Located in the ancient Kashaf Rood (river) Valley at about 1000 meters above the sea level, the city of Mashhad is the capital of Khorasan Razavi Province in the northeast of Iran, and is one of the most important pilgrimage cities among the Shia Muslims as it is the burial place of Imam Reza, the eighth Imam. The word Mashhad means the place of martyrdom. Besides being a religious tourism destination for travelers interested to this type pf tourism especially the Shia people, this city is also an important trading and medical center among the neighboring countries, like Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Mashhad has the second largest population in Iran and according to the last census its population is about 3,100,000.
With dry and hot summers, cold winters and mild weather during spring and autumn, Mashhad has a semi desert climate. From December to January the temperature ranges between -2 to 9 °C, while during the spring the temperature is from 2-13°C to 16–27 °C. With a temperature between 18 °C to 35°C, July is the hottest month in Mashhad. The city receives about 250 millimeters of rainfall each year, some of which falls as snow on the heights.
Imam Reza Holy Shrine and its Musuem
This atmospheric and spiritual complex showcases 800 years of religious and artistic architecture created by the great architectures, craftsmen, calligraphers, etc. The great shabestans and ivans are the museums of dazzling mirror works, tile works and other Iranian decorative arts. Imam Reza Holy Shrine is the largest mosque in the world by dimension and the second largest on by capacity. Entering this complex, a local guide will accompany you to lead foreign travelers for free and tell interesting facts about this great construction.
This architecture masterpiece was built in 1418 by the order of Empress Goharshad, the wife Shah Rukh the Teimurid king. Built by the master of architecture named Ghavameddin Shirazi, his mosque contains four ivans, numerous shabestans (halls) and eight porches as well as amazing ornaments and objects like the Minbar made of walnut wood.
Mausoleum of Ferdowsi
Ferdowsi was one of the most influential Persian poets, who wrote the Iranian epic named Shahnameh and died in 1020 AD and was buried in Tus, a city near Mashhad. The current tomb which resembles tomb of Cyrus, and Achaemenid style, and is made of marble, was designed by Mr. Hussein Lurzadeh and his team in 1930. Mausoleum of Ferdowsi is located 40 kilometers from Mashhad.
Tomb of Nader Shah Afshar
Nader Shah Afshar was one of the most powerful Iranian kings, who ruled Iran from 1736 to 1747. The current Tomb of Nader Shah was designed by Mr. Hooshang Seyhoun and built in 6 years. This tomb which is designed considering the character of Nader Shah, is located in the city of Mashhad and is recognizable by the statue of this king on horseback and some of his soldiers.
Mausoleum of Omar Khayyam
Omar Khayam (1048- 1131) was born in Neishabur. Besides poetry, philosophy, mathematics, medicine, and astronomy were among the subjects mastered by this brilliant man. The existential poems of this great poet became popular in the west after the free translation of Rubaiyat (Quatrains) by Edward FitzGerald. The tomb of Omar Khayam, which is an architecture masterpiece in terms of design and construction was designed by Hooshang Seyhoun and built in 1936. This tomb is located in Neishabur, which is located 130 kilometers away from Mashhad.
Known as the priciest spice in the world, saffron is the magic of Iranian culinary. It is said that saffron was first found in Iran and still 90 percent of the world total saffron is produced in Iran and especially in Khorasan Province. Saffron is used in Iranian cuisines and Iranian pastries.
Mashhad is among the cities that produce very high quality Iranian carpets. Mashhad carpets are known for their big size and very soft wool.
Red Barberries or Zereshk
Barberry, a red, tiny and sour berry is widely used in Iranian cuisines and originates in Khorasan Province.
Turquoise is a blue to green semi precious gem stone which is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminum. The historical city of Neishabur located 130 kilometers away from Mashhad, is home to the biggest turquoise mine and produces very fine turquoise crafts.