Imam Reza Shrine

Islamic site in Mashhad

Imam Reza’s Holy Shrine is enveloped in a vast series of sacred precincts collectively known as the Haram-e Razavi, or Haram for short. This magical city-within-a-city sprouts dazzling clusters of domes and minarets in blue and pure gold behind fountain-cooled courtyards and magnificent arched arcades. It’s one of the marvels of the Islamic world, and it is worth savoring its moods and glories more than once by visiting at different times of day.

 

Compare the orderly overload of dusk prayer-time to the fairy-tale calm of a floodlit nocturnal wander. And take time to visit the complex's trio of eclectic museums, filled with bequests and donations from the faithful.

 

No bags or cameras are allowed within the complex (although snapping photos with mobile phones appears to be perfectly acceptable). There are left-luggage offices near most entrances. Men and women enter through different carpet-draped portals and are politely frisked. Women must wear a chador but at most gates there is a stock to borrow for the unprepared. For either sex it's important to dress in suitably clean, conservative clothing.

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