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    Persepolis: Iran tourism gateway faces climate threats - Aljazeera

    Shiraz - Persepolis: Iran tourism gateway faces climate threats - Aljazeera


    Persepolis: Iran tourism gateway faces climate threats
    Shrinking land, drought and algae growth put stress on UNESCO site as tourist arrivals grow after lifting of sanctions.

    By Mohammad Ali Najib
    Publish Date:11 Feb 2017 

    It has been more than a year since international sanctions against Iran were lifted, symbolically reopening the country to the rest of the world.

    While political tensions between the West and Tehran continue, one of the industries that has benefited most from the thawing of relations is tourism, with the country reporting 18 percent growth in international arrivals last year. Visitors from North America, Europe and the Middle East represented more than a quarter of the total number of arrivals from January to December 2016, according to a ForwardKeys study published in January.

    Among the top destinations in Iran is Persepolis, the 2,500-year-old heritage site, once considered to be the capital of the Persian empire. Located north of the city of Shiraz, Persepolis, also known as Takht-e-Jamshid (Throne of Jamshid), has been in ruins since Alexander the Great raided it in 333 BC.

    What is left of the ancient city has become an attraction for local and foreign visitors alike, particularly after it was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1979. At the Gate of Xerxes, two massive winged bulls with human heads, also known as Lamassu, stand at the eastern doorway.  

    In recent years, however, agricultural activities have caused the soil around Persepolis to collapse owing to the depletion of groundwater and drought. Growth of algae and bacteria in the ruins have also threatened the many archaeological objects at the site, which was carved on the side of the Rahmet Mountain.

    But with the reopening of the country, experts from Japan and Italy are lending their hands to preserve the site for the many visitors expected in the years to come.

    In 1971, Persepolis became the main staging ground of the 2,500-year celebration of the Persian Empire, hosted by the Pahlavi Dynasty. 



    One of the most imposing parts of Persepolis are the Lamassus, the massive winged bulls with human heads, that stand on the eastern doorway of the Gate of Xerxes.



    After the ousting of the Shah of Iran, Persepolis continued to be protected, despite Ayatollah Khomeini's criticism of the lavish celebration in 1971.



    Persepolis is also one of the most popular destinations among local tourists, especially during Nowruz, the Persian New Year.



    Around 333 BC, the site was laid to ruins after the invasion of Alexander the Great. 


    Persepolis is located 60km northeast of the city of Shiraz and its international airport, making it accessible to international tourists. 



    According to a recent study, Iran reported 18 percent growth in international arrivals in 2016.



    In April 2016, Air France resumed its Paris-Tehran flights after eight years, opening up a new tourism market to the country. 

    Abridged From : Aljazeera


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    The word Persia gives the image of a magical and mysterious land of far away and long ago, of ancient monuments and beautiful works of art – carpets, tiles, fine ceramics and miniatures. It also reminds us of legendary and tragic love stories and epic poems about great wars. And Persia is indeed a world ancient and contemporary, a bridge between heaven and earth. We want to show you around. Discover things to do on your next trip to Iran and plan a trip of your lifetime. Yes, it is that easy! This website gives you the tools to plan your trip to Iran: detailed information on destinations; inspiring ideas on what to see and do in each city; where to stay; where to eat; travel guides and let’s say everything you need so you can dream up a trip to Iran.


    This workshop is designed according to the UNESCO World Heritage Education Programme in order to give young people a chance to voice their concerns and to become involved in the protection of our common cultural and natural heritage. It seeks to encourage and enable tomorrow’s decision-makers to participate in heritage conservation and to respond to the continuing threats facing our World Heritage. The idea of involving young people in World Heritage preservation and promotion came as a response to Article 27 of the Convention Concerning the Protection of the World Cultural and Natural Heritage (World Heritage Convention). Furthermore, Patrimonito means 'small heritage' in Spanish and the character represents a young heritage guardian. Patrimonito has been widely adopted as the international mascot of the World Heritage Education Programme.
    Date: 29th December
    Number of trainees: 7
    Duration: 3 hours

    The workshop of "Patrimonito" was held on 29th of December. Participants arrived around 10:30 and they were welcomed by hot chocolate and Persian cup cakes. After a little introduction by trainers and trainees, the process started by making two groups and letting them choose a name for their group, each group was accompanied by a mentor then each group was given some images of world heritage sites in Iran and some descriptions, each group was asked to match images and descriptions, the mentor was guiding them throughout the activity. All trainees were participating actively and trying to remember their experiences about their travels to these places. When they were done with the activity, the mentors started giving the answers and a brief explanation about each site; mentors were using trainees’ ideas and experiences to complete their tasks.

    Shortly after that, the second part started which was a presentation done by two of mentors. The aim of this presentation was to define the value of these world heritage sites and duties of each person as a "Patrimonito", and what happens if there is no "Patrimonito" and nobody cares about our tangible or intangible heritage. In this part trainees started questioning and understanding the whole concept of being a "Patrimonito", they also added their own suggestions on how to protect our heritage and by the end of this part, they were completely aware about their role as a "Patrimonito".
    Now it was a best time to have a short break, during the break trainees were introduced to some of intangible heritages as they were served by traditional food and snacks and even they way of serving was according to traditions and everyone had this opportunity to discuss about intangible heritage while enjoying some traditional food and snacks.
    When the break was done, everyone was asked to choose a heritage either tangible or intangible and they had to introduce their chosen heritage to a tourist by making a postcard using what they have learnt. They were given all of necessary tools such as color papers, color pencils, glue, scissors, images of heritage and a mentor was with them in order to help them completing the task.

    When they were done, they handed out their postcards and with the mentors they sat together and spent a few minutes asking and answering about what they have learnt. Then they were told to say their vows for protecting their heritage and caring about it, the mentor said the vow and the trainees repeated after her and they officially became a "Patrimonito".

    The last but the best part was when they were given the certificates, and they were told that since they are aware of the value of the heritage and they know how to protect it, they are chosen as "Patrimonito" and they should continue their mission by introducing the value of heritage to others. They were granted certificates and labels and the workshop of "Patrimonito" was finished by taking some memorial photos.