Iran’s Ardakan City Nominated For UNESCO Status

Ardakan, the capital city of Ardakan County, and second major city in Iran’s Yazd Province, has applied for membership and been nominated in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities. Two other Iranian cities – namely Hamedan and Kelardasht, have also been nominated alongside Ardakan.

 The historic city of Ardakan, located 60 kms from Yazd, is one of the Zoroastrian centres of Iran, home to numerous holy sites for Zoroastrians in the Sharif-Abad village. Considered the jewel of the Iranian desert due to its rich cultural, architectural, and socio-economic heritage, Ardakan was established in the 12th century in the Zardug region. Each summer, thousands of Zoroastrians from around the world gather here for pilgrimage.

The most important Zoroastrian shrine is the Pir-e-Sabz Fire Temple (Chak Chak), alongside other shrines including Pir Shah Eshtad Izad, Pir Shah Tashtar Izad, Pir Shah Mehr Izad and Pir Shah Morad.

The Pir-e Sabz Fire Temple is located on the skirt of low-lying mountains. Several rest houses and three water reservoirs have been built near this shrine. Zoroastrians visit this region and stay there on religious days (Farvardin 18th or 7th April) annually. In addition to its historical significance, Ardakan is also renowned for producing fine carpets, pottery, and textiles.

While Hamedan city offers exquisite cultural heritage sites to its visitors, Kelardasht is a popular tourist destination that attracts visitors from all over the world for its natural beauty and scenic landscapes. In 2013, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning initiated the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities to promote social cohesion, economic development, and sustainability in urban areas. Currently, 292 members of the network work closely together to share best practices, policies and activities to ensure learning for young and old.

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