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For more than three millennia Iran, or Persia as it was formerly known, was a melting pot of civilizations. Under Cyrus the Great, Persia was the center of the worlds first empire, which stretched from the Mediterranean to modern-day Pakistan.
Subsequent invasions by the Greeks, Arabs, Mongols and Turks have imbued the nation with an amazingly rich cultural and historical diversity.
The Islamic Revolution in 1979 and the subsequent IranIraq war reduced tourism to a trickle, but in the last decade the countrys global significance within the modern world has resulted in increasing interest from intrepid travelers unafraid by the Wests often blinkered appraisal of Iran and its people.
Travelers have begun rediscovering the attractions - both old and new - of a diverse land filled with beauty, and brimming with potential. An essential book both for visitors to Iran - whether on business or traveling for pleasure - or for those simply with a thirst to learn about and understand this fascinating country, it provides a fascinating illumination of both ancient Persia and modern Iran.
Up-to-date travel facts and tips combine with chapters on each of the countrys provinces, and sections on Islamic art, architecture and religion.
With essays by experts on the history and culture of the country, this lavishly illustrated guide provides a fascinating illumination of both ancient Persia and modern Iran.