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Plaster tile from Old city of Nishapur
Attar of Nishapur Mausoleum Omar Khayyam Mausoleum
Nature of North Nishapur Nature of North Nishapur
Mausoleum of Kamal-ol-Molk Wooden Mosque of Nishapur
Cornice plaster from Old city of Nishapur
Official seal of Nishapur
Nickname(s): Sassanid and Umayyed era: Abarshahr (Upper Cities), Little Damascus (by Ibn Battuta)[1]
Nishapur is located in Iran
Country  Iran
Province Razavi Khorasan
County Nishapur County
Foundation 3rd century
Municipality of Nishapur 1931
 • Mayor Seyed Abbas Hosseini
 • Governor of County Gholam-Hossein Mozaffari
Elevation 1,250 m (4,100 ft)
Population (2011)
 • City 276,089[2]
 • Nishapur County 433,105[3]
 • Urban areas of Nishapur County 270,301
  2 Census
Demonym(s) Nishapuri
Time zone IRST (UTC+03:30)
Website Neyshaboor, Rowzaneh, Neyshabur Day

Nishapur or Nishabur (   ; Persian: نیشابور‎‎, also Romanized as Nīshāpūr, Nīshābūr, and Neyshābūr from Middle Persian: New-Shabuhr, meaning "New City of Shapur", "Fair Shapur",[4] or "Perfect built of Shapur")[5] is a city in the Razavi Khorasan Province, capital of the Nishapur County and former capital of Khorasan, in northeastern Iran, situated in a fertile plain at the foot of the Mount Binalud. It had an estimated population of 239,185 as of 2011 and its county 433,105. Nearby are the turquoise mines that have supplied the world with turquoise for at least two millennia.

The city was founded in the 3rd century by Shapur I as a Sasanian satrapy capital. Nishapur later became the capital of Tahirid dynasty and was reformed by Abdullah Tahir in 830, and was later selected as the capital of Seljuq dynasty by Tughril in 1037. From the Abbasid era to the Mongol invasion of Khwarezmia and Eastern Iran, the city evolved into a significant cultural, commercial, and intellectual center within the Islamic world. Nishapur, along with Merv, Herat and Balkh were one of the four great cities of Greater Khorasan and one of the greatest cities in the middle ages, a seat of governmental power in eastern of caliphate, a dwelling place for diverse ethnic and religious groups, a trading stop on commercial routes from Transoxiana and China, Iraq and Egypt.

Nishapur reached the height of its prosperity under the Samanids in the 10th century, but was destroyed by Mongols in 1221, and further ruined by other invasions and earthquakes in the 13th century. After that time, a much smaller settlement was established just north of the ancient town, and the once bustling metropolis lay underground—until a team of excavators from the Metropolitan Museum of Art arrived in the mid-20th century. They worked at Nishapur between 1935 and 1940, returning for a final season in the winter of 1947–48.[6] What remains of old Nishapur region is a 3500-hectare "Kohandejh" area, south of the current city of Nishapur.


  • History 1
    • Pre-history and archaeology 1.1
    • Middle Ages 1.2
    • Modern history 1.3
    • Toponymy 1.4
  • Culture 2
    • Anthem 2.1
    • Popular culture 2.2
    • Local and cultural days 2.3
  • Arts 3
    • Pottery 3.1
    • Carpet-weaving 3.2
    • Turquoise masonry 3.3
    • Tile 3.4
    • Wooden arts 3.5
    • Calligraphy 3.6
    • Statuary 3.7
    • Wall Painting 3.8
  • People 4
    • Language 4.1
    • Religion 4.2
    • Notable people 4.3
  • Education 5
    • Schools, universities and colleges 5.1
    • Libraries 5.2
  • Sport 6
    • Sport centers 6.1
  • Transportation 7
    • Nishapur train disaster 7.1
    • Road 44 7.2
  • Industry and economy 8
  • Geography 9
    • Weather 9.1
    • Geology 9.2
    • Seismicity 9.3
  • Mass media 10
    • Newspaper publishing 10.1
    • Broadcasting 10.2
    • Printing 10.3
  • Administration 11
  • Popular culture 12
  • Recent incidents 13
  • Souvenirs 14
  • Sister cities 15
  • References 16
  • Further reading 17
  • External links 18


Pre-history and archaeology


Preceded by
Capital of Seljuq Empire (Persia)
Succeeded by
  • Nishapur Mayors (Persian)
  • Nishapur governors (Persian)
  • Ceramics of Nishapur and other centers
  • World Gazetteer on Nishapur
  • Neyshaburian e-newspaper (Persian)
  • A useful weblog about Nishapur (Persian)
  • wooden village website
  • Nishapur Mathhouse
  • Neyshabur bonyad (Persian)
  • Elias Pirasteh, Neyshabur, Photo Set, flickr
  • Ardavan Ruzbeh, When National Heritage is not an equal to the Emām-Jom'eh, a reportage on the demolition of a national monument, Madreseh-ye Golshan (مدرسه گلشن), in Nishabur, in Persian, Radio Zamāneh, May 29, 2008: Text, Audio.
  • Hossein Davoudi, Dizbād: A Staircase to History, in Persian, Jadid Online, 2008.
    A Slide Show of Dizbād, by Hossein Davoudi, Jadid Online, 2008, (5 min 39 sec).
    Note: Dizbād is a small village between Mashhad and Neyshābūr, located at some 40 km distance from Mashhad.

External links

Further reading

  1. ^ The Cambridge History of Iran - Volume 1 - Page 68
  2. ^,390/Shahrhaye_IRAN.xls
  3. ^,771&mid=14,529
  4. ^ Honigmann, E.; Bosworth, C.E.. "Nīs̲h̲āpūr." Encyclopaedia of Islam, Second Edition. Edited by: P. Bearman, Th. Bianquis, C.E. Bosworth, E. van Donzel, W.P. Heinrichs. Brill Online, 2013. Reference. 31 December 2013
  5. ^ Nishapur can be found at GEOnet Names Server, at this link, by opening the Advanced Search box, entering "-3076915" in the "Unique Feature Id" form, and clicking on "Search Database".
  6. ^
  7. ^ George N. Curzon, Persia and the Persian Question, Vol. I, (Routledge, 2005), 262.
  8. ^
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period,Wilkinson, Charles K. (1973)
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ Muscat
  18. ^ Repertoire On Wajid Ali Shah & Monuments of Avadh - Nawabs of Oudh & their Secularism
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^


Sister cities

Rhubarb (Persian rivaas or rivand), a sour vegetable, grows at the foot of the eponymous Rivand Mountains (more recently, Turkified as Mount Binalud). Soft drinks made from the stems of the plant, such as "Sharbate rivaas" (شربت ریواس) and "Khoshaabe rivaas" (خوشاب ریواس), are sold at some Nishapur resorts as souvenirs.

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 resorts.

The most important Nishapur souvenirs include turquoise and rhubarb.


  • On July 24, 1987, a flood in Boojan village killed over 1,000 people and destroyed some villages.
  • On February 18, 2004, in the Nishapur train disaster, 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.[22]

Recent incidents

US band Santana released an instrumental track entitled "Incident at Neshabur" on their 1970 LP release, Abraxas.

Popular culture

Left: Mohammad-Hassan Zarandi, former mayor of Nishapur ; right: Gholam-Hossein Mozaffari, currently Governor of Nishapur County.


Two book publishers working in the city:Klidar & Abar Shahr.[20][21]


IRIB center of Mashhad covers news of Nishapur.


[19] General publications in Nishapur includes the weekly and local newspapers. The first local newspaper of

Newspaper publishing

An IRIB (broadcasting) center in Nishpaur

Mass media

Nishapur is located in a region with a rather high risk of earthquakes. Many earthquakes have seriously harmed the city; among the important ones are the historical earthquakes that ruined the city in the 12th and 13th centuries.


The city of Nishapur lies on a Holocene alluvial plain on top of the Pleistocene sediments in the southwestern part of the Binalud Mountains. The Binalud Range, running northwest-southeast, is made predominantly of Triassic and Jurassic rocks. On the southern side of the northwestern part of the range there is a section of Eocene rocks that are volcanic in origin. The well-known Nishabur turquoise comes from the weathered and broken trachytes and andesites of the Eocene volcanic rocks of this part of the mountain range. The main turquoise mines are situated about 50 kilometres northwest of the city of Nishapur in the vicinity of the village of Madan.


Nishapur has a generally Mediterranean climate with the rainy seasons mostly in the spring and winter. Towards the west of the city, however, the weather gradually changes to a cold semi-desert climate.


Nishapur is located at an elevation of 1213 metres on a wide fertile plain almost at the southwestern foot of Mount Binalud in northcentral Razavi Khorasan Province. The city is connected by both railroad and highways to Mashhad and Tehran and also to South Khorasan Province. Among its agricultural products are cereals and cotton. Making pottery and weaving carpets are among important crafts.


Foolad steel complex which is producing steel.

Industry and economy

Road 44 is a highway that goes from Tehran to Mashhad and also passes Nishapur on the way.

Road 44

On 18 February 2004, runaway train wagons crashed into the village of Khayyam near Nishapur, causing an explosion and killing over 300 people. The entire village of Khayyam was destroyed.

Nishapur train disaster


Enghelab Sports Complex is an indoor arena in Nishapur. The arena houses Nishapur's basketball, volleyball, and futsal teams.

Sport centers

Nishapur has one professional football team, Jahan Electric Nishapur, who compete in Razavi Khorasan's Provincial Leagues.


Al-Ghadir library:Moalem street


Islamic Azad University of Nishapur is a main branch of Islamic Azad University. It was established in 1985 and has two faculties in IAUM, Agriculture, and Engineering faculty offers Bachelor, and Master degrees.

Schools, universities and colleges


Sorted by date

Notable people

Islam is first religion and Twelever Mahdist Shia is first Madhab in Nishapur.


Khorasani Turkic, Kurdish and Arabic are also spoken.

Most people speak Persian in Nishapur.

A hawza in Nishapur, a school that taught Arabic in religious studies courses. Other schools in Nishapur taught Arabic as historical and religious language



Members of Red Crescent in village of Shur Rud, painting walls

Wall Painting

Statue of Kamal-ol-molk on his grave


Calligraphy Conference about Laylat al-Qadr in Nishapur,July 31, 2013


Wooden arts

In many important historical or modern monuments and buildings the art of Tiles are widely used in Nishapur,

Tile working in Muhammad al-Mahruq Mosque, Nishapur


This deposit, which is blue naturally, and turns green when heated due to dehydration, is restricted to a mine-riddled region in Nishapur, the 2,012-metre (6,601 ft) mountain peak of Ali-mersai, which is tens of kilometers from Mashhad, the capital of Khorasan province, Iran. A weathered and broken trachyte is host to the turquoise, which is found both in situ between layers of limonite and sandstone, and amongst the scree at the mountain's base. These workings, together with those of the Sinai Peninsula, are the oldest known.

For at least 2,000 years, Iran, known before as Persia, has remained an important source of turquoise, which was named by Iranians initially "pirouzeh" meaning "victory" and later after Arab invasion "firouzeh". In Iranian architecture, the blue turquoise was used to cover the domes of the Iranian palaces because its intense blue colour was also a symbol of heaven on earth.

Cutting and grinding Nishapur turquoise in Mashhad, Iran, 1973

Turquoise masonry

Modern art of carpet in Nishapur began in 1946 after inauguration of a carpet-weaving workshop in a caravansary.

Weaving carpets and rugs common in the more than 470 villages in Nishapur County,the most important carpet Workshop located in the villages of: Shafi' Abad, Garineh Darrud Baghshan Kharv Bozghan Sayyed Abad Sar Chah Suleymani Sultan Abad and Eshgh Abad. Nishapur Carpet workshops weaved the biggest Carpets in the world, like carpets of : Sheikh Zayed Mosque,[15] Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque,[16] Armenian Presidential Palace, Embassy of Finland in Tehran, Mohammed Al-Ameen Mosque in Oman.[17]


Nishapur during the Islamic Golden Age, especially the 9th and 10th centuries, was one of the great centers of pottery and related arts.[12] Most of Ceramic artifacts discovered in Nishapur preserve in Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museums in Tehran and Mashhad. Ceramics produced at Nishapur showed links with Sassanid art and Central Asian.[13] Nowadays there are 4 Pottery workshop in Nishapur.[14]

Bowl painted on slip under transparent glaze (polychrome), Nishabur, 9th or 10th century. National Museum of Iran, Tehran.


About the arts in Nishapur or Old Nishapur:


Local and cultural days in Nishapur
Name Day Calendar
Farvardin (Hamal) 1 Nowruz Solar Hijri
Farvardin (Hamal) 13 Sizdah Be-dar, Day of Nature Solar Hijri
Farvardin (Hamal) 25 Respect day for Attar of Nishapur Solar Hijri
Ordibehesht(Thawr) 28 Respect day for Omar Khayyam Solar Hijri
Tir (Saratan) 10 Remembrance day for Imam Ali al-Ridha Solar Hijri
Mordad 2 Sympathy day for the victims of Boozhan flood Solar Hijri
Azar 30 Night of Yalda Solar Hijri
Bahman 29 Sympathy day the victims of Nishapur train disaster Solar Hijri
Last Wednesday of Esfand Chaharshanbe Suri Festival Solar Hijri
Esfand 29 Celebrate the end of winter Solar Hijri
Muharram 10 Remembrance of Muharram Lunar Hijri
Safar 20 Arba'een Lunar Hijri
Rabi' al-awwal 17 Mawlid Lunar Hijri
Rajab 25 Respect day for Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj, death of Musa al-Kadhim Lunar Hijri
Sha'aban 14 Borat Nights (3 nights) Lunar Hijri
Shawwal 1 Eid al-Fitr Lunar Hijri
Dhu al-Hijjah 18 Eid of Ghadir, Day of Visiting Sadaat Lunar Hijri

Local and cultural days

Popular culture

Persian original UniPers alphabet English translation
ای پایتخت اول ایرانی من
ای آسمانت فرصتِ بارانی من
«فیروزه» ات نقش نگین مهربانی
اندیشه های مردمانت آسمانی
روییده در هر گوشه ات گل‌های احساس
خرداد «بینالود» تو سرشار «ریواس»
شرمنده از کردار خود «تاتار» و «چنگیز»
پاینده باشی ای «برشهر» هنرخیز
در کوچه باغت مانده رد پایی از ماه
گل کرده در چشمان تو نام «قدمگاه»
ey payetâkhte avvâle irânie mân
ey asemânat forsate bâaranie mâan
firuzeh at naghshe negine mehrabâni
andishe hâye mardomânat asemâni
rooiyedeh dar har gushe at gol hâye ehsâs
Khordade binalude to sarshare rivas
sharmande az kerdâre khod tatar o changiz
pâyandeh bâshi ey barshâhre honar khiz
dar kuche bâghat mande radde payy az mah
gol kardeh dar cheshmane to nâmeh ghadam gah
Oh! My Iranian first capital
Oh! your sky my rainy time
your Turquoise, pattern of kindness ring
Your People's thoughts Heavenly
Sprouting in your every corner Emotional flowers:
Khordad of your Binalud full of rhubarb,
Tartar and Genghis ashamed of their actions

[the last 3 or 4 lines are not translated]

[11][10] an introduction and three parts,Frightening sound of bells,noted on three invasive and destructive in the history of Nishapur,and sound of percussion and wailing women represent the miseries caused by these attacks.[9]The special Anthem of Nishapur was unveiled for the first time on April 14, 2011,



Most historians believe the name Nishapur to be derived from the name of Shapur I


In 1979, the 15th World Scout Jamboree was scheduled to be held in Nishapur, but it was cancelled because of the uprising against the Shah of Iran led by Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini .

Modern history

After the husband of Genghis Khan's daughter was killed at Nishapur in 1221, she or Genghis ordered the death of the entire population of the city, which was reputedly 1.7 million. Their skulls were reputedly piled in pyramids by the Mongols. This massacre, combined with subsequent earthquakes destroyed the pottery industry.

It became an important town in the Khorasan region but subsequently declined in significance until a revival in its fortunes in the 9th century under the Tahirid dynasty, when the glazed ceramics of Nishapur formed an important item of trade to the west. For a time Nishapur rivaled Baghdad or Cairo: 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 1000 CE, it was among the ten largest cities on earth.[8]

Nishapur occupies an important strategic position astride the old Silk Road that linked Anatolia and the Mediterranean Sea with China. 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 mines that supplied the world with turquoise for at least two millennia.

Middle Ages

Shadiyakh ("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 the 13th century.

, to feed the international market demand for early Islamic works of art. World War II, the Metropolitan's publications were limited to its own Nishapur ceramics. The site of Nishapur has been ransacked for half a century since Shah undertook excavations from 1935 that were interrupted in 1940. Searching largely for museum-worthy trophies that they shared with the government of the Metropolitan Museum of Art an evocative statement whether or not it is statistically true. The [7]

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