Tourism ministry receives registration certificates of four UNESCO sites

October 8, 2021 - 21:0

TEHRAN – Certificates of registration of four Iranian UNESCO World Heritage sites have been handed over to the tourism ministry, the deputy tourism minister has announced. 

The Ministry of Cultural Heritage, Tourism, and Handicrafts has received registration certificates of four cultural heritage, which have been listed by UNESCO over the last two years, IRNA quoted Ali Darabi as saying on Friday. 

The ministry has received certificates for Trans-Iranian Railway, Cultural Landscape of Uramanat as tangible cultural heritages as well as the art of miniature, jointly with Azerbaijan, Turkey, and Uzbekistan and pilgrimage to St. Thaddeus jointly with Armenia, as UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage, the official added. 

Having a global register of tangible and intangible heritage is vital because these works, regardless of race, nationality, and religion, belong to all human society, and all governments and nations have a duty to preserve and protect them, even during times of war, he noted. 

Increased recognition of a country’s cultural heritage on the World Heritage list certainly contributes to the development of the tourism industry and businesses related to it, and most importantly, introduces the culture and civilization of a nation to the world, he explained. 

With 26 World Heritage Sites, Iran ranks 10th in the world in terms of the number of historical monuments and sites registered on the UNESCO World Heritage list.

Before the Islamic Revolution, Persepolis, Naghsh-e Jahan Square, and Choghaznabil were the only three UNESCO-listed monuments, but today the number has been increased this number to 26 historical sites.

Trans-Iranian Railway

The railway can be regarded as a turning point for comprehensive developments in Iran. These developments include a wide spectrum of various economical, commercial, social, cultural, and even political aspects in a sensitive and important period of contemporary world history.

Consequently, the 1394 kilometers long Trans-Iranian Railway was built with a width of 1435mm and 90 working stations along its route. It starts at a point north of Torkaman port located southeast of the Caspian Sea. After going through Sari and Qaem-Shahr cities, the railway enters the mountainous region of Alborz through the high Firooz-kooh Pass which is linked with Tehran and Varamin Plain by numerous bridges and tunnels.

Further on after crossing the flatlands of Qom and Arak, the Trans-Iranian Railway penetrates Zagros highlands in Lorestan Province and passing through a large number of tunnels and bridges reaches Andimeshk situated in the low Kuzestan Plain. Finally extending to the vicinity of Dezful, Ahwaz, and its grand bridge on Karoon, the Trans-Iranian Railway is divided into two branches ending separately at Khoram-Shahr and Imam-Khomeini ports on the Persian Gulf.

Cultural Landscape of Uramanat

Stretched on the slopes of Sarvabad county, and shared between the provinces of Kordestan and Kermanshah, the rural area of Uramanat embraces dense and step-like rows of houses in a way that the roof of each house forms the yard of the upper one, a feature that adds to its charm and attractiveness.

As the cultural landscape covers 300 villages and in terms of architecture and landscape, it is one of the most beautiful and presentable heritages in the world.

Uraman is considered a cradle of Kurdish art and culture from the days of yore. Pirshalyar, which is named after a legendary local figure, is amongst time-honored celebrations and rituals that are practiced annually across the region.

The art of miniature

The miniature is a type of two-dimensional artwork that involves the design and creation of small paintings on books, paper-mâché, rugs, textiles, walls, ceramics, and other items using raw materials such as gold, silver, and various organic substances.

Historically, the miniature was exemplified by book painting in which the text was supported visually, but the element has evolved and can also be observed in architecture and as an adornment in public spaces.

The miniature displays a specific type of perspective in which the size of the figures changes according to their importance - a key difference between realistic and naturalistic styles. Though it has existed for centuries, it continues to develop and thus strengthens the bonds between past and present. Traditional painting principles and techniques are preserved, but artists also bring individual creativity into the process.

Pilgrimage to the St. Thaddeus

The annual three-day pilgrimage to St. Thaddeus Apostle Monastery in northwestern Iran is held each July. The pilgrimage venerates two prominent saints: St. Thaddeus, one of the first apostles preaching Christianity, and St. Santukhd, the first female Christian martyr.

The bearers of the element are the Armenian population in Iran, Iranian-Armenians residing in Armenia, and followers of the Armenian Apostolic Church. Pilgrims gather in Tabriz before departing for the monastery. They cover 700 kilometers from Yerevan to the monastery annually.

The commemoration ceremony includes special liturgies, processions, prayers, and fasting. It culminates in a Holy Mass with Holy Communion. Special times are set aside for traditional Armenian folk performances and Armenian dishes are served. The pilgrimage is the primary social and cultural event of the year.


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