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Driving my van through Caucasus, Persia and Central Asia for one year...


It's been over 4 months since I left France, time flies when in Iran.

Between difficulties in finding an internet connection and my search in remote villages, I finally take the time to show some images of the persian world. A draft of a few weeks partly shared with my better half - Charline- who wanted to see and understand why I fell in love with this country four years ago. A patchwork of selected landscape and portrait photographs with commentary. The complexity of this country cannot be explained in a few words but the images do depict a glimpse of its beauty.

Persepolis aka the remains of one of the earliest civilizations in History.

> Follow my route day after day on Facebook and Instagram (@karesleroy)

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Cela fait plus de 4 mois que j’ai quitté l’Hexagone, le temps passe vite en Iran.

Entre les difficultés de se connecter à internet et mes recherches dans de petits villages isolés, je prends tout juste le temps de présenter quelques images du monde perse. Une esquisse de quelques semaines partagées en partie avec ma moitié, Charline, qui voulait voir et comprendre pourquoi j’étais tombé amoureux de ce pays il y a 4 ans. (Elle donne d’ailleurs son propre ressenti sur son blog ITWIAUn patchwork de photos, de paysages, de portraits, triés sur le volet et accompagnés d'une simple légende. La complexité de ce pays ne s’explique pas en quelques mots mais les images donnent un aperçu de sa beauté. 

Persepolis ou les vestiges d’une des premières civilisations de l'Histoire.

> Suivez ma route jour après jour sur Facebook et Instagram (@karesleroy)

August 2014. Crossed the border from Armenia, along the Aras river to arrived in North West of IRAN

The Bazaar of Tabriz is one of the oldest bazaars in the Middle East and the largest covered bazaar in the world | IRAN

Its historic bazaar complex is one of the most important commercial centres on the Silk Road | Here is Mozzafarieh (the carpet bazaar) | IRAN

Mollah Seyyed. The black turban denotes the accepted males as descendants of the islamic prophet Muhammad | Tabriz Bazaar | IRAN

A view of Kandovan rock houses | IRAN

Kandovan village is a wonderful example of manmade cliff dwelling which is still inhabited. The troglodyte homes are excavated inside volcanic rocks | IRAN

Kandovan | The troglodyte homes are locally called “Karaan”. Karaans were cut into the Lahars (volcanic mudflow or debris flow) of Mount Sahand | IRAN

A view of Asalem, a village close to the Caspian Sea | IRAN

A view of Masuleh, a village founded in the 10th century | IRAN

Masuleh architecture is unique. The buildings have been built into the mountain and are interconnected. Courtyards and roofs both serve as pedestrian areas similar to streets | IRAN

Agha Bozorg mosque (Masjed-e Āghā Bozorg) is a historical mosque of 18th century in Kashan | IRAN

Charline inside the historic Tabātabāei House of Kashan. It was built in early 1880's for the affluent Tabatabaei merchants family | IRAN

Bazaar of Kashan have been built in the Seljuk era

Sultan Amir Ahmad Hammam in  Kashan  (16th century)

Sultan Amir Ahmad Hammam in Kashan (16th century)

Carpet maps

Merchants Caravanserai of Kashan | IRAN

The road of Namak (salt) Lake | IRAN

Driving my van through a desert of salt (photo by Charline Gerbault) | IRAN

Namak Lake (Daryacheh-ye Namak) has a surface area of about 1800 km², but most of it is dry. Water only covers 1 km² | IRAN

Follow her between the dunes

A view of Abyaneh, one of the oldest village in Iran. It is characterized by a peculiar reddish hue | IRAN

An Abyunaki woman typically wears a white long scarf (covering the shoulders and upper trunk) which has a colourful pattern. Abyunaki people have persistently maintained this traditional costume despite pressures from time to time by the government trying to change it | IRAN

Taking pictures of beautiful and flowered women of Abyaneh (photo by Charline Gerbault)

4 years later, coming back with the pictures published in my book 560000km - un continent et des hommes

Isfahan was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia | Naqsh-e Jahan Imam square | IRAN

The front of the Imam Mosque in Isfahan. It is regarded as one of the masterpieces of Persian Architecture and an excellent example of Islamic era architecture of Iran

Even today, the city retains much of its past glory. Isfahan is famous for its Islamic architecture, with many beautiful boulevards, covered bridges, palaces, mosques, and minarets. This led to the Persian proverb "Esfahān nesf-e jahān ast" (Isfahan is half of the world) | IRAN

Mohr, prayer stone of the shi'a muslims | IRAN

Mohamed Shavi, famous flautist of Isfahan | IRAN

Ceiling of a bazaar in Isfahan | IRAN

A view of Aqda, an old village (8th century) located in the northwest of Ardakan | IRAN

A street of Aqda with a painting lion, the symbol of Imam Ali (the first Shiite Imam) | IRAN

Skyline of Yazd during the sunse... Because of generations of adaptations to its desert surroundings, Yazd is an architecturally unique city | IRAN

A seller of bicycles who closed his shop a very long time ago... I heard about 12 years ago!

Black fingerprints and red wall

Persian pattern in Yazd

Amir Chakhmaq Complex is a prominent structure in Yazd, noted for its symmetrical sunken alcoves (16th century) | IRAN

Meeting with Haji Joume, an old Afghani who left his country 30 years ago to Yazd | IRAN

The road of Chak Chak, the most sacred of the mountain shrines of Zoroastrianism | IRAN

Chak Chak serves as a pilgrimage point for pious Zoroastrians | IRAN

Each year, many thousands of Zoroastrians from Iran, India and other countries flock to the fire temple at Pir-e Sabz | IRAN

Dakhma, a silence tower was used by Zoroastrians for exposure of the dead, particularly to scavenging birds. Zoroastrianism is an ancient (more than 3000 years) iranian religion still practiced in the country

View from a Dakhma, a "Tower of silence" in Cham. One of the last Zoroastrian village in Iran. Close to Yazd. Buildings can be seen below were used to prepare the body after death.

Model of the ancient archaeological site of Persepolis. It was the ceremonial capital of the Achaemenid Empire (550-330 BC) | The ruins of this capital are situated 70km northeast of Shiraz | IRAN

The Gate of all Nations of Persepolis, referring to subjects of the empire, consisted of a grand hall that was a square of approximately 25 metres.

Achaemenid griffin at Persepolis | IRAN

A Persepolis frieze depicting the Persian Immortals

The earliest remains of Persepolis date from around 515 BC. It exemplifies the Achaemenid style of architecture. UNESCO declared the citadel of Persepolis a World Heritage Site in 1979 | IRAN

Four tombs belonging to Achaemenid kings are carved out of the rock face at a considerable height above the ground | Naqsh-e Rostam | IRAN

3 youngs balutchis in front of the Arg-e Karim Khan in Shiraz | IRAN

Naranjestan is a huge courtyard planted with rows of palm and oranges trees. Built in Shiraz for the powerful Mohammas Ali Khan Qavam al-Molk in 1886 | IRAN

Painted wall of Naranjestan in Shiraz | IRAN

Tomb of Hafez (1325-1389), the most important persian poet. Considerated for many as a pilgrimage site | Shiraz | IRAN

The marble tombstone is engraved with a long verse from the poet. Iranians have a saying that every home must have two things : first the Quran, then a collection of the works of Hafez...

Photographs and Texts by Kares Le Roy  

English translation by Boutheyna K.

Follow my work on Facebook & Instagram (@karesleroy)