Nishabur or Neyshabur
From top to bottom and from left to right: Mausoleum of Omar Khayyám, Shah Abbasi Caravansarai, Mausoleum of Attar of Nishapur, An archeological discovery of Nishapur, Imamzadeh Mohammad Mahrouq and Khayyam's garden, Dome of Khayyam Planetarium, Amin Eslami Mansion, Kamal Al-Molk Tomb and the Wooden Mosque of Nishapur.
|Province||Razavi Khorasan Province|
|Municipality of Nishapur||1931|
|Founded by||Shapur I|
|• Mayor||Hassan Mirfani|
|• Governor of County||AliReza Ghamati|
|Elevation||1,250 m (4,100 ft)|
|• Urban||264,375 |
|Demonym(s)||Nishapuri, Nishaburi or Neyshaburi|
|Time zone||UTC+03:30 (IRST)|
Nishapur or Nishabur (Persian: نیشابور; also Romanized as Nīshāpūr, Nišâpur, Nişapur, Nīshābūr, or Neyshābūr; from Middle Persian New-Shabuhr, meaning "New City of Shapur", "Fair Shapur", or "Perfect built of Shapur") is the second largest city of Razavi Khorasan Province, the historic capital of the western half of Greater Khorasan, the historic capital of the 9th century Tahirid dynasty, the initial capital of the 11th century Seljuk Empire, the capital of the Nishapur County and a historic Silk Road city. Nishapur is situated in a fertile plain at the foot of Binalud Mountain Range. As of 2016, its central city population was estimated to be 264,180 and its county's population was estimated to be 448,125. Nearby are turquoise mines that have supplied the world with turquoise of the highest quality for at least two millenniums.
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 Seljuk 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 the 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 and its entire population was slaughtered by the Mongols in 1221. This massacre, combined with subsequent earthquakes and other invasions, is believed to have destroyed the city several times. Unlike its near neighbor Merv, Nishapur managed to recover from these cataclysmic events, and survive until the present day.
Many of this city's archeological discoveries are held and shown to the public in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, the British Museum in London, and other international museums.
Nishapur was founded by the Sasanian emperor Shapur II (r. 309–379) during the last years of his rule, as demonstrated by new archaeological findings. In the 9th century, Nishapur became the capital of the Tahirid dynasty, and by the 10th century, was under Samanid rule. The city became an important and prosperous administrative center under the Samanids. In 1037, it was conquered by the Seljuks. Despite being sacked by the Oghuz Turks in 1153 and suffering several earthquakes, Nishapur continued as an important urban center until it was destroyed by Genghis Khan and the Mongols in 1221.
Pre-history and archaeology
Little archaeology 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 undertook excavations from 1935 that were interrupted in 1940. Searching largely for museum-worthy trophies that they shared with the government of the 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, to feed the international market demand for early Islamic works of art.
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.
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.
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.
The city was destroyed by Mongols in 1221, after the husband of Genghis Khan's daughter was killed at Nishapur. She requested the death of every resident of the city to avenge her husband's death, and over the course of 10 days Khan's troops killed, and beheaded the entire population. Their skulls were reputedly piled in pyramids by the Mongols. After the massacre 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. What remains of old Nishapur is a 3500-hectare "Kohandejh" area, south of the current city of Nishapur.
After the death of Nader Shah Afshar in 1747, the area became an independent khanate under the reign of the Bayat chieftains. It was conquered in 1800 by the Qajars. In 1828, the city came under the influence of the Zafaranlu Confederacy but was given back to the Qajars in 1829. During the Revolt of Hasan Khan Salar, the city was an isolated outpost of Qajar rule led by Imamverdi Khan Bayat when most of Khorasan was under the wrath of Hasan Khan Salar. On March 21, 1849 Qajar forces entered Nishapur.
Modern and contemporary period
The special Anthem of Nishapur was unveiled for the first time on April 14, 2011; it has introduction and three parts, noted on three invasive and destructive in the history of Nishapur, delineated by frightening sounds of bells, along with sounds of percussion and wailing women represent the miseries caused by these attacks.
|Persian original||Romanization||English translation|
- US band Santana released an instrumental track entitled "Incident at Neshabur" on their 1970 LP release, Abraxas. Carlos Santana says this was a reference to a place in Haiti.
- Yo-Yo Ma released an instrumental track entitled "Blue as the Turquoise Night of Neyshabur" as part of the Silk Road Project.
Local and cultural days
|Farvardin 1||Nowruz||Solar Hijri|
|Farvardin 13||Sizdah Be-dar, Day of Nature||Solar Hijri|
|Farvardin 25||Respect day for Attar of Nishapur||Solar Hijri|
|Ordibehesht 28||Respect day for Omar Khayyam||Solar Hijri|
|Tir 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|
During the 10th century, Nishapur was a thriving economic center home to many religious scholars and a rich community in the arts. It was located along the Silk Road. An influential trade route connecting China to the Mediterranean Sea. It was a center for cotton, silk, textile and ceramic production. In efforts to uncover the history of life in this city, the Metropolitan Museum of Art put together an excavation team composed of researchers Joseph Upton, Walter Hauser and Charles Wilkinson. From 1935 to 1940, the team worked to rediscover the ancient city. They were authorized to work under the conditions that half of the material found must be shared with the Iran Bastan Museum in Tehran. Along with pottery, excavators uncovered glass, metalwork, coins and decorated wall fragments. Over the years of excavations, thousands of items were uncovered which provided information on local artistic traditions.
The most elaborate architectural excavation took place at the site called Tepe Madraseh. This massive complex had been thoughtfully planned and embellished with many decorative elements. Plaster panels had been carved and painted, along with walls, brickwork and glazed ceramic tiles. A madraseh is a place for religious learning. Such sites have peaked the interest of scholars for centuries for their function and architectural designs. Like most Islamic architecture the entire complex of Tepe Madaseh was oriented to face Mecca. The bricks used to construct most of the structures had been dried in the kilns located on the outskirts of the complex.
Nishapur during the Islamic Golden Age, especially the 9th and 10th centuries, was one of the great centers of pottery and related arts. Most of the Ceramic artifacts discovered in Nishapur are preserved in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and Museums in Tehran and Mashhad. Ceramics produced at Nishapur showed links with Sassanid art and Central Asian. Nowadays there are 4 Pottery workshops in Nishapur.
Form and function of Nishapur pottery
“Although the decoration of pottery may only tell us a little about the people who used it, the form of a vessel is directly related to its function”. The Pottery of Nishapur incorporated strong colored slips and bold patterns. Common decoration included geometric and vegetal patterns, calligraphy, figures and animals. The ceramic pieces uncovered at Nishapur consisted mainly of vessels and utilitarian wares. Objects such as plates, bowls, bottles, jars, pitchers, coin banks and even a toy hen were found. One decorative technique specifically utilized by Nishapur potters was the refined use of chattering, a rippled texture achieved when trimming a vessel on the wheel. The polychrome ware of Nishapur indicates the significant advances in glaze technology that were being discovered during the 10th century. It also indicates how an objects aesthetic became an important part of the piece as a whole.
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, Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Armenian Presidential Palace, Embassy of Finland in Tehran, Mohammed Al-Ameen Mosque in Oman.
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.
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.
In many important historical or modern monuments and buildings, decorative tiles are widely used.
Before the Islamization of Iran, Zoroastrianism had been the major religion of Neyshabur. After the rise of Islam however, the people living in and near the city of Neyshabur became Muslims.
Sorted by date
- Mazdak – (died c. 524 or 528) was a Zoroastrian prophet, Iranian reformer and religious activist
- Kanarang – was a unique title in the Sassanid army, given to the commander of the Sassanid Empire's northeasternmost frontier province, Abarshahr (encompassing the cities of Tus, Nishapur and Abiward).
- Behafarid – was an 8th-century Persian Zoroastrian heresiarch
- Sunpadh – (died 755) cleric
- Ishaq Ibn Rahwayh – muhaddith, faqih
- Abu al-Abbas Iranshahri – 9th-century philosopher, mathematician, natural scientist, historian of religion, astronomer and author
- Ibn Khuzaymah – Muslim scholar
- Muslim ibn al-Hajjaj – Muslim scholar and one of the most prominent muhaddith in history
- Abu al-Hassan al-Amiri – (died 992) was a Muslim theologian and philosopher
- Abū al-Wafā' Būzjānī – (10 June 940 – 15 July 998) was a mathematician and astronomer
- Hakim al-Nishaburi – (933–1012), was a Sunni scholar and historian
- Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Naysaburi – Isma'ili theologian and historian
- Tha'ālibī -(961–1038), Muslim philologist, writer and poet
- Ahmad ibn 'Imad al-Din – was a Persian physician and alchemist. He was probably from Nishapur in the 11th century.
- Ibn Abi Sadiq – was an 11th-century Persian physician
- Abū-Sa'īd Abul-Khayr – (December 7, 967 – January 12, 1049) was a famous Persian Sufi and poet
- Al-Juwayni (1028–1085 CE) was a Sunni Shafi'i Faqih and Mutakallim.
- Ahmad ibn Muhammad al-Tha'labi – was an 11th-century Islamic scholar.
- Abd al-Karīm ibn Hawāzin Qushayri – was born in 986 CE (376 AH), Philosopher and Sufi
- Omar Khayyám – (18 May 1048 – 4 December 1131) was a Persian polymath, philosopher, mathematician, astronomer and poet.
- Abd al-Ghafir al-Farsi – (1059-1135), Persian scholar of Arabic, history and hadith
- Mu'izzi – was an 11th and 12th-centuries poet
- Haji Bektash Veli – was a Muslim mystic
- Attar of Nishapur – (c. 1145 – c. 1221), was a Muslim poet, theoretician of Sufism, and hagiographer.
- Abu al-Qasim al-Habib Neishapuri – physician mid-15th century.
- Saadat Ali Khan I – (b. c. 1680 – d. 19 March 1739) was the Subahdar Nawab of Oudh. All the rulers of Oudh State in India belonged to a Shia Muslim dynasty of Persian origin from Nishapur. They were renowned for their secularism and broad outlook. After they rebelled against the British their state was annexed to form the United Provinces of Agra and Oudh.
- Hamid Hussain Musavi – i (born 1830 – died 1880) was a leading Shia scholar
- Heydar Yaghma –
- Badi' –
- Abolghasem Sakhdari – wrestler
- Saeed Khani – footballer
- Yaghoub Ali Shourvarzi – wrestler
- Nur-Ali Shushtari –
- Esmail Shooshtari –
- Parviz Meshkatian –
- Mohammad-Reza Shafiei Kadkani – i (born 1939) is a Persian writer, poet, literary critic, editor, and translator.
- Hossein Vahid Khorasani—(born January 1, 1921) is an Iranian Twelver Shia Marja
- Abdolreza Kahani— Director
- Hamed Behdad—(1973–) Actor
Schools, universities and colleges
The University of Neyshabur, Neyshabur University of Medical Sciences (NUMS), the Islamic Azad University of Neyshabur (IAUN), the Payame Noor University of Neyshabur and the Technical and Vocational University of Neyshabur, are the main universities of the city along with several other public and private technical, vocational, and part-time colleges and schools.
Enghelab Sports Complex is an indoor arena in Nishapur. The arena houses Nishapur's basketball, volleyball, and futsal teams. Nishapur has one professional football team, Jahan Electric Nishapur, that competes in the Razavi Khorasan's Provincial Leagues.
Nishapur train disaster
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.
Industry and economy
Khorasan Steel Complex and several industrial parks are near the city of Nishapur.
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.
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.
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 foothills of the Binalud Range.
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.
General publications in Nishapur includes the weekly and local newspapers. The first local newspaper of Khorasan province is Morning of Nishapur, published since 1989. Others include Shadiakh, published since 2000, Khayyam Nameh, since 2004, Nasim, since 2006, and Far reh Simorgh, since 2010.
IRIB center of Mashhad covers news of Nishapur.
- 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.
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.
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.
Twin towns – sister cities
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- Wilkinson, Charles (1973). Nishapur: Pottery of the Early Islamic Period. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 9780870990762. Retrieved 22 October 2020.
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- Pancaroglu, Oya (2013). Feasts of Nishapur: Cultural Resonances of Tenth-Century Ceramic Production in Khurasan. Yale University Press.
- "Iran weaves world's largest carpet". news.webindia123.com. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2013-11-05. Retrieved 2013-11-20.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
- bam. "Nawabs of Oudh & Their Secularism". oudh.tripod.com. Retrieved 2018-02-10.
- Scheffel, Richard L.; Wernet, Susan J., eds. (1980). Natural Wonders of the World. United States of America: Reader's Digest Association, Inc. p. 271. ISBN 0-89577-087-3.
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- Durand-Guédy, David (2020). Cities of Medieval Iran. Brill. ISBN 978-90-04-43433-2.
- Wilkinson, Charles K. (1973). Nishapur: pottery of the early Islamic period. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art. ISBN 0870990764.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Nishapur.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Nishapur|
|Wikivoyage has a travel guide for Nishapur.|
- Nishapur Mayors (in Persian)
- Nishapur governors (in Persian)
- Ceramics of Nishapur and other centers
- World Gazetteer on Nishapur at archive.today (archived 2012-12-17)
- Nishapur Mathhouse
- Neyshabur bonyad (in Persian)
- The Metropolitan Museum Excavations at Nishapur
- 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.