Iran is known for its rich historical artifacts and sites, Persian literature and craftsmanship, large oil reserves, and distinctive cuisine with signature spices.
Iran is a part of Western Asia. It was formerly known as Persia, before 1935, when the ruler at the time declared the change. It is on the coast of the Caspian Sea and Persian Gulf. While Iran is known for its sea borders, its seven land borders are important for trade and contribute massively to the economy.
What Is Iran Known For?
Iran is famous for its beautiful handicrafts and designs, ancient cities and architectural masterpieces as well as diverse landscapes from mountain ranges, and deserts to coastal regions. It is in a prime location for trade and has many vibrant bazaars.
In addition, Iran is known for its cultural heritage which is heavily rooted in religion. Many of the most visited attractions are mosques, palaces, and museums.
History, Culture, And Traditions Iran Is Known For
Nowruz Iranian New Year
Iran is famous for using a different calendar, known as the Persian Calendar, that differs from the typical Georgian calendar. Aside from Iran, other countries such as Afghanistan also follow this calendar in certain aspects. That said, a fun fact about Iran is that the weekend is considered to be Thursday and Friday, instead of Saturday and Sunday!
As a result, Nowraz is the celebration of the Iranian New Year. Often, it is held mid-late March on the Gregorian calendar. The 13-day celebration begins with cleaning the household and includes ritual dances, massive feasts, as well as exchanging of presents.
One of the first festivities of Nowruz is fire dancing, known as Charshanbeh Suri. Its purpose is to celebrate the beginning of spring and new beginnings. Furthermore, it protects from evil spirits during the new season.
People jump over hoops of fire, wearing a red costume which is thought to symbolize health. There is also celebration with singing, and of course, feasting on traditional Iranian foods.
Formerly, Iran was known as Persia. The Persian Empire, also called the Achaemenid Empire, was established in 550 BC. This was done under the authority of Cyrus the Great, a great warrior responsible for the empire’s expansion and power, which became one of the largest in the world.
Nonetheless, Persia changed its name to Iran in the Iranian New Year of 1935. Although it is not certain why, it is widely believed to be because of Nazism and change.
The Iranian Revolution was one of the most significant events in the history of things that Iran is famous for.
Beginning in 1978, the long battle which culminated in a series of uprisings, aimed to overthrow the Pahlavi Dynasty. This was a result of mistreatment, religious conflict, and dissatisfaction with the rulers.
After a year, the rebellion was successful and led to the creation of the Islamic Republic with the establishment of a parliament and a transformed economy.
Cities And Travel Destinations Iran Is Known For
The capital of Iran, Tehran, is the largest city in the country and is located up north. It is also the most populated with around 9 million people in the metro area.
There are several buzzing areas in the capital such as Elahieh, an upscale district peppered with shopping malls, sophisticated restaurants, and designer labels. Fereshteh Street is especially renowned for its modern establishments. Hence, much of Iran’s culture is rooted in looking presentable and being up-to-date with trends.
Other Tehran landmarks include the 435-meter Milad Tower and the prestigious National Jewellery Museum.
Masshad, located in the northeast region, is the second largest city in Iran.
It is home to several religious landmarks that Iran is famous for, most popularly the Imam Reza holy shrine, in which lies the mausoleum of Imam Reza. This was the eighth Shia Imam, who was tragically poisoned in 818 AD.
If you have time to explore, there are also contemporary attractions such as Arman Shopping Centre and Water Waves Land.
The East Azerbaijan Province is found in northwest Iran, and the capital city of this region is Tabriz.
The Tabriz Bazaar is one of the most famous attractions here. It is one of the oldest in the Middle East, as well as the largest covered bazaar worldwide! There are a series of sections in the market, such as Persian carpets, herbal medicines, and spices.
Additionally, Tabriz also has many religious landmarks including the Blue Mosque, Goey Mosque, and Ark Mosque. While it is quite industrialized, it’s also a rather cultural city to visit since you will also find handicrafts and historical buildings.
The historical city of Yazd dates as early as the Sassanian period. It is located in the heart of Iran. As a result, it is a useful trade center because of its accessibility and proximity to other cities.
The Amir Chakhmaq Complex is a great example of historic architecture. Originating from the 15th century, the mosque is renowned for its architecture. The most significant is the symmetry and sunken alcoves.
Other prominent Iranian landmarks here include the 18th-century Dowlatabad Gardens and Zoroastrian Fire Temple.
Landmarks And Architecture Iran Is Known For
The Royal City of Persepolis was once the capital of the Achaemenid Empire and was founded in 518 BC. The heritage site translates to the city of Persians and is a major historical landmark. You can find Persepolis enclosed by the Zagros Mountains, on the Marvdasht flats.
Near the entrance of Persepolis, you will come across the stone Gate of All Nations. Originally, it was three doors that were used to separate visitors based on social class based on the orders of King Xeres I.
When visiting Tehran, you will definitely pass by Azadi Square as it is one of the most visited areas that Iran is famous for. Within and around the square, there are several key landmarks, one of which is the Azadi Tower.
Formerly, this was known as the Shahyad Tower but was renamed in 1979 following the Iranian revolution. As a result, the Azadi Tower represents peace and freedom.
Consisting of two colossal granite doors, a dome, and four overall stories, it’s a rather impressive sight. In addition to the beauty of the tower, there is a museum on the basement level that you can visit to learn more about the place and city.
Nasir al-Mulk Mosque
The Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is considered to be one of the most valuable Iranian landmarks. Not only is religiously significant, as Iran is an Islamic state, but there are several elements of the architecture that make it unique.
For example, the Nasir al-Mulk Mosque is nicknamed the Pink Mosque because of the vivid pink shades painted on the tile of the interiors ceiling. It also has five muqarnas, which are decorative elements also hanging from the ceiling that look like stalactites.
Tomb Of Hafez
In the Musalla Gardens, you will find the Tomb of Hafez. It is made up of two memorials, that are dedicated to the 14th-century lyric poet, one of the most famous people from Iran. This tomb is in his hometown of Shiraz.
The tomb itself is built on a breathtaking open pavilion, constructed with eight elegant columns and a dome. Inscribed on the marble stone are verses from his poems.
If you have the time, it is worth exploring the gardens, which are decorated with orange trees, pools, and a tea house for some persian snacks.
Food Iran Is Known For
Traditional Persian food primarily consists of kebabs with a variety of sides. This versatile dish is not only full of flavor but ideal for families with picky children, or range when opting for street food.
The kebab, which is skewered meat, is often ground beef, but can also be lamb. This is plated on an island of rice infused with saffron for contrasting flavors. You can add vegetables like tomato or cucumber as well as a refreshing yogurt to balance out the flavors and, of course, nutrition.
Rice tahdig is a dish that originates from Persia. However, it is frequently eaten in Iranian feasts as a side. As a result, you can find rice tahgid everywhere.
The rice, which is basmati, is first boiled. Like many foods, it is infused with saffron which is undoubtedly the most popular spice. Subsequently, the rice is fried for a crispy yet buttery taste.
Saffron chicken is a popular everyday meal in Iran. It is a common dish in restaurants and you can find it readily in the historical capital. After all, what is Tehran famous for if not authentic meals?
It uses chicken leg, and sometimes chicken thighs, which are marinated in a predominantly saffron mixture of spices. This is served on a bed of aromatic rice.
Morghe zaferani is incredibly versatile because it is also adapted into a soup. If you have leftovers, this is a great option for preparing another delicious dish. Characteristically it has a strong red color due to using chili and barberries.
Ghormeh sabzi is a decadent herb stew that is perfect for chilly winters or a wholesome meal. Lamb is combined with kidney beans for the bulk of the dish. For herbs most often fenugreek, cilantro, and parsley are used in abundance.
This is poured over rice and usually served with other sides such as salad.
The stew is almost 5,000 years old and is eaten throughout the year, especially on National Ghormeh Sabzi Day.
And of course, don’t forget to end your meal with all the delish Iranian sweets on offer!
Famous People From Iran
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad was the sixth president of Iran from 2005 to 2013. Despite being a famous leader, he has been rather controversial.
This has been attributed to his problematic policies, although he maintains his advocation for human rights. He is active on social media and likes to communicate with his people.
He famously had the carpets from the palace sent to the Carpet Museum and instead changed them to cheaper alternatives. Hence, he is known for his modest life and conservative views.
In the Middle East, Ali Khamenei is known for being one of the longest-serving heads of state. Many famous people from Iran are politicians, so it is no surprise that Khamenei has been involved in the political realm since 1989. His most significant role was being the 3rd president of Iran. He is also a high role of the Twelver Shia, known as Marja.
He is widely respected because of his powerful role in the country, ensuring that Islamic laws are being abided by. As well as this, it is his responsibility as Supreme Leader to guide the country into morality.
Reza Shah was born in Iran in 1878. He was the first shah of the House of Pahlavi, making him a royal and therefore a significant part of the matriarchy. He was esteemed for his inclusivity to all religions. For example, Reza Shah was one of the first monarchs to pray in a Synagogue for the impoverished Jews.
The Mausoleum of Reza Shah in Tehran houses his remains and can be visited, as well as his sons. Because of their status as one of the most famous people from Iran, the landmark is heavily guarded.
Reza Pahlavi is the eldest son of the last Shah of Iran. He is otherwise known as the Crown Prince of Iran, before the Islamic Revolution which resulted in an Islamic Republic. He and his family were forced into exile and therefore grew up in Egypt. Reza Pahlavi has state decorations in several countries and is globally respected.
Currently, he has a relatively contemporary lifestyle, owns a television network, is interested in football, and resides in Virginia.
Discovering More Things Iran Is Known For
Iran is a country of beautiful culture and history, having gone through many evolutions with different leaders. These famous people from Iran have impacted the nation in some way, whether it was drastic or minimal.
Iran has been influenced to continue traditions, from enforcing original recipes to collecting artifacts in museums. There is a strong sense of identity and admirable character nestled within the societal fabric.
With thousands of years of civilization, these are just a few of the many things Iran is famous for. From its food to breathtaking architecture and religious sites, there is so much to explore on what makes this country unique.