Neishabur City

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    An early capital of Khorasan, Neishabur is best known as the hometown of scholar-poet Omar Khayyam whose memorial is a modest, 1970s-built affair. It's 5km southeast of town, set in an attractive garden beside the far more visually dramatic Imamzadeh-ye Mahrugh. A kilometre west of that, more gardens enclose the pretty tomb of 12th-century Sufi poet Sheikh Attar, along with the 20th-century memorial to painter Kamal-al Molk. If you're driving, an eccentric curiosity 10km east of Omar Khayyam's grave is Dehkadeh Chubi, a built-for-tourists fantasy hamlet of wooden fairy-tale buildings. Neishabur itself is now mostly a 20th-century sprawl. The original city was completely destroyed by 13th-century Mongols, though in the central area a short stretch of medieval covered bazaar does remain, along with a Safavid-era caravanserai that now hosts various craft- and turquoise-shops and an impressive new Archaeological Museum.

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