partitions crossing at the top to form the ceiling. These forms symbolize Khayyam's knowledge in the field of mathematics. The collision of partitions and empty and solid spaces, especially at the top of the monument, form entangled stars in the middle of which pierces the blue sky of Neyshabour. Near the head of the dome, the stars become smaller. The latter allude to Khayyam's knowledge in the field of astronomy. The crossing of the partitions also forms ten large diamonds where are engraved quatrains Khayyam, in reference to the talent of poet of the latter. The mausoleum is located in a garden with an area of ​​20,000 m2. A statue of Khayyam was installed at the entrance of the garden, where is also the mausoleum of Imamzadh Mohammad Mahrough.

Shirband Summit, Binaloud Mountains


The mausoleum of Attar Neyshabouri, Iranian poet and mystic, is a historical monument dating from the Timurid period and built by Amir Alishir Navaee on the tomb of Attar, also in Neyshabour. The current monument of the mausoleum, octagonal in shape, has a dome decorated with tiles and four doors.

Nader Shah Afshar's tomb is located in the Naderi museum-garden complex in Mashhad. Also designed and built by Houshang Seyhoun in 1963, it consists of a central part where is the tomb of the king and two rooms of museum where are exposed weapons of Nader as well as works artistic or craft dating from the era afsharide. The large garden surrounding this tomb-museum is 14 400 m2 in size and is notably decorated with a statue of Nader Shah on horseback and three people behind him installed on a high pedestal.

 

Ferdowsi Museum in the complex of
mausoleum of Ferdowsi

 


Khorshid Castle or Kalat, located in the city of Kalat is considered the most important trace left by Nader Shah in this city. This castle is in the middle of a large garden whose style is Iranian, while the architecture of the monument is a mix of Iranian and Indian styles. It has three floors and twelve rooms, each of which is adorned with paintings and stucco ornaments. In the middle of this octagonal monument is a two-storey cylindrical tower, which was the residence of the King and his family. The first floor is octagonal, the entrances of the castle being placed alongside the octagon. Most of the beauty of this castle lies in the ornament of the exterior facade, testimony of the Mongolian-Indian architectural style.

Harounieh is a historical monument 25 km northwest of Mashhad. Built in brick and cube-shaped, it dates from the Ilkhanid era; however, pottery from the Seljuk, Timurid and Safavid periods was also discovered. On the other hand, the base of the monument is reminiscent of the Sassanid fire temples - so it seems that the base of the monument dates from a very ancient period, and that it was rebuilt several times later.



The Agh Ghal'e complex, located 80 km northwest of Sabzevar, was built during the Ilkhanid era. It is now abandoned, but according to the historical texts and the works of the time, this complex possessed urban elements like towers, a fortress, a mosque, a qanat, a moat, a cemetery, etc.

The historic market of Neyshabour is one of the ancient places of this city, and extends for one kilometer. This closed market is the only still standing part of the old Neyshabour market, which starts at Darvazeh Mashhad (Mashhad Gate) and ends at Darvazeh Eragh (Iraq Gate). This market dates from the Safavid era. It also has a caravanserai, a hammam, a mosque, or a water tank.



Located on Mount Reyvand of Khorasan, Azar Borzin Mehr is the name of one of the Zoroastrian sacred fires, as well as one of the three great fire temples (atashkadeh) of Iran before Islam. It seems that Borzin Mehr would date at least from the beginning of the Parthian epoch, and that he enjoyed an unusual attendance and fervor. In the Sassanid era, it was especially the farmers and artisans who frequented this temple.



The tower of Firouz Abad is a work probably dating from the Seljuk period and located 17 km south of Bardeskan, in the village of Firouz Abad. This tower, 18 meters high, resembles a cylindrical minaret, and has two Kufic epigraphs at the top and bottom. Inside, there is a spiral staircase.

Located 8 km west of Mashhad, Band-e Golestan is a historic dam of the province built on the Golestan River. Despite its more than five centuries of age, it is still functional.


Located 90 km southeast of the city of Sarakhs, the Khatoun Bridge is a brick bridge built in the Timurid era. Once on the Silk Road, he drove to Merv. It is one of the most famous historical works of the city of Sarakhs, especially since it is under this bridge that the two rivers Kashfroud and Hariroud meet to form the Tajan River.


The Caravanserai Shah Abbasi in Neyshabour is a Safavid monument consisting of a central sahn, 24 hojreh (cells), 4 iwans, and stables.