by Micah on 24 Apr 2017


Are you in search of the most intriguing and spectacular sites to visit and explore? Iran has a lot in store for travelers like you.

The country, being home to one of the oldest civilizations, has an impressive list of 21 registered cultural sites belonging to the Pre-Islamic and Post-Islamic period. When you travel to Iran, you will be treated to the most breathtaking natural and man-made structures that you will find throughout the country.

Iran’s UNESCO sites have significant contributions in shaping the country’s cultural and natural heritage and to give you a preview of these world heritage sites, this infographic from Inn Iran, the first modern platform that offers holiday rentals and short-stay accommodations, features 10 of the most awe-inspiring sites that will make you want to book a trip to Iran!

20170420 The Top 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran resize

UNESCO IRAN: Useful Information

UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization)

Founded in 1945, this specialized agency is responsible for coordinating international cooperation in education, science, culture and communication.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran

These are the sites in Iran that are recognized by UNESCO as world heritage sites as they play important roles in building the country’s cultural and national heritage.

How World Heritage Sites are Determined

World Heritage Sites are determined based on their outstanding universal value. To be listed, a place must meet at least 1 out of the 10 criteria set by UNESCO.

Top 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Iran

1. Tchogha Zanbil - located in Khuzestan province, Southwest Iran (1250 B.C.)

Interesting Fact:

This is the place where you will find the ruins of the holy city of the Kingdom of Elam. It was invaded by Ashurbanipal, and remained unfinished  as manifested by the thousands of bricks left unused at the site.

2. Persepolis - located in Southwest Iran (518 B.C.)

Interesting Fact:

One of Iran’s most famous attractions is also one of the  world’s greatest archaeological sites.  Persepolis showcases grandiose architecture and engineering, as it was designed to primarily to be a place of interest and a glorious centre for the receptions and festivals of the kings.

3. Meidan Emam - located in Esfahan (17th century)

Interesting Fact:

One of the world’s largest city squares and another top tourist attraction in Iran. Meidan Emam displays an impressive testimony of the country’s social and cultural life during the Safavid era. It also features outstanding Iranian and Islamic architecture.

4. Takht-e-Soleyman - located in Northwestern Iran

Interesting Fact:

Recognized as the main site of Zoroastrianism with an archaeological ensemble, which spiritual significance is related to fire and water. A range of structures from pre-Islam to post-Islam eras can be found in this one-of-a-kind compound.

5. Pasargadae - located in Southwestern Iran, 6th century, B.C.

Interesting Fact:

Known as the first capital city of the first dynastic Persian Empire. This site witnessed the Achaemenid civilization and features the first examples of Persian garden planning.

6. Bam - located in the Southern Edge of the Iranian high plateau (6th-4th centuries, B.C.)

Interesting Fact:

An ancient walled city with remnants of Kariz that served as the ancient Iranian underground water supplement system that supported life in the oasis. It bears the evidences of technological development in building and preservation of the qanāts for over 2000 years.

7. Soltaniyeh - located in the Province of Zanjan

Interesting Fact:

This historical site has a key role in the evolution of Islamic architecture. It is where the Mausoleum of Oljaytu can be found, a dome with turquoise-blue faience tiles and breathtaking design.

8. Bisotun - located in Western Iran’s Kermanshah province (521 B.C.)

Interesting Fact:

This is where the world’s largest inscription is found. The inscription was created on the orders of King Darius I in 521 BC. It consists of 1119 lines of cuneiform in three languages and measures 15 m high by 25 m wide.

9. Shushtar Waterfalls - located in River Karun (5th century B.C.)

Interesting Fact:

This historical hydraulic system is a work of a creative genius. It features engineering masterpieces during the period of ancient Iranians and includes a collection of waterfalls, dams, bridges, basins, mills, and others.

10. Armenian Monastic Ensembles - located in Northwestern Iran (7th century)

Interesting Fact:

A world heritage site in Iran where 3 monastic ensembles of the Armenian Christian religion, namely: St. Thaddeus, St. Stepanoz, and the Dzordzor Chapel can be found.  These monasteries played important roles in the proliferation of the Armenian culture in the region.

The world heritage sites in Iran continues to be updated and contribute to the increasing number of people who travel to Iran. With numerous registered sites in the country, Iran travel welcomes you to a diverse and colorful culture through its top tourist destinations, ranging from ancient cities, modern cities and recreational attractions.

Did you find this list of world heritage sites in Iran interesting? Let us know your thoughts by leaving a comment below.

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