The city of Mashhad is mostly known because of its religious attraction which belongs to the eighth Imam of Twelver Shiites, Imam Reza. The Imam Reza Holy Shrine is a complex which is the largest mosque in the world by area and contains the mausoleum of Imam Reza. It also has many other religious attractions such as the Goharshad Mosque, which is also another great tourist attraction in Mashhad. Not only this complex is the main tourism centre in Mashhad, but also it is well-known as a religious complex in the whole of Iran and even the Islamic world. Imam Reza Holy Shrine is so popular that is called “the heart of the Shia Iran”. Moreover, this place is one of the most visited attractions in the whole of Iran which is visited by more than 12 million Iranian and non-Iranian Shias each year.
Imam Reza was poisoned by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mamun in 818. He was buried beside the grave of Mamun’s father (Harun Al-Rashid). Therefore, the location was called as Mashhad-Al-Reza. That means it was the place where Imam Reza was martyred. Many times passed till the first stone was put on the grave, which was a marble stone in the size of 40 cm to 30 cm. Then again many years later, the gravestone changed to a new marble stone in the size of 60 cm to 40 cm. Until today, this mausoleum had been changed many times. However, it wasn’t always this large and opulent.
The first dome was put upon this grave during the reign of Sultan Sanjar Seljuck. Then again the grave renovated and many great tiling, which can still be seen inside the shrine. Therefore, each time the mausoleum became larger and more details added to it. Then again during the Timurid dynasty, the new mosque added to this place which is known today as Goharshad Mosque.
It was during the Safavid era when the shrine became more opulent and eye-catching. The minarets of the shrine and even the tiling on the dome turned into gold. Hence, most of what can be seen today has been built during the Safavid kingdom.
Imam Reza Holy Shrine had always been an important place for Iranian. Each ruler changed part of this place but no one even damaged or destroyed it. The shrine had always considered holy and blessed. However, this holy place had been damaged many times because of war or earthquake, but it was renovated very quickly. Imam Reza Holy Shrine is the main tourist attraction in Mashhad. Most of the tourists know this city because of this holy place. It’s even the landmark of the city.
The shrine complex itself has many other attractions such as the Goharshad Mosque, Astane Ghods Razavi Museum, Naqqare Khaneh, Clock Tower, Pariz School and a library. There are restaurants inside the complex for the people who come to visit this holy place. However, you can still see many great attractions outside this complex too. The closest attraction to this place is the Anthropology Museum of Mashhad which is located on the west of the shrine. It will only take 10 minutes to walk to this museum. Tomb of Nader Shah is another great tourist attraction in Mashhad which is only 900 meters away from the holy shrine. It is also reachable on foot in 10 minutes. On the east side of the shrine, you can easily reach Tavakoli Historical House and Darougheh Historical house.
There are many hotels around this complex too. Madinah Al-Reza is the best of them. It is the closest 5-star hotel to Imam Reza Holy Shrine. The distance between the shrine and this hotel is 850 meters. Toos Hotel is another great hotel close to the shrine. It is also one of the best mid-range hotels in Mashhad which is only 10 minutes away from Imam Reza Shrine. Ghasr Al-Ziafeh Hotel is another 5-star luxury hotel next to the shrine. If you can searching for a most affordable hotel close to the Imam Reza Shrine, Boshra Hotel might be a great choice for you.
Imam Reza Shrine is located in the centre of the city. Since it is the main tourist attraction in Mashhad, you can easily get there from any part of the city. The closest metro station to this place is Shohada subway station which is almost 2 km away from the shrine but from this station, you can either take a taxi or take a bus and get to the shrine in 5 minutes. Moreover, many hotels offer a daily free transfer to Imam Reza Shrine, such as Homa Hotel 2, which is one of the best hotels in Mashhad. Parsidan Hotel is another 5-star luxury hotel in Mashhad which offers daily free transfers to Imam Reza Holy Shrine. Therefore, the guests of this hotel, which is among the best hotels in Mashhad, can easily get to this holy place.
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