Abbey Hubbell

Abbey Hubbell

Published: 21 Sep 2023


The Imam Reza Shrine in Mashhad, Iran, is one of the most revered landmarks in the Islamic world. Each year, millions of pilgrims flock to this sacred site to pay their respects to Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam. The shrine not only holds great religious significance but also boasts incredible architectural beauty and historical importance. In this article, we will explore 17 astonishing facts about the Imam Reza Shrine, shedding light on its captivating features and rich cultural heritage. From its massive size and intricate tile work to the breathtaking courtyards and stunning golden dome, this landmark is a testament to the religious devotion and artistic brilliance of the people of Iran. So, let’s embark on a journey to uncover the wonders of the Imam Reza Shrine and delve into its fascinating history!

Table of Contents

The Imam Reza Shrine is located in Mashhad, Iran.

The Imam Reza Shrine, the largest mosque in the world by area, is situated in the holy city of Mashhad in northeastern Iran. It holds significant religious and cultural importance for Shia Muslims worldwide.

The shrine is dedicated to Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam.

Imam Reza, a descendant of Prophet Muhammad, is revered by Shia Muslims as the eighth Imam. The shrine is built around his tomb and serves as a place of pilgrimage and spiritual solace.

It attracts millions of visitors every year.

The Imam Reza Shrine draws an estimated 20 million visitors annually, making it one of the most visited religious sites in the world. Pilgrims from different countries come to pay their respects and seek blessings.

The shrine complex covers an area of over 598,657 square meters.

Spanning a vast area, the Imam Reza Shrine complex consists of various buildings, courtyards, and facilities. It includes prayer halls, museums, libraries, and a grand golden dome that dominates the skyline.

The golden dome of the shrine is adorned with exquisite tilework.

The striking golden dome of the Imam Reza Shrine is adorned with intricate tilework, showcasing the skill and craftsmanship of Persian artisans. The dome is a symbol of beauty and spirituality.

The shrine complex houses several historic courtyards.

Within the Imam Reza Shrine complex, there are several courtyards, each with its unique charm and historical significance. These courtyards provide peaceful spaces for reflection and prayer.

It is home to a precious collection of Islamic art and artifacts.

The shrine houses a diverse collection of Islamic art and artifacts, including Qurans, manuscripts, calligraphy, carpets, and rugs. These treasures offer insight into the rich cultural heritage of the Islamic world.

The shrine complex has its own university and seminary.

The Imam Reza Shrine complex is not only a place of worship but also a center of learning. It houses a renowned university and seminary, where scholars and students study various disciplines, including Islamic theology and jurisprudence.

The shrine’s museum showcases gifts and donations from around the world.

The museum within the Imam Reza Shrine complex displays a remarkable collection of gifts and donations presented by individuals, organizations, and countries. These offerings reflect the global significance of the shrine.

Pilgrims perform prayers and rituals inside the shrine.

Pilgrims visit the Imam Reza Shrine to perform prayers, engage in religious rituals, and seek spiritual enlightenment. The atmosphere is imbued with devotion, and the faith of the pilgrims is palpable.

The shrine complex has its own hospital and medical facilities.

Recognizing the importance of healthcare, the Imam Reza Shrine complex includes a fully equipped hospital and medical facilities. It provides free healthcare services to pilgrims and the local community, promoting wellness and healing.

The shrine has undergone several renovations throughout history.

Over the centuries, the Imam Reza Shrine has undergone numerous renovations to preserve its grandeur and accommodate the increasing number of visitors. These renovations have ensured the shrine’s longevity and splendor.

The shrine holds religious ceremonies and events throughout the year.

The Imam Reza Shrine is a place of vibrant religious activity, hosting ceremonies, lectures, and events that commemorate significant occasions in the Islamic calendar. These gatherings foster a sense of community and devotion.

The shrine’s main prayer hall can accommodate over one million worshipers.

The main prayer hall of the Imam Reza Shrine is a vast space capable of accommodating more than one million worshipers at a time. It is an awe-inspiring sight when filled with devotees during prayer times.

The shrine complex offers various services for pilgrims.

The Imam Reza Shrine complex provides a range of services to facilitate the pilgrimage of millions of visitors. These services include accommodation, food, transportation, and guidance to ensure a comfortable and meaningful experience.

The shrine’s architecture showcases a blend of Iranian and Islamic influences.

The architecture of the Imam Reza Shrine combines elements of Iranian and Islamic architectural styles, creating a visually mesmerizing structure. The intricate designs and geometric patterns reflect the beauty and sophistication of Persian art.

The shrine is a symbol of unity and spirituality for Shia Muslims.

The Imam Reza Shrine serves as a unifying place of pilgrimage for Shia Muslims from different cultures and backgrounds. It symbolizes their shared devotion and commitment to Imam Reza and the principles of their faith.


Imam Reza Shrine is a remarkable landmark that holds immense significance in the Islamic world. Its grandeur, historical importance, and cultural significance make it a must-visit destination for pilgrims and tourists alike. The shrine’s architecture, intricate design, and serene atmosphere create a tranquil ambience that attracts millions of visitors each year.

With its rich history, stunning beauty, and religious importance, the Imam Reza Shrine continues to leave visitors in awe. Whether you are a devout Muslim seeking spiritual enlightenment or someone interested in exploring the rich cultural heritage of Iran, a visit to this magnificent landmark is sure to be an unforgettable experience.


1. What is the Imam Reza Shrine?

The Imam Reza Shrine is the burial place of Imam Reza, the eighth Shia Imam, located in Mashhad, Iran. It is considered one of the most important religious sites for Shia Muslims.

2. How old is the Imam Reza Shrine?

The original structure of the Imam Reza Shrine dates back to the 9th century. However, it has undergone several renovations and expansions over the centuries.

3. Can non-Muslims visit the Imam Reza Shrine?

Yes, the Imam Reza Shrine welcomes visitors from all religions and backgrounds. However, visitors are expected to dress modestly and respect the religious customs and practices observed in the shrine.

4. Are there any restrictions for visiting the Imam Reza Shrine?

While there are no strict restrictions for visiting the shrine, visitors are required to follow certain guidelines. These include removing footwear before entering the inner sanctum, avoiding photography in certain areas, and maintaining silence and reverence within the shrine premises.

5. Is there an entrance fee to visit the Imam Reza Shrine?

No, there is no entrance fee to visit the Imam Reza Shrine. It is open to all visitors free of charge.

6. Can I take photographs inside the Imam Reza Shrine?

Photography is generally not allowed inside the main prayer halls and the inner sanctum of the Imam Reza Shrine. However, there are designated areas where visitors can take photographs.

7. What is the significance of Imam Reza in Shia Islam?

Imam Reza is highly revered by Shia Muslims as the eighth Imam. His shrine is believed to have spiritual and healing powers, and many pilgrims visit to seek blessings and divine intervention.

8. How long does it take to explore the Imam Reza Shrine?

The shrine complex is vast, and the time taken to explore it depends on individual preferences. On average, visitors spend a few hours exploring the main areas of the shrine.

9. Is there any accommodation available near the Imam Reza Shrine?

Yes, there are numerous accommodation options available in the vicinity of the Imam Reza Shrine to suit various budgets. From luxury hotels to guesthouses and hostels, visitors can find suitable options to stay near the shrine.

10. Are there any other attractions near the Imam Reza Shrine?

Yes, Mashhad offers several other popular attractions for visitors. These include the Goharshad Mosque, the tomb of Nader Shah, Ferdowsi’s Mausoleum, and the Shandiz Village, known for its delicious kebabs.