Travel

25 Amazing Sites Americans Are Missing Out On In Iran

Since Iran's 1979 revolution, travel for Americans to the country has been incredibly difficult. Too bad, since there are so many gems.

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With a possibility of thawing in Iranian–American relations, soon enough Americans may be able to visit all of Iran's amazing national treasures. There's so much to see!

3. Naqsh-e Rostam

Flickr: erwinb

Although looted by Alexander the Great, these tombs are the final resting place of a series of Persian emperors. They're also believed to be the burial site of the Persian hero Rostam.

8. Kharanaq

Örlygur Hnefill / Via Flickr: hnefill

Kharanaq is a tiny mud brick village outside the city of Yazd. A number of the houses are believed to be 1,000 years old and the area has been continuously inhabited for at least 4,000 years.

12. Tower of Silence

Flickr: lfphotos

Before the coming of Islam to Iran, the majority of the population was Zoroastrian. Zoroastrians never buried their dead, but instead left them exposed to the elements in Towers of Silence.

14. Amir Chakhmaq Complex

Flickr: beefortytwo

The Amir Chakhmaq Complex is the largest single building in Iran. It was built to be perfectly symmetrical, and the oldest part of the building is over 600 years old.

15. Zein-o-Din Caravansarai

Flickr: 30789195@N07

The Zein-o-Din Caravansarai was originally built in the 16th century to aid travelers and merchants along the Silk Road. Today it has been refurbished and still functions as an inn.

18. The Tomb of Firdowsi

Flickr: adavey

Firdowsi, in the 11th century, is largely credited with saving the Persian language from being replaced by Arabic by writing the epic story The Shahname entirely in Persian. His tomb is a pace of extreme cultural pride.

19. The Tomb of Hafez

Hafez is the Iranian equivalent of Shakespeare, if everyone in the English speaking world treated Shakespeare as a rock star. His tomb is a major pilgrimage point, and is beautifully kept.

20. Chehel Sotoun Pavilion

Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock

Chehel Sotoun, literally "Forty Columns," was used as a reception point for foreign dignitaries. Now you can frolic through it as you remember it's also a UNESCO site.

22. Abanyeh Village

Aleksandar Todorovic / Shutterstock

Abanyeh Village is a historic mud brick village. It is completely authentic, and little modern additions have been added to it.

25. Alamut Valley, Birthplace of the Assassins

Flickr: looking4poetry

Alamut Valley was once home to Fort Alamut, birthplace and home of the Assassins. The fort was destroyed by the Mongol invasion in the 12th century, but the ruins still remain.

So, interested in visiting Iran?