Imam Reza Holy Shrine
Imam Reza’s holy shrine is the most significant element giving identity to the urban area of Mashhad. The holy shrine is a complex of buildings formed progressively during almost a thousand years, around which the city of Mashhad created according to the needs of this outstanding pilgrimage center. The relation of the city and the holy shrine during different periods of time lead to a unique experience in the urban planning of the area, a practice which later transferred to the other pilgrimage cities by visitors especially Shias. In such a way that the remarkable indications of other Shia cities are thoroughly retrieved from the semiotic system of Mashhad and this historic complex in case of the spatial systems, landscape relation to their surrounding and the city, etc.
This historic architectural complex accompanies unique and distinctive ethics and rituals to be known as an inseparable heritage of the complex and the complicated culture of its wider setting. In fact, the genuine values of the heritage associates not only with its magnificent architecture and structural system but also with all the rituals, all together implicating the unique spiritual spirit of Imam Reza.
Ali ibn Moosa (Ali the son of Moosa) known as Imam Reza is of descendants of Muhammad, the holy prophet of Islam, cherished by the Muslims of the whole world for his high spiritual levels and importance who born in Medina and moved to Thus in Iran after the order of Ma’mūn, the seventh Abbasid caliph when the most significant part of Imam Reza’s life regarding his political and religious role initiates and conclude by his martyrization.