Hamedan is believed to be among the oldest Iranian cities. It is possible that it was occupied by the Assyrians in 1100 BCE; the Ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, states that it was the capital of the Medes, around 700 BCE. Hamedan has a green mountainous area in the foothills of the 3,574-meter Alvand Mountain, in the midwest part of Iran. The city is 1,850 meters above sea level. The special nature of this old city and its historic sites attract tourists during the summer to this city, located approximately 360 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of Tehran.
Isfahan is a city in central Iran, known for its Persian architecture. In the huge Naqsh-e Jahan Square is the 17th-century Imam (Shah) Mosque, whose dome and minarets are covered with mosaic tiles and calligraphy. Ali Qapu Palace, built for Shah Abbas and completed in the late 16th century, has a music room and a verandah overlooking the square’s fountains. Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque is known for its intricate tiling.
Shiraz is a city in south-central Iran, known for its literary history and many gardens. The marble Tomb of Hafez, honoring the revered poet, sits within its own garden. To the east, the Mausoleum of Saadi houses the 13th-century writer’s mosaic-tiled tomb and an underground pool. Shiraz is a gateway to Persepolis, the ruined 6th-century-B.C. capital to the northeast, with its immense gateways, columns and friezes.
Tehran is the capital of Iran, in the north of the country. Its central Golestan Palace complex, with its ornate rooms and marble throne, was the seat of power of the Qajar dynasty. The National Jewelry Museum holds many of the Qajar monarchs’ jewels, while the National Museum of Iran has artifacts dating back to Paleolithic times. The Milad Tower offers panoramic views over the city.
The City of Yazd is located in the middle of the Iranian plateau, 270 km southeast of Isfahan, close to the Spice and Silk Roads. It bears living testimony to the use of limited resources for survival in the desert. Water is supplied to the city through a qanat system developed to draw underground water. The earthen architecture of Yazd has escaped the modernization that destroyed many traditional earthen towns, retaining its traditional districts, the qanat system, traditional houses, bazaars, hammams, mosques, synagogues, Zoroastrian temples, and the historic garden of Dolat-Abad.
It is the largest and most developed city in Kerman Province and the most important city in the southeast of Iran. It is also one of the largest cities of Iran in terms of area. Kerman is famous for its long history and strong cultural heritage. The city is home to many historic mosques and Zoroastrian fire temples. Kerman became the capital city of Iranian dynasties several times during its history. It is located on a large, flat plain, 800 km (500 mi) south-east of Tehran, the capital of Iran.
The etymology of the city name comes from the Kasian, the original inhabitants of the city, whose remains are found at Tapeh Sialk dating back 9,000 years; later this was changed to "Kashian", hence the town name. Between the 12th and the 14th centuries Kashan was an important centre for the production of high quality pottery and tiles. In modern Persian, the word for a tile (kashi) comes from the name of the town.
Tabriz is the capital city of East Azerbaijan Province, in northwestern Iran. Tabriz Bazaar, once a major Silk Road market, is a sprawling brick-vaulted complex selling carpets, spices and jewelry. The rebuilt 15th-century Blue Mosque retains original turquoise mosaics on its entrance arch. Collections at the Azerbaijan Museum range from prehistoric finds to 20th-century sculptures by Iranian artist Ahad Hosseini.
Zanjan is the capital of Zanjan Province in Iranian Azerbaijan. It lies 298 km north-west of Tehran on the main highway to Tabriz and Turkey and approximately 125 km from the Caspian Sea.
Ahwaz is a city in the southwest of Iran and the capital of Khuzestan province. Ahwaz's population is about 1,300,000 and its built-up area with the nearby town of Sheybani is home to 1,136,989 inhabitants. It is home to Persians, Arabs, Lurs (Bakhtiari's), Dezfulis, Shushtaris, etc., and different languages are spoken in it, such as Persian, Arabic, the dialects of Luri (Bakhtiari), Dezfuli, Shushtari. Iran's only navigable river, the Karun, passes by the middle of the city. It has a long history dating back to the Achaemenid period. In ancient times, it had been one of the main centers of the Academy of Gondishapur.
Kermanshah, the capital of Kermanshah Province, is located 525 kilometers from Tehran in the western part of Iran. According to the 2011 census, its population is 851,405. A majority of the population speaks Southern Kurdish.