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, city (1991 pop. 1,759,155), capital of Razavi Khorasan prov., NE Iran. It is an industrial and trade center and a transportation hub. Manufactures include carpets, textiles, and processed foods.
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(also Mashhad), a city in northeastern Iran, in the valley of the Kashef Rud; capital of the province of Khurasan. Population, 505,000 (1971). Meshed is the terminus of the Tehran-Meshed railroad, a highway junction, and the commercial and industrial center of northeastern Iran. Industries include metalworking, the production of textiles, leather footwear, and food, and the manufacture of building materials. Cottage industries include turquoise processing and rug weaving. There is a university in the city.
Meshed was first mentioned in the tenth century (earlier it was the village of Sanabad). In the 13th century it was destroyed by the Mongols. The city flourished from the 15th to the 17th centuries. Between 1736 and 1747, Meshed was the capital of the government of Nadir Shah. A holy city of the Shiites, it is the site of the tomb of Ali Reza, the eighth Shiite imam.
Noteworthy architectural monuments include the imposing religious ensemble (12th to 19th centuries) around Imam Reza’s shrine. The ensemble consists of four immense interior courtyards with two-tier arcades around the perimeter and huge iwans (Alisher Navoi, late 15th century; Shah Abbas II, 1649). Meshed is also the site of mosques (Gohar Shad, 1405–18, architects Qavam al-Din Shirazi and others), Imam Reza’s shrine (arose in the ninth century, often rebuilt), madrasahs (Do-Dar, 15th century), prayer houses, sanctuaries, libraries, and caravansaries. The walls and domes are decorated mostly with faience mosaic, painted slabs, lustrine facing, marble panels, and rolled gold. The most noteworthy 20th-century structures are the Reza Shah hospital (1965, architects H. Giahi and others) and the Nadirshah mausoleum (granite and reinforced concrete, 1961, architect Kh. Seyhun), which has an equestrian statue of the shah (bronze, sculptor A. Sadeghi).
Nearby Meshed are the Musalla mosque (1676, faience mosaic decoration), the Haji Rabi mausoleum (1622), and the Ferdousi grave (tomb pavilion, 1934).
REFERENCESBartol’d, V. V. “Istoriko-geograficheskii obzor Irana.” Soch., vol. 7. Moscow, 1971. (See index.)
Pope, A. U. Persian Architecture. London, 1965. Pages 221–25.