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Some of the paintings on this Web relate to places and people from Iran. We would like to offer our visitors some more background information about Iran and its culture, so that when they look at the paintings they feel more familiarised with them.

Tehran

Tehran is the capital of Iran and the Tehran Province. It is Iranīs largest city and one of the largest cities in Western Asia. The city is home to many historic mosques, churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples.

Mazandaran

Mazandaran is a Caspian province in the north of Iran. It has diverse natural resources, especially large reservoirs of oil and natural gas. The diverse nature of the province features plains, prairies, forests and jungles stretching from the sandy beaches of the Caspian Sea to the rugged and snowcapped Elborz mountains, including Mount Damavand. Mazandaran is a major producer of farmed fish and aquaculture, and attracts a large number of tourists from Iran.

Mount Damavand

Mount Damavand, a potentially active volcano, is the highest peak (5,610 m) in Iran and in the Middle East and the highest volcano in all of Asia. The mountain is located near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea, 66 km northeast of Tehran.

Niak

Niak is a rural village located in the Amol county, in the north of Iran, near Tehran.

Qazvin

Qazvin is the largest city and capital of the Province of Qazvin, about 165 km northwest of Tehran. The climate is cold but dry. The city was a former capital of the Persian Empire.

Masuleh

Masuleh is a village in the Gilan Province, situated on the northern slopes of the Alborz Mountains and near the southern coast of the Caspian Sea. It was founded in the 10th century AD and now has about 900 inhabitants. It is built in terraces into the very steep slope of the mountain. There are very few roads and, instead, many small steps and serpentine alleyways. Most of the houses are two storey high and built close together. The roofs are flat and often serve as walkways for the above lying next level houses. Yellow clay coats the exterior of most buildings in Masuleh, allowing for better visibility in the fog, which is the predominate weather feature. Tourists are usually attracted by this unusual architecture of the houses.

Firuzkuh

Firuzkuh is a city and the capital of Firuzkuh County in the north eastern region of Tehran Province, in the middle of the Alborz Mountains. The city has a relatively cool and windy climate. It is famous for its natural attractions, including Tange Vashi, Boornic Cave, Roodafshan Cave, Gardane Gadook and the sight-seeing of villages like Varse-Kharan, Zarrin Dasht, Darreh-Deh, and Kaveh Deh. It is also rich in historical heritage. Veresk Bridge lies on the road north from Firuzkuh.

Golestan

Golestan is one of the 31 provinces of Iran, located in the north-east of the country, South of the Caspian Sea. Itīs capital is Gorgan. Golestan is the World leading producer of Caviar. The Worldīs second largest wall (after the China Wall) is in the region of Gorgan. Golestan enjoys mild weather and, geographically, it is divided in two sections: the plains and the mountains of the Alborz range.

Tabriz

It is the fourth largest city in Iran and the capital of East Azerbaijan Province, in the northwest corner of the country. It was the residence of the crown prince until the Qajar dynasty. Tabriz is located in a valley to the north ridge of the volcanic cone of Sahand, south of the Eynali mountain. It contains many historical monuments, which repeated devastating earthquakes have substantially damaged, like the Blue Mosque.

Kandovan

Kandovan is a tourist village in the province of East Azerbaijan, near Tabriz. Its fame is due to its troglodyte dwellings and its scenic beauty. Some of the houses are at least 700 years old and are still inhabited. Its mineral water is also popular with visitors and is believed to be a cure for kidney disease.

Isfahan

Isfahan is the capital of the Isfahan Province, located about 340 km south of Tehran, in the centre of Iran. It is the 3rd largest city after Tehran and Mashhad. In the 16th century Isfahan became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history. Itīs famous for its Islamic architecture, with many beautiful palaces, bridges, mosques and a wide variety of monuments.

Chehel Sotoon is a pavilion in the middle of a park at the far end of a long pool, built by Shah Abbas II to be used for his entertainment and receptions. The name, meaning "Forty Columns" in Persian, was inspired by the twenty slender wooden columns supporting the entrance pavilion, which, when reflected in the waters of the fountain, are said to appear to be forty. The palace contains many frescoes and paintings on ceramic, which many of them have been dispersed and are now in possession of major museums in the west.

The Imam Mosque is an excellent example of Islamic architecture of Iran, and regarded as one of the masterpieces of Persian Architecture.

Abyaneh

Abyaneh is a famous historic village near the city of Kashan in Isfahan Province. Characterized by a peculiar reddish hue, the village is one of the oldest in Iran, attracting numerous native and foreign tourists all year round. An Abyanaki woman typically wears a long white scarf with a colourful pattern, covering the shoulders and upper trunk, and an under-knee skirt. The village also has the ruins of a Sasanid era fort.

Kashan

Kashan is a city in the province of Isfahan, and one of the oases in the central deserts of Iran. This region was one of the primary centres of civilization in pre-historic ages. Although there are many sites in Kashan of potential interest to tourists, the city remains largely undeveloped in this sector. Kashan is internationally famous for manufacturing carpets and rugs. The Fin Garden is a historical Persian garden located in the city and one of the most famous gardens of Iran.

Yazd

Yazd is the capital of the Yazd province and a centre of Zoroastrian culture. This unique architectural city is located 175 miles southeast of Isfahan. It is also well known in Iran for the high quality of its handicrafts, especially silk weaving, and its sweet shops.

Dezful

Dezful is a city in Khuzestan province in southwestern Iran. The most famous ancient structure of the city is a bridge that dates back to 300 BC. It is the primary commercial center for northern Khuzestan and one of the main producers of agricultural products in Iran.

Shiraz

Shiraz, located in the southwest of Iran, is the sixth most populous city in Iran and is the capital of the Fars Province. It has been the capital of Iran between 1750 and 1781, as well as briefly during the Saffarid period. There are numerous gardens with fruit trees around the city, like the Eram Garden, as well as mosques, temples and monuments, like the Koran Gate. Vakil Bazaar is the main bazaar of Shiraz, with beautiful courtyards, bath houses and old shops.

Within a short driving distance from Shiraz we can find important ruins like Persepolis or Naqsh-e Rustam.

Firuzabad

Firuzabad is a city located in Fars province, south of Shiraz. Alexander of Macedonia destroyed the original city of Gor (which was 5 km from the present city), drowning it by directing the flow of a river into the city. The lake he created remained for centuries until Ardashir I built a tunnel to drain it and founded the new city on this site. The new city had a circular plan and was protected by a wall and a 50m wide trench, with four gates giving access to the city.

Minab

Minab is a city in the southeast of Iran, not far from Bandar Abbas. It is famous for fishing and for farming. It was an important city of the Persian empire. Once a week, there is a well known market or bazaar in Minab.

Qeshm

Qeshm is an island situated in the Persian Golf, in the Strait of Hormuz, just a few kilometres off the southern coast of Iran, opposite the port cities of Bandar Abbas and Bandar Khamir. The island is 135 km long and about 40km at its widest point, near the centre. It comprises of 59 towns and villages and its population is approximately 100,000 inhabitants. Fishing is a main occupation practiced by the inhabitants of the island. Dates and melons are grown, and salt is mined on the southeast coast. Qeshm is famous for its wide range of ecotourist attractions such as the Hara marine forests.

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