• Location : West Azerbaijan,  38°58'44"N45°28'24"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (ii)(iii)(vi)
  • Year : 2008
  • Description : including: St Thaddeus Monastery, St Stepanos Monastery, Chapel of Dzordzor, Chapel of Chupan, Church of the Holy Mother of God.

    The Saint Thaddeus Monastery "The Black Church" is an ancient Armenian monastery located in the mountainous area of Iran's West Azerbaijan Province about 20 kilometers from the town of Maku. The monastery is visible from a distance because of the massiveness of the church, strongly characterized by the polygonal drums and conical roofs of its two domes. There are several chapels nearby three on the hills east of the stream one approximately 3 km south of the monastery on the road to Bastam and another that serves as the church for the village of Ghara-Kilisa. The St. Stepanos Monastery or Monastery of St. Stephen the Proto-martyr Maghardavank is an Armenian monastery about 15 km northwest of Jolfa city East Azarbaijan Province northwest Iran. It is situated in a deep canyon along the Arax river on the Iranian side of the border between Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic and Iran. It was built in the 9th century and rebuilt in the Safavid era after several earthquakes damaged it. The Chapel of Dzordzor is part of an Armenian monastery located in Maku County, West Azerbaijan Province Iran on Zangmar River near the village of Baron. The monastery had its heyday in the fourteenth century before being abandoned and destroyed in the early seventeenth century, when Shah Abbas I decided to displace the local Armenians. The Chapel of Holy Mother of God is the only part of the monastery still stands today. The construction of this chapel cross surmounted in the center of a drum dome dates back to the 9th to 14th centuries. In agreement with the Armenian Apostolic Church the building was relocated 600 meters by the Iranian authorities in 1987-1988, following the decision to build a dam on the Zangmar River, to avoid being inundated in the dam reservoir.The chapel is on the World Heritage List of UNESCO since July 6 2008 alongside St. Thaddeus and St. Stepanos Monasteries. The Church of Saint Astvatsatsin or Church of the Holy Mother of God is a 17th-century Armenian church in the Valley of the Araxes along the Araks river in Iran near Darashamb.

Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran








  • Location : Isfahan, 32°40'11"N51°41'7"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (ii)
  • Year : 2012
  • Description : The Jameh Mosque of Isfahan is the grand congregational mosque of Isfahan city within Isfahan Province Iran. The mosque is the result of continual construction reconstruction additions and renovations on the site from around 771 to the end of the 20th century. The Grand Bazaar of Isfahan can be found towards the southeast wing of the mosque. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012. This is one of the oldest mosques still standing in Iran, and it was built in the four-iwan architectural style placing four gates face to face an iwanis a vaulted open room. The qibla iwan on the southern side of the mosque was vaulted with muqarnas during the 13th century. Muqarnasare niche-like cells.
    Construction under the Seljuqs included the addition of two brick domed chambers for which the mosque is renowned. The south dome was built to house the mihrab in 1086–87 by Nizam al-Mulk, the famous vizier of Malik Shah and was larger than any dome known at its time. The north dome was constructed a year later by Nizam al-Mulk's rival Taj al-Mulk. The function of this domed chamber is uncertain. Although it was situated along the north-south axis it was located outside the boundaries of the mosque. The dome was certainly built as a direct riposte to the earlier south dome and successfully so claiming its place as a masterpiece in Persian architecture for its structural clarity and geometric balance. Iwans were also added in stages under the Seljuqs giving the mosque its current four-iwan form a type which subsequently became prevalent in Iran and the rest of the Islamic world. Responding to functional needs of the space, political ambition religious developments and changes in taste further additions and modifications took place incorporating elements from the Mongols, Muzzafarids, Timurids and Safavids. Of note is the elaborately carved stucco mihrab commissioned in 1310 by Mongol ruler Oljaytu located in a side prayer hall built within the western arcade. Safavid intervention was largely decorative with the addition of muqarnas, glazed tile work and minarets flanking the south iwan. The cupolas and piers that form the hypostyle area between the iwans are undated and varied in style endlessly modified with repairs reconstructions and additions. The origins of this mosque lie in the 8th century but it burnt down and was rebuilt again in the 11th century and went through remodeling many times. As a result it has rooms built in different architectural styles so now the mosque represents a condensed history of the Iranian Architecture.





  • Location : Kerman, 29°07'00.68"N58°22'06.51"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (ii)(iii)(iv)(v)
  • Year : 2004
  • Description : Arg-e Bam is the biggest adobe structure in the world. it is the most representative example of a fortified medieval town built in vernacular technique.

    The Arg-e Bam was the largest adobe building in the world located in Bam a city in the Kerman Province of southeastern Iran. It is listed by UNESCO as part of the World Heritage Site "Bam and its Cultural Landscape". The origin of this enormous citadel on the Silk Road can be traced back to the Achaemenid period (6th to 4th centuries BC) and even beyond. The heyday of the citadel was from the 7th to 11th centuries being at the crossroads of important trade routes and known for the production of silk and cotton garments. The entire building was a large fortress in whose heart the citadel itself was located but because of the impressive look of the citadel which forms the highest point the entire fortress is named the Bam Citadel. On December 26 2003 the Citadel was almost completely destroyed by an earthquake along with much of the rest of Bam and its environs. A few days after the earthquake the Iranian President announced that the Citadel would be rebuilt.










  • Location : Isfahan, 32°39'27"N51°40'40"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (i)(v)(vi)
  • Year : 1979
  • Description : Naqsh-e Jahan Square known as Imam Square formerly known as Shah Square is a square situated at the center of Isfahan city Iran. Constructed between 1598 and 1629, it is now an important historical site, and one of UNESCO's World Heritage Sites. It is 160 metres wide by 560 meters long (an area of 89,600 square meters ). The square is surrounded by buildings from the Safavid era. The Shah Mosque is situated on the south side of this square. On the west side is the Ali Qapu Palace. Sheikh Lotf Allah Mosque is situated on the eastern side of this square and at the northern side Keisaria gate opens into the Isfahan Grand Bazaar. Today Friday prayer is held in the Shah Mosque. The square is depicted on the reverse of the Iranian 20,000 rials bank note. In 1598 when Shah Abbas decided to move the capital of his Persian empire from the north-western city of Qazvin to the central city of Isfahan, he initiated what would become one of the greatest programs in Persian history; the complete remaking of the city. By choosing the central city of Isfahan, fertilized by the Zayande roud river lying as an oasis of intense cultivation in the midst of a vast area of arid landscape, he both distanced his capital from any future assaults by the Ottomans and the Uzbeks and at the same time gained more control over the Persian Gulf which had recently become an important trading route for the Dutch and British East India Companies. The chief architect of this colossal task of urban planning was Shaykh Bahai who focused the programe on two key features of Shah Abbas's master plan the Chahar Bagh avenue flanked at either side by all the prominent institutions of the city such as the residences of all foreign dignitaries and the Naqsh-e Jahan Square. Prior to the Shah's ascent to power Persia had a decentralized power-structure in which different institutions battled for power including both the military and governors of the different provinces making up the empire. Shah Abbas wanted to undermine this political structure and the recreation of Isfahan, as a Grand capital of Persia was an important step in centralizing the power. The ingenuity of the square was that by building it Shah Abbas would gather the three main components of power in Persia in his own backyard the power of the clergy represented by the Masjed-e Shah the power of the merchants represented by the Imperial Bazaar and of course the power of the Shah himself residing in the Ali Qapu Palace.

Meidan Emam, Esfahan

  • Location : Kermanshah, 34°23'18"N47°26'12"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (ii)(iii)
  • Year : 2006
  • Description : The Behistun Inscription is a multi-lingual inscription located on Mount Behistun in the Kermanshah Province of Iran, near the city of Kermanshah in western Iran. It was crucial to the decipherment of cuneiform script. Authored by Darius the Great sometime between his coronation as king of the Persian Empire in the summer of 522 BC and his death in autumn of 486 BC the inscription begins with a brief autobiography of Darius including his ancestry and lineage. Later in the inscription Darius provides a lengthy sequence of events following the deaths of Cyrus the Great and Cambyses II in which he fought nineteen battles in a period of one year (ending in December 521 BC) to put down multiple rebellions throughout the Persian Empire. The inscription states in detail that the rebellions which had resulted from the deaths of Cyrus the Great and his son Cambyses II were orchestrated by several impostors and their co-conspirators in various cities throughout the empire each of whom falsely proclaimed kinghood during the upheaval following Cyrus's death.
    Darius the Great proclaimed himself victorious in all battles during the period of upheaval attributing his success to the "grace of Ahura Mazda".The inscription includes three versions of the same text written in three different cuneiform script languages Old Persian, Ilamite and Babylonian (a later form of Akkadian). In effect then the inscription is to cuneiform what the Rosetta Stones to Egyptian hieroglyphs the document most crucial in the decipherment of a previously lost script.
    The inscription is approximately 15 meters high by 25 meters wide and 100 meters up a limestone cliff from an ancient road connecting the capitals of Babylonia and Media (Babylon and Ecbatana respectively). The Old Persian text contains 414 lines in five columns the Ilamite text includes 593 lines in eight columns, and the Babylonian text is in 112 lines. The inscription was illustrated by a life-sized bas-relief of Darius I the Great holding a bow as a sign of kingship with his left foot on the chest of a figure lying on his back before him. The supine figure is reputed to be the pretender Gaumata. Darius is attended to the left by two servants and nine one-meter figures stand to the right with hands tied and rope around their necks representing conquered peoples. Faravahar floats above giving his blessing to the king. One figure appears to have been added after the others were completed as was Darius's beard which is a separate block of stone attached with iron pins and lead.





  • Location : Pars, 30°11'38"N53°10'2"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
  • Year : 2004
  • Description : Pasargadae capital of the Achaemenid Empire built by Cyrus the Great (559–530 BC) and also the location of his tomb was a city in ancient Persia located near the city of Shiraz is today an archaeological site and one of Iran's UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Cyrus the Great began building his capital in 546 BC, it was unfinished when he died in battle in 530 or 529 BC. The remains of the tomb of Cyrus' son and successor Cambyses II, have been found in Pasargadae near the fortress of Tall-e Takht, and identified in 2006.
    Pasargadae remained the Persian capital until Cambyses II moved it to Susa later. Darius founded another in Persepolis. The archaeological site covers 1.6 square kilometers and includes a structure commonly believed to be the mausoleum of Cyrus the fortress of Tall-e Takht sitting on top of a nearby hill and the remains of two royal palaces and gardens. Pasargadae Persian Garden provide the earliest known example of the Persian Garden or fourfold garden design. Recent research on Pasargadae’s structural engineering has shown that Achaemenid engineers built the city to withstand a severe earthquake.


  • Location : Tehran, 35°40'49.32"N51°25'13.84"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
  • Year : 2013
  • Description : The Golestan Palace is the former royal Qajar complex in Iran's capital city Tehran. The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran a world heritage the Golestan Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg (citadel). Golestan Palace Complex consists of 17 structures including palaces, museums, and halls. Almost all of this complex was built during the 200 years ruling of Qajari kings. These palaces were used for many different occasions such as coronation and other important celebrations. Tehran’s Historic Arg was built during the reign of Tahmasp I (1524-1576) of the Safavid dynasty (1502–1736) and was later renovated by Karim Khan of Zand ( 1750-1779). Agha Mohammad Khan of Qajar (1742–1797) chose Tehran as his capital. The Arg became the site of the Qajar (1794–1925). The Court and the Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal Qajar family. The palace was rebuilt to its current form in 1865 by Haji Ab ol Hasan Mimar Navai. During the Pahlavi era (1925–1979), Golestan Palace was used for formal royal receptions and the Pahlavi dynasty built their own palace at Niavaran (Niavaran Palace Complex). The most important ceremonies, held in the palace during the Pahlavi era were the coronation of Reza Shah (1925-1941) on the Marble Throne and the coronation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941-1979) in the Museum Hall. In between 1925 and 1945 a large portion of the buildings of the palace were destroyed on the orders of Reza Shah. He believed that the centuries-old Qajar palace should not hinder the growth of a modern city. In the place of the old buildings, commercial buildings with the modern style of 1950s and 1960s were erected.

Golestan Palace




  • Location : Fars, 29°56'4"N52°52'25"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (i)(iii)(vi)
  • Year : 1979
  • Description : Persepolis was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire ( 550–330 BC ). Persepolis is situated 70 km north east of city of Shiraz in Fars Province in Iran. The earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the ruins of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979. Archaeological evidence shows that the earliest remains of Persepolis date back to 515 BC. André Godard, the French archaeologist who excavated Persepolis in the early 1930s, believed that it was Cyrus the Great who chose the site of Persepolis, but that it was Darius I who built the terrace and the great palaces Gated hall the main imperial Treasury and its surroundings. These were completed during the reign of his son, King Xerxes the Great. Further construction of the buildings on the terrace continued until the downfall of the Achaemenid dynasty. Persepolis is near the small river Pulvar which flows into the river Kur. The site includes a 125,000 square metre terrace partly artificially constructed and partly cut out of a mountain with its east side leaning on Kuh-e Rahmet . The other three sides are formed by retaining walls which vary in height with the slope of the ground. Darius ordered the construction of the Apadana Palace and the Council Hall ( the Tripylon or three-13 metres on the west side a double stair ). From there it gently slopes to the top. To create the level terrace depressions were filled with soil and heavy rocks which were joined together with metal clips. Around 519 BC, construction of a broad stairway was begun. The stairway was planned to be the main entrance to the terrace 20 metres above the ground. The dual stairway, known as the Persepolitan stairway was built in symmetrically on the western side of the Great Wall. The 111 steps were 6.9 meters wide with treads of 31 centimeters and rises of 10 centimeters. Originally, the steps were believed to have been constructed to allow for nobles and royalty to ascend by horseback. New theories suggest that the shallow risers allowed visiting dignitaries to maintain a regal appearance while ascending. The top of the stairways led to a small yard in the north-eastern side of the terrace opposite the Gate of Nations Grey limestone was the main building material used in Persepolis. After natural rock had been leveled and the depressions filled in the terrace was prepared. Major tunnels for sewage were dug underground through the rock. A large elevated water storage tank was carved at the eastern foot of the mountain. The uneven plan of the terrace including the foundation acted like a castle whose angled walls enabled its defenders to target any section of the external front.


  • Location : Golestan, 37°15'28.9"N55°10'8.4"E
  • Criteria : Cultural: (i)(ii)(iii)(iv)
  • Year : 2012
  • Description : The 53 m high tomb built in ad 1006.It was the longest minaret at the time of construction.

    Gonbad-e Qabus tower is a monument in Gonbad-e Qabus Iran, and an UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2012. The Tower in the central part of the city reaches 72 meters including the height of the platform. The baked-brick-built tower is an enormous decagon building with a conic roof which forms the golden ratio Phi that equals 1.618. The interiors contain the earliest examples of Muqarnas decorative styles. The decagon with its 3 meter-thick wall divided into 10 sides has a diameter of 17 m. The Tower was built on such a scientific and architectural design that at the front of the Tower at an external circle one can hear one's echo.The tower was built in 1006 AD on the orders of the Ziyarid Amir Shams ol-Maali Qabus ibn Wushmgir it is located 3 km north of the ancient city of Jorjan from where the Ziyarid dynasty ruled. The tower is over 1000 years old. A Kufic inscription at the bottom of the tower reads in Arabic: "This tall palace for the prince Shams ul-Ma'ali, Amir Qabus ibn Wushmgir ordered to build during his life in the year 397 the Lunar Hegira and the year 375 the solar Hegira"
    Even though the inscription does not explicitly refer to the rumor that the tower was built for the tomb for the prince Ziyarid ruler it is believed that the Sultan's body was put in a glass coffin and was suspended from the ceiling of the tower. It has been registered a World Heritage Site in the tower's upcoming 1,000th anniversary. Gonbad-e Qabus or Gonbad-e Kavus is a city in the province of Golestan in Iran. The city tower was built with bricks representing a special art related to the 4th century (Hegira or 11th century ). This tower which stands on a domed hill with 15 m height is located in the central (principal) park of Gonbad Kavoos city. Robert Byron, the British travel writer and architectural critic wrote that it was a photograph of the tower that motivated him to visit Persia. Seeing the tower he maintained his high opinion of its qualities writing in The Road to Oxiana that 'the Gumbad-i-Kambus ranks with the great buildings of the world.





  • Location : Sistan and Baluchestan Province
  • Criteria : Cultural: (ii)(iii)(iv)
  • Year : 2014
  • Description : Shahre Sukhteh is an archaeological site of a sizable Bronze Age urban settlement associated with the Jiroft culture. It is located in Sistan and Baluchistan Province the southeastern part of Iran on the bank of the Helmand River. In July 2014 it was placed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO. The reasons for the unexpected rise and fall of Shahre Sukhteh are still wrapped in mystery. Artifacts recovered from the city demonstrate a peculiar incongruity with nearby civilizations of the time and it has been speculated that Shahre Sukhteh might ultimately provide concrete evidence of a civilization east of prehistoric Persia that was independent of ancient Mesopotamia. Covering an area of 151 hectares, Shahre Sukhteh 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, measuring 25 hectares. 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 1800 BC. This site was discovered and investigated by Aurel Stein in the early 1900s. Beginning in 1967, the site was excavated by the Istituto Italiano per l'Africa e l'Oriente team led by Maurizio Tosi. That work continued until 1978. After a gap work at the site was resumed by the Iranian Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization team led by Mr. Sajjadi. New discoveries are reported from time to time.

Shahr-e Sukhteh