Nishapur(redirected from Neyshapur)
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a city in northeastern Iran, in the ostan (province) of Khorasan. Population, 35,000 (1971). Linked by highway and railroad with Tehran and Meshed, Nishapur is the center of an irrigated agricultural region (cotton, olives, fruit, grapes, livestock). There are food and leather industries. Turquoise is mined nearby.
Nishapur was founded in the middle of the third century. The city’s name derives from the name of the Sassanid king Shapur I (or Shapur II). In the middle of the seventh century the city was captured by the Arabs. It was the capital of the Tahirid state in the ninth century and of the Khurasan region of the Samanid state in the tenth century. From the ninth to 12th centuries, Nishapur was one of the Middle East’s most important economic centers. In the 11th and 12th centuries, the city was a residence of the Great Seljuks. It was destroyed in 1153 by the Oghuz tribe and again in 1221 by the Mongols. Almost the entire population perished. In the 14th and 15th centuries, Nishapur was rebuilt yet did not regain its former significance. In 1722 the city suffered an Afghan invasion. The Persian and Tadzhik poet-scientist Omar Khayyam was born and died in Nishapur.
Nishapur, which consists of “old” and “new” cities, has a square grid layout, with intersecting main streets. Excavations have revealed the remains of palaces and villas from the eighth, ninth, or tenth centuries. The structures are embellished with wall paintings, stucco reliefs, and carved ornament. In the Middle Ages, Nishapur was a center for ceramic manufacture. Situated near the city is the Tomb of Omar Khayyam, a rotunda decorated with tracery (stone, glazed tiles with floral ornament and inscriptions; 1963, architect Kh. Seyhun).