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Pilgrimage Centers of iran

With the expansion of Islam in Iran, the tombs of the Imams (descendants of the Prophet of Islam and Shiite religious leaders) were gradually changed to places of pilgrimage and shrines. Subsequently, people and religious leaders constructed suitable and outstanding buildings in these places. These buildings or Imamzadehs have unique architectural styles.

The most famous artists of the time, making use of existing possibilities, portrayed their skill, art and genius in the construction and ornamentation of these shrines. Genius and talent are reflected in most such buildings. The places of pilgrimage-in Iran are divided into two categories:
1.The places with international fame like the sacred, Shrine of His...Holiness Imam Reza (PBUH) in Mashhad and the Shrine of Her Holiness Massoomeh (PBUH) in Qom. The social and economic life of these two cities is interlocked with the existence of these shrines.
2.The places with local and regional fame. These places, of pilgrimage are scattered in different parts of the country of which the most important ones are: the Shrine of His Holiness Ahmad-bin-Musa (PBUH) famous as Shah Cheraq in Shiraz; the Shrine of His Holiness Abdol-Azim in Shahr Ray (south of Tehran); and Mausoleum of Danial Nabi in Susa (Shoosh).
These tombs, mostly dome-shaped, are places of pilgrimage for local people, especially on weekends. On the other hand, since some of these places are located in regions with a pleasant climate, they are also places for recreation surrounded by different shops and other services. Therefore, many Imamzadehs are located in the suburbs of cities and villages.
In addition to Shiites, there live in Iran other religious minorities: Sunnites, Zoroastrians, Assyrians, Armenians, and Jews who have their own sacred religious places. Here some of these places, which are important from a tourism point of view, are pointed out: The most important pilgrimage places for Sunnites are Mausoleum of Sheik-e-Jam in Khorassan and Sanandadj Jame' Mosque. Zoroastrians of Iran, who live mostly in Yazd and Tehran, annually go to Perse-polis, Naghsh-e-Rostam, Tagh Bostan and Bisotoon for their religious ceremo-nies and rituals.
The old Azargoshash Fire-temple in Takht-e-Solayman, Kashmar Tower in Khorassan, and Oru-miyeh Lake are other sacred sites for Zoroastrians. Armenians travel to St. Tatawoos Church, located in Siah Cheshmeh close to Makoo, in summers for pilgrimage. In addition to 13 churches in Jolfa (Isfahan), which are sacred places for Armenians, many other historical churches in other parts of the country may be pointed out like many old churches in Azarbaijan (of which the most beautiful is St. Stephan Church), Salmas, and Makoo.The most important place of pilgrimage for Jews is the tomb of Ester and Mordcay in Hamedan.

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