If there is one thing Iran is known for around the world, it is undoubtedly its carpets. Persian carpets (many of which are actually made by non-Persian peoples in Iran) represent one of the most distinguished and distinctive manifestations of Iranian culture and art. Hand-woven Persian carpets are among the most treasured possessions of homes, […]

During the late Qâjâr period (i.e., at the beginning of the twentieth century), the continuity of Iranian architectural forms and urban structure was broken. Exposure to and arrival of European styles changed the demands as well as the requirements of housing construction and urban designs. Early imitations of European designs are refl ected in the […]

The invasion of Iran by the Arabs and the introduction of Islam to Iran substantially altered the appearance of classical Iranian architecture. First and foremost, in the new Islamic Iran, the construction of mosques replaced the construction of fi re temples. New mosques were built throughout the land, and in some cases former Sasanid temples […]

Examples of prehistoric and pre-Islamic architecture are found in ancient huts, remnants of old towns and villages, fortresses, temples and fi re temples, mausoleums and palaces, dams and bridges, bazaars, highways and roads, towers and outposts, garden pavilions, and monuments. The earliest forms of architecture known in Iran include peasant huts and farming hamlets. These […]

Iran has a rich and varied architectural history going back over 3,000 years, and the remains of Iranian architectural monuments can be found from Syria to India and China. Iranian architecture make uses of a great variety of techniques such as stone carving, stucco and plasterwork, tile and brickwork, mirror and glasswork, and other ornamental […]

Although poetry still holds an important place in the creative literature of contemporary Iran, it has in recent years come to be rivaled in popularity and importance by prose fiction—the novel, the novella, and especially the short story. The rise of these genres represents a considerable innovation in the nature of Persian literature; it refl […]

A vast amount of Persian prose literature, in fields ranging from history to philosophy, was produced during the pre-modern period. This prose literature Literature 69 certainly has its value, and much of it is in print and read by Iranians today. However, it is fair to say that it is mostly of interest to specialists […]

In some ways, the history of dance in Iran parallels the history of music, albeit in a much more restricted manner, especially in the case of recreational dance. In other words, in any period when music is forbidden, so is dance. If music is highly encouraged, then dance is more tolerated in society. This is […]

Dance in Iran represents a mixture of elements drawn from diverse sources, some similar to those in neighboring countries, some uniquely related to cultures and customs of people living within a specific region in Iran today, and some synthesizing both foreign and native influences. For instance, ethnic dances found among Iranian Kurds and Turkomans are […]

The latter part of Mohammad-Rezâ Shah’s reign had a disastrous impact on Persian classical music, one with significant political implications for the Pahlavi regime itself. With the shah’s fast pace of modernization and importation of everything Western, classical Persian music became a victim of Western and Western-style pop music. As Westernized pop music became dominant, […]


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