Nishapur

Nishapur

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Nishapur or Nishabur is a city in the Razavi Khorasan province
Razavi Khorasan Province
Razavi Khorasan Province is a province located in northeastern Iran. Mashhad is the centre and capital of the province.Other cities and townships are Ghouchan, Dargaz, Chenaran, Sarakhs, Fariman, Torbat-e Heydarieh, Torbat-e Jam, Taybad, Khaf, Roshtkhar, Kashmar, Bardaskan, Nishapur, Sabzevar,...

 in northeastern Iran
Iran
Iran , officially the Islamic Republic of Iran , is a country in Southern and Western Asia. The name "Iran" has been in use natively since the Sassanian era and came into use internationally in 1935, before which the country was known to the Western world as Persia...

, situated in a fertile plain at the foot of the Binalud Mountains
Mount Binalud
Mount Binālud is the highest peak in Razavi Khorasan province, Iran. It is also called Khorasan roof. This mountain is 26 km north of Nishapur and to the west of Mashhad.-Links:**...

, near the regional capital of Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

. Nishapur derived its name from its alleged founder, the Sasanian king Shapur.

The region's economy is largely agricultural, based on grain and cotton, and it is also the second industrial city in Khorasan, and it is one of the most prosperous localities in Iran, although somewhat blighted by drug smuggling from nearby Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

. It had a population of 205,972 people according to 2006 census. The main east-west railway line through Iran passes through the town. The region is very prone to earthquake
Earthquake
An earthquake is the result of a sudden release of energy in the Earth's crust that creates seismic waves. The seismicity, seismism or seismic activity of an area refers to the frequency, type and size of earthquakes experienced over a period of time...

s, with the most recent significant ones occurring in 1986 and 1997.

History




Nishapur occupies an important strategic position astride the old Silk Road
Silk Road
The Silk Road or Silk Route refers to a historical network of interlinking trade routes across the Afro-Eurasian landmass that connected East, South, and Western Asia with the Mediterranean and European world, as well as parts of North and East Africa...

 that linked Anatolia
Anatolia
Anatolia is a geographic and historical term denoting the westernmost protrusion of Asia, comprising the majority of the Republic of Turkey...

 and the Mediterranean
Mediterranean Sea
The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean surrounded by the Mediterranean region and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Anatolia and Europe, on the south by North Africa, and on the east by the Levant...

 with China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

. On the Silk Road, Nishapur has often defined the flexible frontier between the Iranian plateau and Central Asia. The town derived its name from its reputed founder, the Sassanian king Shapur I, who is said to have established it in the 3rd century CE. Nearby are the turquoise
Turquoise
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl648·4. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue...

 mines that supplied the world with turquoise for at least two millennia. It became an important town in the Khorasan region but subsequently declined in significance until a revival in its fortunes in 9th century under the Tahirid dynasty
Tahirid dynasty
The Tahirid Dynasty, was a Persian dynasty that governed from 820 to 872 over the northeastern part of Greater Iran, in the region of Khorasan . The dynasty was founded by Tahir ibn Husayn, a leading general in the service of the Abbasid caliph al-Ma'mun...

, when the glazed ceramics
Ceramics (art)
In art history, ceramics and ceramic art mean art objects such as figures, tiles, and tableware made from clay and other raw materials by the process of pottery. Some ceramic products are regarded as fine art, while others are regarded as decorative, industrial or applied art objects, or as...

 of Nishapur formed an important item of trade to the west. For a time Nishapur rivaled Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

 or Cairo
Cairo
Cairo , is the capital of Egypt and the largest city in the Arab world and Africa, and the 16th largest metropolitan area in the world. Nicknamed "The City of a Thousand Minarets" for its preponderance of Islamic architecture, Cairo has long been a centre of the region's political and cultural life...

: Toghrül, the first ruler of the Seljuk dynasty, made Nishapur his residence in 1037 and proclaimed himself sultan there, but it declined thereafter, as Seljuk fortunes were concentrated in the west. In the year 1000CE, it was among the 10 largest cities on earth. After the husband of Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan
Genghis Khan , born Temujin and occasionally known by his temple name Taizu , was the founder and Great Khan of the Mongol Empire, which became the largest contiguous empire in history after his death....

's daughter was killed at Nishapur in 1221, she ordered the death of all in the city (~1.7 million), and the skulls of men, women, and children were piled in pyramids by the Mongols
Mongols
Mongols ) are a Central-East Asian ethnic group that lives mainly in the countries of Mongolia, China, and Russia. In China, ethnic Mongols can be found mainly in the central north region of China such as Inner Mongolia...

. This invasion and earthquakes destroyed the pottery kilns. In 1979, the 15th World Scout Jamboree
15th World Scout Jamboree (cancelled)
The 15th World Scout Jamboree was scheduled to be held in July 1979 and was to be hosted by Iran at Nishapur, but was cancelled due to political instability....

 was scheduled to be held in Nishapur, but it was cancelled because of the uprising against the Shah of Iran led by Khomeini Ayatollah.

Culture



Nishapur is also home to many poets and cultural celebrities. The poet and mathematician Omar Khayyám
Omar Khayyám
Omar Khayyám was aPersian polymath: philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet. He also wrote treatises on mechanics, geography, mineralogy, music, climatology and theology....

 was born in Nishapur in 1048 and is buried a few miles outside the town, near the Imamzadeh Mahroq Mosque. The 12th century poet and mystic Farid al-Din Attar, another native of Nishapur, is also buried nearby. And Iran's greatest contemporary painter, Kamal-ol-molk
Kamal-ol-molk
Mohammad Ghaffari , better known as Kamal-ol-Molk , was an Iranian painter and part of the Ghaffari Clan in Kashan.-Biography:...

 is buried in the same place.
Also Nishapur has been the hometown of famous people including:
  1. Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj
    Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj
    Abul Husayn Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj ibn Muslim ibn Warat al-Qushayri al-Nisaburi was the author of the second authentic sahih collection of hadith in Sunni Islam, Sahih Muslim.-Biography:...

     (one of Islam's greatest muhaddiths, whose collection of hadith, Sahih Muslim
    Sahih Muslim
    Sahih Muslim is one of the Six major collections of the hadith in Sunni Islam, oral traditions relating to the words and deeds of the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. It is the second most authentic hadith collection after Sahih Al-Bukhari, and is highly acclaimed by Sunni Muslims...

    , is second in authenticity only to Muhammad al-Bukhari
    Muhammad al-Bukhari
    Muhammad Ibn Ismail Ibn Ibrahim Ibn al-Mughirah Ibn Bardizbah al-Bukhari , popularly known as Bukhari or Imam Bukhari, , was a Sunni Islamic scholar of Persia...

    's Sahih al-Bukhari
    Sahih al-Bukhari
    Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bukhārī , as it is commonly referred to, is one of the six canonical hadith collections of Islam. These prophetic traditions, or hadith, were collected by the Persian Muslim scholar Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari, after being transmitted orally for generations. Muslims view this as one of...

    )
  2. Imam al-Hakim
    Hakim al-Nishaburi
    Abu Abd-Allah Muhammad ibn Abd-Allah al-Hakim al-Nishaburi , and also known as Ibn Al-Baiyi.) was a Sunni scholar and the leading traditionist of his age, frequently referred to as the "Imam of the Muhaddithin" or the "Muhaddith of Khorasan."-Biography:Al-Hakim, who hailed from Nishapur, had vast...

     (another one of Islam's greatest muhaddiths and scholarly giants)
  3. Prof. Mohammad Reza Shafiei-Kadkani
    Mohammad Reza Shafiei-Kadkani
    Mohammad Reza Shafiei Kadkani is a Persian writer, poet, literary critic, editor, and translator.Born in Nishapur, Razavi Khorasan, Shafiei-Kadkani graduated from Tehran University with a doctorate degree in Persian literature...

     (great contemporary Persian poet and writer and Persian literature Professor, who is famous for his literary criticism
    Literary criticism
    Literary criticism is the study, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. Modern literary criticism is often informed by literary theory, which is the philosophical discussion of its methods and goals...

    )
  4. Ostad Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian
    Parviz Meshkatian was an Iranian musician, composer, researcher and university lecturer.- Biography :Born at Nishapur...

     (famous Musician, researcher, Santur
    Santur
    The santur is a Persian hammered dulcimerIt is a trapezoid-shaped box often made of walnut or different exotic woods. The Persian classical santur has 72 strings. The name santur was first referenced in ancient Persian poetry...

     player and composer).
  5. Heydar Yaghma
    Heydar Yaghma
    Heydar Yaghma was an Iranian poet.He was born in village near Nishapur. Yaghma was a simple worker and was not literate. He began telling poems while in his thirties and learned how to read and write....

     (an illiterate worker who began telling poems and published them.)
  6. Haji Bektash Veli (Muslim mystic, humanist and philosopher)
  7. Saadat Khan or Wakil-i-Mutlaq, Saadat Khan also called Burhan-ul-Mulk, was the founder of the Awadh
    Awadh
    Awadh , also known in various British historical texts as Oudh or Oude derived from Ayodhya, is a region in the centre of the modern Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, which was before independence known as the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh...

     dynasty in north India in 18th century.

Popular culture


US band Santana
Santana (band)
Santana is a rock band based around guitarist Carlos Santana and founded in the late 1960s. It first came to public attention after their performing the song "Soul Sacrifice" at the Woodstock Festival in 1969, when their Latin rock provided a contrast to other acts on the bill...

 released an instrumental track entitled "Incident at Neshabur" on their 1970 LP release, Abraxas
Abraxas (album)
Abraxas is the second studio album by the Latin influenced rock band Santana. Consolidating their highly acclaimed live performance at the Woodstock Festival in August of 1969, and the interest generated by their first album, Santana , the band took some time to issue a follow-up...

.

Archaeology sites


Little archaeology
Archaeology
Archaeology, or archeology , is the study of human society, primarily through the recovery and analysis of the material culture and environmental data that they have left behind, which includes artifacts, architecture, biofacts and cultural landscapes...

 has been done on this vast and complicated site. George Curzon remarked that Nishapur had been destroyed and rebuilt more times than any other city in history, an evocative statement whether or not it is statistically true. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is a renowned art museum in New York City. Its permanent collection contains more than two million works, divided into nineteen curatorial departments. The main building, located on the eastern edge of Central Park along Manhattan's Museum Mile, is one of the...

 undertook excavations from 1935 that were interrupted in 1940. Searching largely for museum-worthy trophies that they shared with the government of the Shah
Reza Pahlavi
Reza Pahlavi may refer to:*Reza Shah , aka Reza Shah Pahlavi, Shah of Persia from 1925 until 1935 and Shah of Iran from 1935 until 1941* Mohammad Reza Pahlavi , Shah of Iran from 1941 to 1979, son of Reza Shah...

, the Metropolitan's publications were limited to its own Nishapur ceramics. The site of Nishapur has been ransacked for half a century since World War II
World War II
World War II, or the Second World War , was a global conflict lasting from 1939 to 1945, involving most of the world's nations—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis...

, to feed the international market demand for early Islamic works of art.

Shadiyakh


Shadiyakh
Shadiyakh
Shadiyakh or Shadyakh was one of the main Palaces,Gardans and Great Neighborhood of old Nishapur that established by Abdullah ibn Tahir al-Khurasani up to the 9th century AD, which became more important and populated after that. Some notable people like Attar lived there...

 (in Persian: شادیاخ, a contracted form of شادی کاخ, Shadi-Kakh or Palace of Happiness) was one of the main palaces of old Nishapur up to the 9th century AD, which became more important and populated after that. Some notable people like Attar lived there. Attar's tomb is nowadays in that area. This palace was perhaps completely ruined in 13th century AD.

ٍExcavations began in 2000 there and continued for around 2 years: buildings (possibly a palace), skeleton, equipments and other items were found there.

Recent incidents

  • In the Summer of 1987 (24.7.1987), a flood
    Flood
    A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land. The EU Floods directive defines a flood as a temporary covering by water of land not normally covered by water...

     in Boojan village killed over 1,000 people and destroyed some villages.
  • On February 18, 2004, in the Nishapur train disaster
    Nishapur train disaster
    The Nishapur train disaster was a large explosion in the village of Khayyam, near Nishapur in Iran, on 18 February 2004. Over 300 people were killed and the entire village destroyed, when runaway train wagons crashed into the community in the middle of the night and exploded.The incident began in...

    , a train carrying flammable goods derailed and caught fire near the town. Five hours later, during fire fighting and rescue work, a massive explosion destroyed the train and many nearby buildings. Around 300 people were said to have been killed, mainly fire and rescue workers but also the local governor and mayor and the heads of the fire and rail services.

Souvenirs


The most important Nishapur souvenir
Souvenir
A souvenir , memento, keepsake or token of remembrance is an object a person acquires for the memories the owner associates with it. The term souvenir brings to mind the mass-produced kitsch that is the main commodity of souvenir and gift shops in many tourist traps around the world...

s include turquoise
Turquoise
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrous phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl648·4. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gem and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue...

 and rhubarb
Rhubarb
Rhubarb is a group of plants that belong to the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. They are herbaceous perennial plants growing from short, thick rhizomes. They have large leaves that are somewhat triangular-shaped with long fleshy petioles...

.

Neyshabur Turquoise has been used for more than 2000 years and for this turquoise it is sometimes called "the turquoise land". Neyshabur turquoise and jewellery made from it are sold as souvenirs in Neyshabur and Mashhad
Mashhad
Mashhad , is the second largest city in Iran and one of the holiest cities in the Shia Muslim world. It is also the only major Iranian city with an Arabic name. It is located east of Tehran, at the center of the Razavi Khorasan Province close to the borders of Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. Its...

 resorts.

Rhubarb
Rhubarb
Rhubarb is a group of plants that belong to the genus Rheum in the family Polygonaceae. They are herbaceous perennial plants growing from short, thick rhizomes. They have large leaves that are somewhat triangular-shaped with long fleshy petioles...

 (Persian
Persian language
Persian is an Iranian language within the Indo-Iranian branch of the Indo-European languages. It is primarily spoken in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan and countries which historically came under Persian influence...

 rivaas or rivand), a sour vegetable, grows at the foot of the eponymous Rivand Mountains (more recently, Turkified as Mount Binalud
Mount Binalud
Mount Binālud is the highest peak in Razavi Khorasan province, Iran. It is also called Khorasan roof. This mountain is 26 km north of Nishapur and to the west of Mashhad.-Links:**...

). Soft drinks made from the stems of the plant, such as "Sharbate rivaas" (in Persian:شربت ریواس) and "Khoshaabe rivaas" (in Persian:خوشاب ریواس), are sold at some Nishapur resorts as souvenirs.

Sister cities

Kairouan
Kairouan
Kairouan , also known as Kirwan or al-Qayrawan , is the capital of the Kairouan Governorate in Tunisia. Referred to as the Islamic Cultural Capital, it is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The city was founded by the Arabs around 670...

, Tunisia
Tunisia
Tunisia , officially the Tunisian RepublicThe long name of Tunisia in other languages used in the country is: , is the northernmost country in Africa. It is a Maghreb country and is bordered by Algeria to the west, Libya to the southeast, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north and east. Its area...

 Baghdad
Baghdad
Baghdad is the capital of Iraq, as well as the coterminous Baghdad Governorate. The population of Baghdad in 2011 is approximately 7,216,040...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 Basra
Basra
Basra is the capital of Basra Governorate, in southern Iraq near Kuwait and Iran. It had an estimated population of two million as of 2009...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

 Ghazni
Ghazni
For the Province of Ghazni see Ghazni ProvinceGhazni is a city in central-east Afghanistan with a population of about 141,000 people...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 Balkh
Balkh
Balkh , was an ancient city and centre of Zoroastrianism in what is now northern Afghanistan. Today it is a small town in the province of Balkh, about 20 kilometers northwest of the provincial capital, Mazar-e Sharif, and some south of the Amu Darya. It was one of the major cities of Khorasan...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 Herat
Herat
Herāt is the capital of Herat province in Afghanistan. It is the third largest city of Afghanistan, with a population of about 397,456 as of 2006. It is situated in the valley of the Hari River, which flows from the mountains of central Afghanistan to the Karakum Desert in Turkmenistan...

, Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

 Merv
Merv
Merv , formerly Achaemenid Satrapy of Margiana, and later Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana , was a major oasis-city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of...

, Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan
Turkmenistan , formerly also known as Turkmenia is one of the Turkic states in Central Asia. Until 1991, it was a constituent republic of the Soviet Union, the Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic . Turkmenistan is one of the six independent Turkic states...

 Bukhara
Bukhara
Bukhara , from the Soghdian βuxārak , is the capital of the Bukhara Province of Uzbekistan. The nation's fifth-largest city, it has a population of 263,400 . The region around Bukhara has been inhabited for at least five millennia, and the city has existed for half that time...

, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 Samarqand, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 Khiva
Khiva
Khiva is a city of approximately 50,000 people located in Xorazm Province, Uzbekistan. It is the former capital of Khwarezmia and the Khanate of Khiva...

, Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan
Uzbekistan , officially the Republic of Uzbekistan is a doubly landlocked country in Central Asia and one of the six independent Turkic states. It shares borders with Kazakhstan to the west and to the north, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan to the east, and Afghanistan and Turkmenistan to the south....

 Khojand, Tajikistan
Tajikistan
Tajikistan , officially the Republic of Tajikistan , is a mountainous landlocked country in Central Asia. Afghanistan borders it to the south, Uzbekistan to the west, Kyrgyzstan to the north, and China to the east....


External links