Documentary to shed light on Rey caravanserais
The Cultural Heritage, Tourism and Handicrafts Directorate of the city of Rey, southern Tehran, plans to produce a documentary on the city’s caravanserais, Rey’s tourism chief has announced.
The documentary will look at how these historical monuments have evolved from the Safavid-era (1501-1736) to the Qajar period (1789-1925), Noruz Taqipur said on Wednesday. Caravanserais on the roads of Rey-Semnan and Rey-Qom will also be explored in the film, the official added. The documentary is scheduled to be made by the end of the current Iranian year 1400 (March 2022), he noted. Iran has put forward a selection of 56 caravansaries as a candidate for a collective inclusion in UNESCO’S cultural heritage list. Last year, the tourism ministry announced that Iran is developing a dossier for a selection of its historical caravanserais for a possible inscription on the UNESCO World Heritage list. In this regard, cultural heritage experts are assessing such monuments that are scattered across the country to make a shortlist in terms of their architecture, historical and cultural values. Caravansary (also Caravanserai or Caravansaray) is a building that served as the inn of the Orient, providing accommodation for commercial, pilgrim, postal, and especially official travelers. Rey was one of the capital cities of the Parthian empire (3rd century BC–3rd century CE) and it was captured by the Muslim Arabs in 641 CE. During the reign of the Muslim caliph al-Mahdi in the 8th century, the city grew in importance until it was rivaled in western Asia only by Damascus and Baghdad. According to Encyclopedia Britannica, Islamic writers described it as a city of extraordinary beauty, built largely of fired brick and brilliantly ornamented with blue faience (glazed earthenware). It continued to be an important city and was briefly a capital under the rule of the Seljuks, but in the 12th century, it was weakened by the fierce quarrels of rival religious sects. In 1220 the city was almost entirely destroyed by the Mongols, and its inhabitants were massacred. Most of the survivors of the massacre moved to nearby Tehran, and the deserted remnants of Rey soon fell into complete ruin.