Imam Reza Shrine :┬áMashhad is the capital of Khorasan province in the North East of Iran, 892 km away from Tehran. It is located at the altitude of 985 Meter occupying an area of 204 sq. Km. and has a population of about 1.5 million. Mashhad grew from a small village called Sanabad, 24 km away from Tus. After the martyrdom of Imam Ali ibn Musa Al-Ridha and his burial there in 203 AH, the place came to be known as Mashhad Al-Ridha. Astan-Qods-Razavi (the name given to the physical buildings comprising the Haram) is one of the most beautiful and glorious religious places in Iran. The best of Islamic art and architecture can be seen in the unique and significant monuments where Islamic art and faith is embedded.
Imam Reza Shrine
The Imam Reza Shrine Complex was developed on the site of the eighth Imam’s grave, in what was at the time of his death in 817 the small village of Sanabad. In the tenth century the town acquired the name Mashhad, ‘Place of Martyrdom’ (used for any burial place of a muslim martyr), and became the most sacred site in Persia.
Although the earliest dated structure bears an inscription from the early fifteenth century, historical references indicate buildings on the site prior to the Seljuk period, and a dome by the early thirteenth century.
Following periods of alternating destruction and reconstruction, including the sporadic interest of Seljuk and Il-Khan Sultans, the largest period of construction took place under the Timurids and Safavids. The site received substantial royal patronage from the son of Timur, Shah Rukh, and his wife Gawhar Shad and the Safavid Shahs Tahmasp, Abbas and Nader Shah.