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Neyshabur (nāshäbo͝orˈ), city (1991 pop. 135,681), Razavi Khorasan prov., NE Iran; also called Nishapur. It is the trade center for a farm region where cotton, fruit, and grain are grown. Manufactures include food products and leather goods; turquoise is mined nearby. Neyshabur was founded by the Sassanid ruler Shapur I in the 3d cent. A.D. It was rebuilt (4th cent.) by Shapur II and became one of Persia's foremost cities. Under the Seljuk Turks (11th–12th cent.) it was an important cultural center; several colleges were founded there by Nizam al-Mulk. Al-Ghazali, the noted philosopher of the 11th–12th cent., studied in Neyshabur, and his famous contemporary Omar Khayyam was born in the city and is buried there. The tomb of Omar was rebuilt in 1934. Near Neyshabur archaeologists have made important finds of glazed pottery and stucco work from the 9th and 10th cent.
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



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).


Upton, M. “Excavations at Nishapur.” Bulletin of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 1936, vol. 31, no. 9.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.


a town in NE Iran, at an altitude of 1195 m (3920 ft.): birthplace and burial place of Omar Khayy?m. Pop.: 208 000 (2005 est.)
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
References in periodicals archive ?
The Our Music website reports that the Neyshapur concert was to be held for two nights and it had obtained all necessary performance permits from the Ministry of Culture.
About 300 people were injured in the explosion, when the freight train, hauling sulphur, fuel oil and other industrial chemicals blew up outside the city of Neyshapur in Iran's Khorasan province.
About 300 people were injured in the explosion, when the freight train, hauling fuel oil and other industrial chemicals blew up outside the city of Neyshapur in Iran's Khorasan province.