Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.4 million in the city and 15 million in the larger metropolitan area of Greater Tehran, Tehran is the most populous city in Iran and Western Asia, and has the second-largest metropolitan area in the Middle East. It is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area.
In the Classical era, part of the territory of present-day Tehran was occupied by Rhages, a prominent Median city. It was subject to destruction through the medieval Arab, Turkic, and Mongol invasions. Its modern-day inheritor remains as an urban area absorbed into the metropolitan area of Greater Tehran.
Tehran was first chosen as the capital of Iran by Agha Mohammad Khan of the Qajar dynasty in 1796, in order to remain within close reach of Iran's territories in the Caucasus, before being separated from Iran as a result of the Russo-Iranian Wars, and to avoid the vying factions of the previously ruling Iranian dynasties. The capital has been moved several times throughout the history, and Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran. Large scale demolition and rebuilding began in the 1920s, and Tehran has been a destination for mass migrations from all over Iran since the 20th century.
Tehran is home to many historical collections, including the royal complexes of Golestan, Sa'dabad, and Niavaran, where the two last dynasties of the former Imperial State of Iran were seated. Tehran's most famous landmarks include the Azadi Tower, a memorial built under the reign of Mohammad Reza Shah of the Pahlavi dynasty in 1971 to mark the 2,500th year of the foundation of the Imperial State of Iran, and the Milad Tower, the world's sixth-tallest self-supporting tower which was completed in 2007. The Tabiat Bridge, a newly-built landmark, was completed in 2014.
The majority of the population of Tehran are Persian-speaking people, and roughly 99% of the population understand and speak Persian, but there are large populations of other ethno-linguistic groups who live in Tehran and speak Persian as a second language.
The etymology of the city name comes from the Kasian, the original inhabitants of the city, whose remains are found at Tapeh Sialk dating back 9,000 years; later this was changed to "Kashian", hence the town name. Between the 12th and the 14th centuries Kashan was an important centre for the production of high quality pottery and tiles. In modern Persian, the word for a tile (kashi) comes from the name of the town.
Kashan is divided into two parts, mountainous and desert. In the west side, Kashan is cited in the neighbourhood of two of highest peaks of Karkas chain, Mount Gargash to the southwest of Kashan (the home of Iran national observatory, the largest astronomical telescope of Iran) and Mount Ardehaal in the west of Kashan, also known as "Damavand of Kashan" and the highest peak of Ardehaal mountains (end part of Karkas chain in central Iran).
In the east side of the city Kashan opens up to the central desert of Iran which the city is famous for. Kashan is also known for Maranjab Desert and Caravanserai located near the namak lake (or salt lake). Today Maranjab and the surrounding Shifting Sands is a popular destination at the weekends.
On August 9, 2007 Iran placed the Historical Axis of Fin, Sialk, Kashan on its Tentative List for possible future nomination as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The exact definition of what locations within Kashan proper might be nominated was not made clear In 2012 Iran successfully nominated the Fin Garden separately for inscription by UNESCO as a part of its Persian Gardens World Heritage Site. Despite this the "Historical-Cultural Axis of Fin, Sialk, Kashan" remains in full on Iran's Tentative List
Shiraz (/ʃɪəˈrɑːz/ ( listen); Persian: شیراز, Šīrāz, [ʃiːˈrɒːz] ( listen)) is the fifth-most-populous city of Iran and the capital of Fars Province (Old Persian as Pars). At the 2011 census, the population of the city was 1,700,665 and its built-up area with "Shahr-e Jadid-e Sadra" (Sadra New Town) was home to 1,500,644 inhabitants. Shiraz is located in the southwest of Iran on the "Roodkhaneye Khoshk" (The Dry River) seasonal river. It has a moderate climate and has been a regional trade center for over a thousand years. Shiraz is one of the oldest cities of ancient Persia.
The earliest reference to the city, as Tiraziš, is on Elamite clay tablets dated to 2000 BC. In the 13th century, Shiraz became a leading center of the arts and letters, due to the encouragement of its ruler and the presence of many Persian scholars and artists. It was the capital of Persia during the Zand dynasty from 1750 until 1800. Two famous poets of Iran, Hafez and Saadi, are from Shiraz, whose tombs are on the north side of the current city boundaries.
Shiraz is known as the city of poets, literature, wine (despite Iran being an Islamic republic since 1979), and flowers. It is also considered by many Iranians to be the city of gardens, due to the many gardens and fruit trees that can be seen in the city, for example Eram Garden. Shiraz has had major Jewish and Christian communities. The crafts of Shiraz consist of inlaid mosaic work of triangular design; silver-ware; pile carpet-weaving and weaving of kilim, called gilim and jajim in the villages and among the tribes. In Shiraz industries such as cement production, sugar, fertilizers, textile products, wood products, metalwork and rugs dominate. Shirāz also has a major oil refinery and is also a major center for Iran's electronic industries: 53% of Iran's electronic investment has been centered in Shiraz. Shiraz is home to Iran's first solar power plant. Recently the city's first wind turbine has been installed above Babakoohi mountain near the city.
Kerman ( pronunciation (help·info)) (Persian: كرمان, also Romanized as Kermān, Kermun, and Kirman; also known as Carmania) is the capital city of Kerman Province, Iran. At the 2011 census, its population was 821,374, in 221,389 households, making it the 10th most populous city of Iran.
It is the largest and most developed city in Kerman Province and the most important city in the southeast of Iran. It is also one of the largest cities of Iran in terms of area. Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. Kerman became the capital city of Iranian dynasties several times during its history. It is located on a large, flat plain, 800 km (500 mi) south-east of Tehran, the capital of Iran.
Isfahan (historically also rendered in English as Ispahan, Sepahan, Esfahan or Hispahan) (Persian: اصفهان, translit. Esfahān [esfæˈhɒːn] ( listen)) is a city in Iran. It is located 406 kilometres (252 miles) south of Tehran, and is the capital of Isfahan Province.
Isfahan has a population of approximately 1.6 million, making it the third largest city in Iran after Tehran and Mashhad.
Isfahan is an important city as it is located at the intersection of the two principal north–south and east–west routes that traverse Iran. It was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th and 17th centuries under the Safavid dynasty when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Even today the city retains much of its past glory. It is famous for its Persian–Islamic architecture, having many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets, and the city also has many historical buildings, monuments, paintings and artefacts. The fame of Isfahan led to the Persian pun and proverb "Esfahān nesf-e- jahān ast": Isfahan is half (of) the world.
Yazd (یزد, /jæzd/ (help·info)), formerly also known as Yezd, is the capital of Yazd Province, Iran. The city is located 270 km (170 mi) southeast of Esfahan. At the 2011 census, the population was 529,673, and it is currently 15th largest city in Iran. Since 2017, the historical city of Yazd is recognized as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd has a unique Persian architecture. It is nicknamed the "City of Windcatchers" (شهر بادگیرهاShahr-e Badgirha) from its many examples. It is also very well known for its Zoroastrian fire temples, ab anbars (cisterns), qanats (underground channels), yakhchals (coolers), Persian handicrafts, handwoven cloth (Persian termeh), silk weaving, Persian Cotton Candy, and its time-honored confectioneries.
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