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Ali Qapu, the Safavid Grand Palace  (photos)
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Ali Qapu, the Safavid Grand Palace (photos)

Ali Qapu Palace, or Ali Qapu Mansion, which was also called Dowlatkhaneh-ye Mobarakeh-ye Naqsh-e Jahan, and Dowlatkhaneh Palace during Safavid era, is located on the western side of Naqsh-e Jahan Square, opposite Sheikh Lotfollah Mosque in Isfahan. The palace was constructed between the years 971 and 977 SH, after the transfer of the capital from Qazvin to Isfahan by Shah Abbas I in the late 10th century SH, as the headquarters and dowlatkhaneh [government] of the Safavid kings.  

 Portuguese monument on Qeshm Island (photos)
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Portuguese monument on Qeshm Island (photos)

Among the attractions of Qeshm Island is the Portuguese Castle. The castle was built in 1507 on the north side of Qeshm Island by a Portuguese admiral, Afonso de Albuquerque. The Portuguese established a complete dominance over southern Iran by constructing several castles in the ports and southern islands of Iran, and their dominance on this important waterway lasted for 110 years. During this time, they built fortresses and castles, including the castles in Hormuz, Qeshm, and Lark.

The Cmentarz Polski in Tehran   (photos)
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The Cmentarz Polski in Tehran (photos)

As WWII broke out, Russian forces occupied eastern Poland following an agreement with Hitler. Tens of thousands of Polish citizens were sent to forced labor camps in Siberia and Kazakhstan. In 1942, an estimated 115 000 Poles, including men, women, and children, civilians and soldiers, were evacuated, arriving in Bandar Anzali, Iran, on the Caspian coast by boat. Soldiers and volunteer forces joined the resistance in Europe, but thousands of civilians stayed in Iran for the next three years.

The mechanic that became the artist   (photos)
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The mechanic that became the artist (photos)

A talented artist from Maragheh, East Azerbaijan Province, who used to be the city mechanic, has now moved into sculpting the most beautiful junk art. Bahram Ashofteh lives in E Azerbaijan, northeastern Iran. He collects unsightly car parts from the junkyard and crafts them into amazing statues of animals designed by himself. He used to earn a living by repairing cars.