Rey City: A Mosaic of History and Culture

Rey City

Rey City

Rey City, often referred to as Rey, is a historic and culturally rich city located south of Tehran, Iran’s bustling capital. Often overshadowed by its cosmopolitan neighbor, Rey is a treasure trove of ancient history, traditional architecture, and rich Persian heritage. Dating back over 2,000 years, the city has been mentioned in ancient texts and has served as a vital center of trade and spirituality. Today, Rey offers a unique blend of old and new, where narrow, labyrinthine streets and historic landmarks coexist with modern amenities and burgeoning development. It remains a testament to the enduring allure of Persian culture, attracting historians, tourists, and spiritual seekers alike to explore its many facets.

Rey City is located in the southeast of Tehran City. Some people believe that Zoroaster was born in this ancient Iranian city. If it were true, Rey city would be one of the Iranian ancient cities. Also, it has different names as Ray, Reyy, or Rai, during Iran’s history.

Moreover, it was located on the Silk Road and used as the capital by ancient kings as “Ragha,” in Latin; it was called “Rhagae” during Iran’s history. The Parthian Empire (Arsacid Empire) called Rey “Arsacia.”

The city had taken its current name as ‘Rey’ during the dynasty of the Sassanids.

This glorious city was one of the most important cities of Zoroastrians, which is mentioned in their AVESTA book as “Ragha,” and it is one of Ahuramazda’s particular creations in the world.

Old city of Rey
The old city of Rey

Furthermore, after the domination of Islam in Iran, Rey city became one of the main cities for Muslims, especially for SHIA. This ancient Iranian city faced several wars, and foreign invader countries terminated it during Iran’s history.

There are lots of ancient places to visit in Rey city, such as Toghrol Tower, Cheshmeh Ali and Rey Castle, Hazrat Abdol Azim Hassani Holy Shrine, Naqareh Khaneh Tower, Iraj Castle (Gebri Castle), Rey bazaar and Rey Fire Temple (Bahram Fire Temple).

When you want to visit Iran, Tehran will be one of your destinations, and Rey city, as an ancient Iranian city, is the most historical place in Tehran.

Toghrol Tower: An Enduring Symbol of Rey’s Past

This monument belongs to the Seljuk era. The first Seljuk’s king, Tughrul Beyk, has probably been buried here. The tower is about 20 meters high and 16 meters outer diameter.

It has a dome on the top of the tower, but it collapsed because of severe earthquakes during Iran’s history. Naser Din Shah Qajar ordered to renewal of this place in 1884.

Tughrul Tower, Rey. Iran
Toghrol Tower, Rey. Iran

The tower’s design acts as a solar clock, and its external surface is divided into 24 faces (each represents 1 hour).

Accessibility: Take the Tehran metro line 1 (color-coded red) toward Kahrizak, get off at Shahr-e Rey metro station, and keep your way to Tughrul Tower by taxi in 15 min.

Open days and time: All days from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM

Entrance fee: 150,000 RLS

Tel: +98-21-33746403

Cheshmeh-Ali: Rey’s Natural Spring and Archeological Site

Cheshmeh-Ali is located north of Ebne Babvaih of Rey City. It dates back to 4000 BC in the Medes Empire in Iran’s history. An inscription of a Fath-Ali-Shah (one of the Qajar kings) shows the image of Fath-Ali-Shah and a few Qajar Princes.

Cheshmeh Ali, Rey. Iran
Cheshmeh Ali, Rey. Iran 

Also, an ancient Rey castle or defensive wall is above the inscription in the Cheshmeh-Ali area. Available wall sections are just about 3 km.

Accessibility: Take Tehran metro line 1- toward Kahrizak and take a taxi from Shahr-e Rey and Javan Mard-e-Ghasab metro station to reach your destination in 15 minutes; you also need 15 minutes by walking from Tughrul Tower.

Open days and times: All days and hours

Entrance fee: Free

Hazrat Abdol Azim Hassani Shrine: The Spiritual Heart of Rey

Rey is a religious city before and after Islam in Iran’s history. It is a special place for Shia worldwide because of the Abdol Azim Hassani Holy Shrine. He was one of the sons of Imam Hassan, the second Imam of Shia, son of Imam Ali. Imam means leader, and Imamzade means born of a leader.

Shah Abdol Azim HAssani Holy Shrine, Rey, Iran
Shah Abdol Azim Hassani Holy Shrine, Rey, Iran

Also, there are other tombs such as Imamzadeh Hamzeh (brother of Imam Reza), Imamzadeh Taher (the offspring of Imam Sajad), and Naser Din Shah (one of the Qajar’s king) beside Abdol Azim Hassani.

The point is women tourists have to enter the main shrine at different gates rather than men’s gates. Also, there is an obligation that women should keep their Hejab while wearing the Islamic veil, which will be given to them when they arrive at the shrine Courtyard.

Accessibility: Take Tehran metro line 1- toward Kahrizak and leave at Shahr-e-Rey metro station. Then you need 25 min to reach the destination by walking.

Open days and time: All days and hours.

Entrance fee: Free

Naqareh Khaneh Tower: A Drum Tower with a View of Rey City

It’s located on the top of the Naqareh Khaneh Mountains of Rey city. The tower is a tomb for one of the princes of the Seljuk dynasty.

Naghareh Khaneh Tower, Rey, Iran
Naghareh Khaneh Tower, Rey, Iran

Accessibility: 15 min from Tughrul Tower by taxi; also, you can use Tehran metro line 1- toward Kahrizak and get off at Shahr-e Rey metro station. Then you need 15 min to reach the destination via Avini Expr. by taxi.

Open days and time: All days and hours.

Entrance fee: Free

Iraj Castle (Gebri Castle): A Mysterious Relic of Rey’s Military History

The castle is located to the northeast of Varamin city. This monument was made of mud and bricks. It was used as a defense wall or court during the Sassanid era. It is the largest one by its type in the world. The height of the wall is about 12 meters.

Iraj Castle, Rey, Iran
Iraj Castle, Rey, Iran

Today, only the castle’s walls are mud, and some interior sections can still be seen.

Accessibility: Buy a rail ticket at Tehran Railway Station for Varamin City, and you will reach about 15 min to Varamin railway station by train. The ticket price is 80,000 RLS.

Open days and hours: All days from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Entrance fee: Free

Rey Bazaar: The Hub of Local Life

Rey Bazzar, Rey, Iran

Rey Bazaar, Rey, Iran

Rey Bazaar is one of the oldest markets in Tehran City, which starts from Shahr-e Rey main square to the Abdol Azim Hassani holy shrine’s old entrance. It’s a dynamic part of this ancient Iranian city. It is a small-scale of Tehran Grand Bazaar. It has many religious goods to sell, but you can also find some traditional Iranian foods and souvenirs there.


Accessibility: Take Tehran metro line 1- toward Kahrizak and get off at Shahr-e Rey metro station. Then, you will reach Rey Bazaar in about 25 min by walking.

Open days and time: All days from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.

Entrance fee: Free

Rey Fire Temple (Bahram Fire Temple): A Testament to Zoroastrian Heritage

Rey Fire Temple, Rey, Iran

Rey Fire Temple, Rey, Iran

They are also known as Bahram Fire Temple, located on the top of Mil Hill southeast of Rey. Only the bases of the temple remained from the Sassanid era, and it has two reverse “U” forms that held a huge fireplace as a foundation during Iran’s history.

Accessibility: Take the Tehran metro line 1- toward Kahrizak and get off at Kahrizak station, then take a taxi to the temple and reach after about 25 min.

Open days and time: All days between 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM.

Entrance fee: Free


We hope you will find this information useful for your Iran travel guide.

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