Shrine of Imam Reza

Shrine of Imam Reza

The shrine of Imam Reza (A), sepulcher of the eighth Imam of the Shiites known as Ali Ben Musa Al-Reza (A) (1 January 766-26 May 819) is located in the city of Mashhad. The complex of the sanctuary is the most important historical-religious building in Iran which for many years in different periods has been the subject of attention by all, including the sovereigns and the leading exponents of the government and has undergone changes throughout history and has witnessed many events.

The sanctuary of Imām Rezā (A) with mausoleums, mosques, i mihrab, the domes, i goldasteh (open space at the top of the minaret where the muezzins call the faithful to prayer), the courtyards, the arcades, the library, the museums, the saqākhāneh (sort of tabernacle with water that is drunk by pilgrims), steel windows, the naghāreh khāneh, (place where the naghāreh, a sort of percussion instrument), the tanks, the holy water fonts obtained from a single block, the golden doors, the guest quarters, the public dining room, the crypt and the hospital, constitute the largest religious complex in the world that covers an area of ​​one million square meters.

It is a priceless treasure and encompasses all the arts, various types of decorations and authentic Iranian architecture such as: stucco work, mirrors, tiling, working with gold, silver, fabrics, joinery, steelworks, brickwork, calligraphy, carving and inlaying of wood and stone, the khatam kari (ancient Persian carving technique) etc ...

The first dome of the sanctuary was placed at the time of the Seljuk on the top of the stone of their marble tomb; the dome has a double covering: the first is the ceiling that can be seen from below (inside the sanctuary), while the second is visible from the outside and is covered with golden bricks.

In different periods on the tombstone (which has been changed a few times) they were placed zarih (metal grilles above the tomb) different; the fifth and last zarih, work of the Iranian master miniaturist Mahmud Farshchiān, was built according to the authentic Iranian architecture in steel and wood.

All Shiites in every corner of the world aspire to make a pilgrimage to this shrine. Every year millions of pilgrims from all over Iran and from different parts of the world embark on a journey to this holy place.

In a not so distant past every person who went to Mashhad and went on pilgrimage to the shrine of Imām Rezā (A), as the appellation "haji" and "karbalai", to his name was added the title of "mashhadi" .


Appropriate clothing is recommended to visit the sanctuary (trousers and long sleeves for men, chador for women - at the entrance it is possible to borrow them), and the visit for tourist and non-religious reasons is limited only to a part of the sanctuary. It is not possible to bring cameras or video cameras inside except with special permits.

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