26 Iranian sites submitted in world heritage list of UNESCO (updated 2022)

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 Iran UNESCO heritage sites

iran unesco heritage sites, infographic of Iran UNESCO sites

Iran is one of the great civilizations of the ancient world. Some of Iran's cultural sites and natural phenomena are listed in the World Heritage list of UNESCO. In this article, we try to Introduce Iran sites in UNESCO site to help people who travel to Iran to enrich their to-do list.

1.     Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran (2008.(

It is located 15 Km northwest of Julfa (Northwest of Iran) in a deep canyon along the Aras River on the Iranian side of the border between Azerbaijan and Iran. This site protects the rich culture of Armenian Christians. It was built in the 9th century and was rebuilt in the Safavid era after several earthquakes damaged it.


iran unesco heritage sites, Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran, Iran UNESCO sites

2.     Bam and its Cultural Landscape (2004).

Bam is the world's largest mud-brick building near the city of Bam in Kerman province in southeastern Iran and its Cultural Landscape is an outstanding example of a Central Asian trading settlement. The town had its heyday from the 7th to 11th centuries.

The ancient citadel of Arg-é Bam probably has a history dating back around 2000 years ago but most buildings were built during the Safavid dynasty.

Bam was almost completely destroyed in an earthquake on December 26, 2003.

iran unesco heritage sites, Bam and its Cultural Landscape, UNESCO sites

3.     Bisotun (2006.(

It is located along with a historical trade route in the Kermanshah Province of Iran.

Its primary monument is the Bisotun Inscription, made in 521 BC by Darius I the Great when he conquered the Persian throne. The inscription is written in 3 languages: Elamite, Babylonian and Old Persian. It is to cuneiform script what the Rosetta Stone is to Egyptian hieroglyphs: the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script. A British army officer, Sir Henry Rawlinson, had the inscription transcribed in two parts, in 1835 and 1843

iran unesco heritage sites, Bisotoun, Iran Unesco sites

4.     Cultural Landscape of Maymand (2015.(

Meymand is a very ancient village which is located near Shahr-e Babak city in Kerman Province, Iran.The Cultural Landscape of Maymand covers a dry desert valley in Central Iran, which is home to semi-nomadic people. They practice a three-phase transhumance system. In winter, they live in troglodytic houses carved out of soft stone rocks. The designated area contains houses, animal shelters, water collection points, agro-pastoral systems, and rock-art.


iran unesco heritage sites, Cultural Landscape of Maymand

5.     Golestan Palace (2013).

Golestan Palace, Tehran relic of a historic palace, the residence of the kings of the Qajar dynasty and the most beautiful and oldest buildings in the capital of the bicentenary of the counts. The palace buildings were built at different times. Its name is derived from the Hall of Golestan in building output. The site comprises 8 palace complexes around a garden. Notable features include: Marble Throne (Takht-e marmar), Hoze Khaneh, a summer chamber with a cooling system, Talar-e Aineh (Hall of Mirrors),Shams-ol-Emareh (Edifice of the Sun), Several museums.

iran unesco heritage sites, Golestan Palace

6.     Gonbad-e Qabus (2012).

Gonbad-e Qabus/ Kavus is a monumental tomb tower and is located in Gonbad-e Qabus city, Golestan province, in north of Iran.

The architectural style is a secret way and the building is one of the world's tallest brick towers all over the world. The 53 meters high tower was constructed using unglazed fired bricks. Its form is cylindrical, with a conical roof and standing on a stellar plan. It became the prototype for the construction of tomb towers in the history of Islamic Architecture.

The tower is the only part that remains of the historic town of Gorgan. It stands on a domed hill in a park in the center of the current city Gonbad-e Qabus.

iran unesco heritage sites, Gonbad-e Qabus, UNESCO sites

7.     Masjed-e Jamé of Isfahan (2012).

Masjed-e Jâme' of Isfahan represents a condensed history of Iranian Architecture. It displays architectural styles of different periods in the country's Islamic architecture.

The mosque was built in the four-iwan architectural style, placing four gates face to face. It later became a prototype for the mosque and dome design.

Located in the historic center of Isfahan, it is the oldest Friday mosque in Iran. It was developed from the 9th century onwards.

iran unesco heritage sites, Masjed-e Jamé of Isfahan, UNESCO sites

8.    Emam/ Imam square, Esfahan (1979)

Imam square/ Naghshe Jahan square, in Esfahan is one of the largest city squares in the world and  Built by Shah Abbas I the Great at the beginning of the 17th century .The square is surrounded by important historical buildings from the Safavid era. The Shah Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side, you can find Ali Qapu Palace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and the northern side opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. They are an impressive testimony to the level of social and cultural life in Persia during the Safavid era.

iran unesco heritage sites, Meidan Emam/ Naghshe Jahan squar

9.     Pasargadae (2004).

Pasargadae was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great, in Pars, the homeland of the Persians, in the 6th century BC. Its palaces, gardens and the mausoleum of Cyrus are outstanding examples of the first phase of royal Achaemenid art and architecture and exceptional testimonies of Persian civilization.

iran unesco heritage sites, Pasargadae


 UNESCO world heritage sites of Iran continues with one of the most glorious attractions, Persepolis:

10.  Persepolis (1979).

Persepolis was an ancient ceremonial capital of the second Iranian dynasty, the Achaemenid Empire. Archaeological evidence suggests that the earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 518 BC. It was Darius the Great who built the terrace and the great palaces.

The surviving ruins of Persepolis today are a mere shadow of Persepolis' former glory. The importance and quality of the monumental ruins make it a unique archaeological site

iran unesco heritage sites, Persepolise

11.  Shahr-i Sokhta (2014.(

Shahr-i Sokhta ("Burnt City") is an archaeological site of a Bronze Age urban settlement. It is associated with the Jiroft culture, an "independent Bronze Age civilization with its own architecture and language", intermediate between Elam to the west and the Indus Valley Civilization to the east. Covering an area of 151 hectares, Shahr-i Sokhta was one of the world's largest cities at the dawn of the urban era. In the western part of the site is a vast graveyard. It contains between 25,000 to 40,000 ancient graves

The settlement appeared around 3200 BC. The city had four stages of civilization and was burnt down three times before being abandoned in 2100 BC. The site was discovered and investigated by Aurel Stein in the early 1900s.

siran unesco heritage sites, hahre Sukhte

12.  Sheikh Safi al-din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil (2010).

The Sheikh Safi al-Din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil is a Sufi spiritual retreat dating from between the early 16th century and late 18th century. The complex is a fine example of medieval Iranian architecture.

The site includes a library, a mosque, a school, a mausoleum, a cistern, a hospital, kitchens, a bakery and some offices. The floor of the shrine is covered with a reproduction of the most famous carpet in the world - the Ardebil Carpet.

iran unesco heritage sites, Sheikh Safi al-din Khanegah and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil

13.  Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System (2009)

Shushtar, Historical Hydraulic System, is an island city from the Sassanian era with a complex irrigation system.

The river was channeled to form a moat around the city, while bridges and main gates into Shushtar were built to the east, west, and south. A system of subterranean channels called Qanats, which connected the river to the private reservoirs of houses and buildings, supplied water for domestic use and irrigation, as well as to store and supply water during times of war when the main gates were closed. Traces of these Qanats can still be found in the crypts of some houses. This complex system of irrigation degenerated during the 19th century

Siran unesco heritage sites, hushtar Historical Hydraulic System

14.  Soltaniyeh (2005)

The ancient city of Soltaniyeh was the capital of the Ilkhanid dynasty (13th and 14th centuries), which was founded by the Mongols. The main feature of Soltaniyeh's several ruins is the Mausoleum of Il-khan Öljeitü, traditionally known as the Dome of Soltaniyeh. It is a key monument in the history of Islamic architecture. The structure, erected from 1302 until 1312, boasts the oldest double-shell dome in the world. The octagonal building is crowned with a 50m-tall dome covered in turquoise blue faience and surrounded by eight slender minarets.

iran unesco heritage sites, Soltaniyeh

15.  Susa (2015)

Susa was an ancient city of the Elamite and Achaemenid empires. It is one of the oldest-known settlements of the region, dating from as early as 4395 BCE.

The archeological site is located in the lower Zagros Mountains. It comprises two components: Susa archaeological complex and the area of Ardeshir's Palace.


16.  Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex (2010)

The Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex is one of the oldest bazaars of the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world. Tabriz has been a place of cultural exchange since antiquity and its historic bazaar complex is one of the most important commercial centers on the Silk Road.

iran unesco heritage sites, Tabriz Bazaar

17.  Takht-e Soleyman (2003(

Takht-e Soleyman, "The Throne of Solomon", is the holiest shrine of Zoroastrianism and the former Sassanid Empire.

The partially excavated site consists of the following locations:

- Takht-e Suleiman, the main focus of the nomination with a Zoroastrian Fire Temple and the Anahita temple

- The mountain to the east of the previous served as a quarry for the construction of the site

- Zendan-e Suleiman (‘Solomon’s prison’), a small volcano with ancient shrines around the top- Tepe Majid, an archaeological mound culturally related to Zendan-e Suleiman

- Belqeis Mountain with a citadel (named after Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother)

The archaeological site of Takht-e Soleyman, in north-western Iran, is situated in a valley set in a volcanic mountain region.

iran unesco heritage sites, Takht-e Soleyman

18.  Tchogha Zanbil (1979).

The ruins of the holy city of The Kingdom of Elam, surrounded by three huge concentric walls, are found at Tchogha Zanbil. Founded c. 1250 B.C., the city remained unfinished after it was invaded by Ashurbanipal, as shown by the thousands of unused bricks left at the site

iran unesco heritage sites, Tchogha Zanbil

19.  The Persian Gardens (2011)

"The Persian Garden" comprises nine gardens from different epochs and climates. They derive from the Chahar Bagh model: the division of a site into 4 sectors, opening out into the 4 cardinal directions. This dates back to the 6th Century BC.

The tradition and style in the garden design of Persian gardens has influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India and beyond. The design is dominated by geometry and the use of water as a central element.

The 9 designated gardens are: Royal Garden of Pasargadae, Bagh-e Eram in Shiraz (Eram Garden), Chehel Sotun Garden, Bagh-e Fin in Kashan, Bagh-e Dolat Abad in Yazd, Bagh-e Pahlavanpur in Mehriz (Yazd), Bagh-e Shahzadeh in Mahan (Kerman), Bagh-e Abbasabad in Behshahr, Bagh-e Akbariyeh in Birjand.


iran unesco heritage sites, Parsian gardens, Dowlat Abad

20.  Iranian Qanat (2016)

A Qanat (Kariz) which literally means ‘channel’ in Persian is a sloping underground tunnel that transport water from an aquifer or water well to surface for irrigation and drinking, acting as an underground aqueduct. This is an old system of water supply from a deep well with a series of vertical access shafts.

Qanat is a symbol of civilization, tradition, and culture in desert regions with an arid climate and an outstanding example of using architectural complicated systems in Iran.

iran unesco heritage sites, Iranian Qanat

21.  Lut Desert (2016)

Dasht-e Lut was included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on 17 July 2016. The Dasht-e Lut, a large salty desert in Iran, is the 25th largest desert in the world.

The surface of the sand was measured at temperatures up to 70 ° C (159 ° F), and is one of the driest and hottest places in the world.

One of the most beautiful phenomena in the Lut desert is Kaluts/ Kalouts. These high and strange cliffs that are shaped by centuries of water and soil erosion create spectacular desert scenery giving a real scene of isolation.

Dashte Lut extends over 52,000 square kilometers to the east and south-east of Iran

iran unesco heritage sites, Lut desert Kalouts

22.  Historic City of Yazd (2017)

Yazd province dating back to pre-Islamic times; besides the world's oldest adobe building, it has the tallest windmills and minarets of Iran, the longest Qanat in Iran and the only six windmills in the world. It has also Iran's only circular inn and the world's first safe deposit box. The historical city of Yazd also has the most extensive historical residential area of Iran with a surface area of 700 hectares.

Yazd's historical texture is a balanced combination of old alleys, houses, suburbs, and adobe buildings that have all the potential for personal and social life and have led to the globalization of Yazd.

Take a look to Best of Yazd 

iran unesco heritage sites, historic city of Yazd

23.  Sassanid Archaeological Landscape of Fars Region (2018)

The most important ancient and the historical route in Fars province was listed in the UNESCO World Heritage List of Iran in the year 2018 as the Sasanian Archaeological Collection. This route passes through the cities of Firouzabad, Kazeroon, and Sarvestan including monuments and landmarks such as Bishapour, Shapur Cave, Sassanid Sarsan Palace, Ardeshir Khor Ancient City, Ardeshir Babkan Palace, Dokhtar Castle, the Statue of Victory of Ardeshir Babakan against Ardavan and so on.

iran unesco heritage sites, Sassanid Archeological landscape

24.  Hyrcanian Forests (2019)

Hyrcanian forests in the common and popular language of the Iranian people are called northern forests and they form the most dense forest area of Iran. These forests, located in the south of the Caspian Sea, are common between Iran and Azerbaijan. Hyrcanian forests have been around for many years, and some even say they equate their lives with dinosaurs (the third geological period.

The age of these forests and the inadequacy of plant tissue and the type of its trees prompted them to apply for UNESCO World Registration. At first, the Republic of Azerbaijan made this request, but since most of the forests were located in Iran, Iran proposed a joint request with Azerbaijan and the request was filed with UNESCO.

iran unesco heritage sites, Hyrican forests


25.  The Trans-Iranian Railway (2021)

The Trans-Iranian Railway with a length of about 1400 km as the twenty-fifth tangible heritage and the first industrial heritage of our country, was registered in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The Iranian Railway route is important not only in terms of technique and quality of construction and historical landscape, but also culturally, because it connects different Iranian ethnic groups. Also, this railway is important in terms of tourism and having special natural landscapes and attractions in the world, and its route is full of natural attractions, buildings, bridges, stations, facilities, and even historical locomotives. Iran's national railway is nearly 100 years old, And the Veresk Bridge is the most prominent structural of there.

iran world heritage list, trans-iranian railway 

26.  Cultural landscape of Oramanat or Horaman (Uramanat), Kermanshah and Kurdistan (2021)

The architecture of Horaman (Uramanat) is fully adapted to the mountains and relies on construction using stone and its special structure, and the houses in the villages of the region are built in a stepped shaped due to the steep slope of the rocky slopes. The houses are mostly built on two floors.
 And in terms of livelihood, the space of the houses is different from each other and the houses of gardeners, farmers, and ranchers are more or less different. 
In many cases, the ground floor is dedicated to the herd and warehouse, the main residential space is located on the upper floor and consists of different sections.
In addition to the architecture of the houses, it also has a unique cultural texture. This region includes parts of Sanandaj and Kamyaran cities and a major part of Sarvabad and Marivan in Kurdistan province and Javanrood and Paveh cities in full and parts of Ravansar and Salat Babajani in Kermanshah province.



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