15% rise in visits to historical sites in Rey

Tehran Times – Visits to historical sites in Rey surged 15 percent during the first three months of the current Iranian calendar year (started March 21) compared to the same period a year earlier.

Nearly 875,000 people toured recreational and tourism attractions in Rey during the period, its tourism director Amir Mosayeb Rahimzadeh said on Tuesday, IRNA reported.

Home to holy shrines of Imam Khomeini and Shah Abdol Azim, Rey welcomes many travelers and pilgrims in a year, he added.

“Fire Temple of Rey, Tughrul Tower, Cheshmeh-Ali, Naghareh-Khaneh Tower, Rashkan Castle and traditional bazaar of Rey are among historical attractions of the ancient city.”

Currently, 39 out of 197 historical sites of Rey are inscribed on the National Cultural Heritage list, the official stated.

Rey was one of the capital cities of the Parthian empire (3rd century BC–3rd century CE) and it was captured by the Muslim Arabs in 641 CE. During the reign of the Muslim caliph al-Mahdi in the 8th century, the city grew in importance until it was rivaled in western Asia only by Damascus and Baghdad.

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Islamic writers described it as a city of extraordinary beauty, built largely of fired brick and brilliantly ornamented with blue faience (glazed earthenware). It continued to be an important city and was briefly a capital under the rule of the Seljuqs, but in the 12th century it was weakened by the fierce quarrels of rival religious sects. In 1220 the city was almost entirely destroyed by the Mongols, and its inhabitants were massacred. Most of the survivors of the massacre moved to nearby Tehran, and the deserted remnants of Rey soon fell into complete ruin.