Top Religious Destinations in Iran

Imam Reza Holy Shrine in Mashhad one of the top religious destinations in Iran

What is Religious Tourism?

Religious tourism is one of the most common forms of tourism around the world, dating back centuries, and generally includes trips and visits, the main purpose of which is a religious experience. In a general classification, top religious attractions in Iran can be divided into various categories: mosques, tombs and graves, Fire temples and fireplaces, Monasteries and convents.

We are facing two different groups of tourists in this regard. The first group of people who visit the holy places of their religion, such as Muslims who visit their holy places such as the Kaaba, holy shrines, or other holy places, and the second group of people who visit the holy places of other religions. For example, there are many people who are not Christians. But they visit churches in different parts of the world or Christians who visit Buddhist temples or other religions.

There are many spiritual and religious destinations in Iran that you can choose any of them as a place to spend your tour and in this article, we will introduce and review 12 of the most important religious attractions in Iran.

Top Religious Destinations in Iran:

1- Imam Reza Holy Shrine, Mashhad

Mashhad is one of the cities of Khorasan Razavi province, which is located in northeastern Iran. This city was the capital of Iran during the Afshari era and is currently the second-largest city in Iran after Tehran. The Imam Reza shrine, one of the top religious sites of Iran is a complex that contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza (Imam Ali bin Mousa al-Reza (PBUH)), the eighth Imam of Shiites, is of the progeny of Prophet Muhammad and his eighth successor.

The first building of the tomb was the tomb of Harun Al-Rasheed in 387 AH, which was built by Ma’mun Abbasi on which the rest of the shrine was built. Taking into account the area of all pilgrimage and non-pilgrimage sections, the total area of Imam Reza shrine is more than one million square meters and has a capacity of 700,000 people.

Imam Reza Holy Shrine, top religious destinations in Iran
Imam Reza Holy Shrine – by Soroush Javadian

In case you are wondering to visit Imam Reza Holy Shrine, here are Iran tours that consist of Mashhad.

2- Holy Shrine of Fatima Masumeh, Qom

The holy city of Qom is one of the religious bases of the Shiite world and the second pilgrimage center of Iran. Due to the presence of the shrine of Fatima Masoumeh, as well as the Holy Mosque of Jamkaran and many religious sites, this city is one of the important centers of religious tourism in Iran today.

The tomb of Imam Masoumeh in Qom is located between a tall tomb and is covered with exquisite and delicate tiles (beginning of the seventh century). Around the shrine, there is a wall two meters high, which was built in 950 and was decorated with mosaic tiles. Now this wall is covered with a lattice made of silver and attracts many tourists every year.

top religious destinations in Iran - Fatima Masumeh, Qom

In case you are wondering to visit Fatima Masumeh Holy Shrine, here are Iran tours that consist of Qom.

3- Nasir al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz

Nasir Al-Molk Mosque in Shiraz is one of the few mosques in the world whose impressive interior design with colorful glass has turned this place into an admirable work of art. Sunlight is reflected from the colored glass of this mosque on the patterns on the walls and designs on it, or it shines on the carpet of the mosque floor. The passage of sunlight through colored glass and their color combination has created a world of color in the mosque. Nasir Al-Molk Mosque belongs to the Qajar period.

Nasir Al-Molk is a rainbow of colors and that’s why it’s one of the top religious destinations in Iran. Nasir Al-Molk Mosque is one of the most beautiful mosques in Iran in terms of tiling and muqarnas, which combines light and color to give it a unique beauty. In terms of color, it is equal only to Al-Aqsa Mosque and Istanbul Blue Mosque.

4- Shah-e Cheragh Shrine, Shiraz

Shahcheragh is the tomb of Imam Reza’s elder brother and his burial place is in Shiraz. The construction of the holy shrine of Shahcheragh belongs to the Atabakan period, i.e. the sixth century AH, and the tiles of the dome and its court are unique and exemplary. The inside of the shrine has been mirrored in an artistic style by using small colored mirrors, and you can see a variety of beautiful Persian and Arabic lines.

In the Shahcheragh architecture of Shiraz, the Azeri architectural style can be observed. This style of architecture is one of the common architectures in post-Islamic Iran and was very popular during the Ilkhanate. “Zanjan Soltanieh Dome” is one of the prominent examples of this style.

Nasir al-Mulk Mosque in Shiraz
Shah-e Cheragh in Shiraz

5- Vakil Mosque, Shiraz

One of the unique masterpieces in the field of architecture in the history of Iran is the Vakil Mosque in Shiraz. Vakil Mosque is one of the relics of the Zandieh era. In fact, during the Zandieh period, Karim Khan Zand ordered the construction of a large collection of lawyers. According to the order of Karim Khan Zand, Vakil Bath, Vakil Bazaar, and Vakil Mosque were built in 1187 AH.

Vakil Mosque is located exactly between Vakil Bath and Vakil Bazaar. The location of Vakil Bath, Bazaar, and Mosque in one area has caused these three historical monuments to be known as Vakil Complex. The praiseworthy and very beautiful architecture done in the construction of the Vakil Mosque in Shiraz is an example of ancient Iranian architecture that you will find a remarkable and tangible harmony between the beauties in this world and the religious culture of the people of that time.

By observing various and beautiful colors and enamels done on the walls and different parts of this vast mosque, you will face an extremely spectacular collection.

Vakil Mosque in Shiraz, A top religious destination in Iran
Vakil Mosque, Shiraz – by Lida Monfared

Read More: Shiraz, A Piece of Paradise and Persian Culture
Also, In case you are wondering to visit these three destinations in Shiraz, here are Iran tours that consist of Shiraz.

6- Jameh Mosque of Yazd

One of the main attractions of Yazd that attracts foreign tourists is the Yazd Grand Mosque with its unique and extraordinary architecture. The construction of this building dates back to the sixth century. The writings in the history books show that this mosque was built during a century and in different periods such as the Ilkhanids, Safavids, and Timurids. The architectural style used for the Yazd Grand Mosque is known as the Azeri style.

Jame Mosque of Yazd

The Jameh Mosque in Yazd has seven entrances, each of which leads to one of the alleys of the city. In this way and with this preparation, no other neighborhood of Yazd city will be too far from the Jameh Mosque. Because people living in any neighborhood can go to the Mosque from the nearest entrance to their house.

7- Zoroastrian Fire Temple, Yazd

Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd

Yazd Fire Temple is the place of keeping the Zoroastrian sacred fire in Yazd city and the Zoroastrian shrine living in this city. The architectural style of the fire temple, which is located in the middle of the courtyard, is influenced by the architecture of the Persian fire temples of India, which is about 21 meters above the ground and to reach its entrance, you have to climb 8 steps. Inside the building, the walls are decorated with images of Zoroaster and quotes from the Avesta Bible.

The sacred fire chamber is located in the middle of the building (away from the sun) and around it are designed rooms for prayer and supplication. The fire that burns in this fire temple has given a lot of importance and prestige to the fire temple of Yazd and according to the senior Zoroastrians, its fire, which is called the fire of Verhram, is more than 1535 years old.

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8- Amir Chakhmaq Mosque, Yazd

Amir Chakhmaq is a square in the city of Yazd that was built during the Timurid period and includes a bazaar, a mosque, a tekiye (It is a place – other than a mosque – where celebrations or mourning programs are held for imams and prophets.) and two water reservoirs. From the very beginning, this square was one of the main squares of the city, where people gathered for various ceremonies. Amir Chakhmaq Square and its surrounding buildings are among the most prominent historical and tourist complexes in Yazd.

On the south side of this square, Amir Chakhmaq Mosque was built in 841 AH. The beauty and size of this mosque have made it the second most important mosque in Yazd after the Yazd Grand Mosque. The dome of the mosque is curved and cracked and is covered with green tiles and there is an inscription in Kufic script around it. This mosque has two summer and winter parts, which have been used according to the weather conditions.

Amir Chakhmaq Mosque, Yazd
Amir Chakhmaq Mosque, Yazd – by A.Davey

Read More: Yazd, The Historic city in the Heart of Desert
Also, In case you are wondering to visit Jame Mosque of Yazd, Zoroastrian Fire Temple, and Amir Chakhmaq Complex, here are Iran tours that consist of Yazd.

9- Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque, Isfahan

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Naqsh-e Jahan Square, Isfahan

Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan is a historical and famous mosque in Iran that dates back to the 11th century. The mosque is located in Naghsh-e Jahan Square, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What is the most famous about this mosque is its circular dome with its extremely beautiful patterns and drawings, which can be said to be unique in the world.

The construction of this mosque dates back to the Safavid era. At that time, this mosque was built by the order of Shah Abbas I and after about 18 years, its construction was completed. The use of natural light in the construction of the mosque and the combination of very beautiful colors along with the patterns and motifs of the plants has created a unique harmony, and all this has been completed along with the use of mosaic tiles.

10- Shah Mosque, Isfahan

Shah Mosque (aka Imam Mosque) is the most important historical mosque in Isfahan and one of the mosques in Naghsh-e Jahan Square. This mosque is the most important mosque of the Safavid period in the city of Isfahan, which is important both in terms of architectural grandeur and the abundance of decorations. Shah Mosque is one of the most important buildings of Islamic architecture in Iran. This building is an eternal masterpiece of architecture, tiling, and carpentry in the 11th century AH.

Shah (Imam) Mosque, Isfahan

11- Jameh Mosque of Isfahan

Jameh Mosque of Isfahan is one of the most important and oldest religious buildings in Iran. And that’s why it’s among the top religious destinations in Iran. Today, this mosque includes different parts, each of which represents the course of architectural art in different periods after post-Islamic Iran.

The Isfahan Jameh Mosque has been added to the World Heritage List at the meeting of the UNESCO World Heritage Committee and has been formed for nearly two thousand years and has been renovated or rebuilt during these years.

Regarding this historical monument, which is now thousands of years old, it is said that the most important plans for the development of the historical mosque of Isfahan were formed during the Buyid dynasty and then during the Safavid rule over Iran.

Jame Mosque of Isfahan
Jame Mosque of Isfahan – by Hamidespanani

Read More: Jame Mosque of Isfahan, Naqsh-e Jahan Square
Also, In case you are wondering to visit these 3 destinations in Isfahan, here are Iran tours that consist of Isfahan.

12- Agha Bozorg Mosque, Kashan

Agha Bozorg Mosque in Kashan is one of the most magnificent Islamic buildings of Kashan, which with its huge brick dome and tiled minaret, is currently one of the most interesting historical buildings in Kashan. Agha Bozorg Mosque was built in 1258 AH.

This complex is an example of traditional Iranian architecture and suitable for the desert climate and one of the most beautiful Islamic buildings. The arts of tiling, plastering, inscriptions, muqarnas, and painting are among the belongings of this great building. Aghabzorg Mosque has 5 floors and has two courtyards at the top and bottom.

One of the main points of the architecture of this mosque is that it combines the mosque and the school, and in it, all the various spaces required by the school and the mosque are located together. This type of structure is in fact a kind of breaking the principles of traditional design and is not comparable to other examples, and this has made it an architectural masterpiece.

Agha Bozorg Mosque, Kashan

In case you are wondering to visit Agha Bozorg Mosque in Kashan, here are Iran tours that consist of Kashan.

In this article, we tried to introduce you to the 12 top religious destinations in Iran and briefly introduce them. Also, if you want to visit these magnificent religious attractions, you can buy your tours through To Iran tour website and enjoy your trip to Iran and visit the top spiritual and historical attractions.

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