The United Nations Educational, Scientific and cultural organization (UNESCO) is an intellectual agency trying to encourage the identification and preservation of tangible and intangible world heritage all around the world. World Heritage Sites are universal treasures listed by UNESCO as of special cultural or natural importance and Intangible Heritage are interesting traditions we live with today. These are irreplaceable sources of life created by our ancestors which we pass onto future generations.
Iran is home to 21 tangible sites and 10 intangible cultural heritage traditions. All Iran UNESCO sites have been travel destinations for those interested in history and culture in the borders of Persia but intangible riches which present the hidden face of Iran have remain unknown, and so if you’re looking forward to an in depth Iran tour try some of these original traditions. Iran tour center offers various itineraries on exploring Iran UNESCO heritage. Great chances for looking into past through ancient monuments and listen to the story of Iran land over the course of more than 3300 years history during Iran UNESCO heritage package tours.
Following is the list of world heritage sites in Iran, both tangible and intangible ones.
1. Iran Tangible Heritage Sites, suggested by Iran tour center in 2 itineraries, it can be combined in a specific package tour based on your idea:
• Meidan Emam, Esfahan
• Tchogha Zanbil
• Takht-e Soleyman
• Bam and its Cultural Landscape
• Armenian Monastic Ensembles of Iran
• Shushtar Historical Hydraulic System
• Sheikh Safi al-din Khānegāh and Shrine Ensemble in Ardabil
• Tabriz Historic Bazaar Complex
• The Persian Garden
• Gonbad-e Qābus
• Masjed-e Jāmé of Isfahan
• Golestan Palace
• Shahr-i Sokhta
• Cultural Landscape of Maymand
• Lut Desert
• The Persian Qanat
2. Iran UNESCO Intangible Heritage:
• Qalisuyan rituals of Mashhad-e Ardehal: This ritual is held by the people of Kashan and Fin to honor the memory of Sultan Ali, a holy man among them. You can join this ritual in Muharram tour in October 2016.
• Naqqali, Iranian story-telling: one of the oldest forms of traditional Persian theatre, a dramatic performance consist of folk-tales, ethnic epics and Iranian folk music. Naqqali is the origin of all narrative plays in Iran. The performer, Naqqal, recreates battle scenes accompanied by gestures, dance and sometimes instrumental music and painted scrolls which performed in coffeehouses, private houses, tents of nomads and historical places. Keep in touch with Iran tour center if you’re interested in experiencing the art of Naqqali in Iran.
• Traditional skills of building and sailing Iranian Lenj boats in the Persian Gulf: Lenj vessels are hand-built and used by inhabitants for trading journeys, fishing and pearl diving. The traditional knowledge of wooden boat-building includes oral literature, performing arts, the sailing and navigation techniques and weather forecasting was traditionally passed on from father to son. Learn more about this Iran heritage through Qeshm Island tour.
• Music of the Bakhshis of Khorasan: The Bakhshis are famous for musical skill with the ”dotār,” a two-stringed music instrument; consider one string of the ”dotār” to be male and the other female; the male string remains open, while the female is used to play the main melody. Their music, known as ”Maghami,” consists of instrumental and vocal pieces containing mythological or historical themes. Contact us if you’re a traditional music lover.
• Pahlevani and Zurkhanei rituals: Zurkhaneh is an Iranian martial art sports club. The term Zoorkhaneh which means “House of Strength” refers to the place of Iran traditional exercises. The Zurkhaneh ritual is lead by “Morsed” a musician who chants sacred poetry while keeping time on a drum and ringing bells to mark the beginning of different sections of exercises. Join this Iranian traditional sport in a specific tour named traditional sports of Iran tour.
• Ritual dramatic art of Ta‘ziye: Ta‘ziye is a kind of street theater in costume consisting four elements of poetry, music, song and motion which is inspired by historical and religious events. Offered by Iran tour center in Muharram tour.
• Traditional skills of carpet weaving in Fars: Iranian carpet is known globally, and the carpet weavers of Fars, are among the most prominent. The colors used in carpet weaving are mainly natural and produced from indigo, lettuce leaf, walnut skin, cherry stem, pomegranate skin and more. The women weavers also are designers; they bring scenes of nomadic lives to the carpet. Women of Fars weave without any design due to that no weaver can weave two carpets of the same design. The knowledge passed on from parents to children.
• Traditional skills of carpet weaving in Kashan: Different from the traditions in Fars, the women of Kashan have their own way of weaving Iranian carpet. Contact Iran Tour Center for visiting the Iranian carpet weaving tradition closely.
• Nowrouz: Nowrouz is the Iranian’s New Year. This festival is celebrated at the beginnings of the spring, started about 20th of March. There are lots of rituals happening before and during Nowruz in Iran. You can enjoy this festival in every Iran tour which is held at the end of the March.
• Radif of Iranian music: The Radif of Iranian music is a traditional collection of many old melodic figures of the classical music of Iran. The radif may be instrumental or vocal, performed on a variety of instruments including the ”tār”, ”setār”, ”ney”, ”santur”, and ”kamānche”. This treasure trove reflects the cultural identity of the Iranian people.
UNESCO tentative lists are also exists for each country. There are 49 heritage sites under the name of Iran waiting to be registered; below you can see some of them. Iran tour center offers package tours for visiting Iran tentative sites as well.
• Alisadr Cave
• Arasbaran Protected Area
• Bazaar of Qaisariye in Laar
• Cultural Landscape of Alamout
• Ghaznavi- Seljukian Axis in Khorasan
• Hamoun Lake
• Historic Monument of Kangavar
• Hyrcanian Forest (Caspian Forest)
• Kaboud Mosque
• Nasqsh-e Rostam and Naqsh-e Rajab
• Qeshm Island
• Silk Route (Also as Silk Road)
• Tape Sialk
• Taq-e Bostan
• The Collection of Historical Bridges
• The Cultural Landscape of Uramanat
• The Cultural-Natural Landscape of Ramsar
• The Ensemble of Historical Sassanian Cities in Fars Province (Bishabpur, Firouzabad)
• The Historical City of Masouleh
• The Historical City of Maybod
• The Historical Port of Siraf
• The Historical Texture of Damghan
• The Historical Village of Abyaneh
• The Zandiyeh Ensemble of Fars Province
• Touran Biosphere Reserve
• Tous Cultural Landscape
Iran also has 2 UNESCO creative cities, Isfahan in the field of Crafts and Folk Art and Rasht the creative city of gastronomy. Here is a special Iran package tour for learning more about their field of creativeness.