"Shahr-e Ray" Rey by Behi

Rey Travel Guide: 18 reviews and 92 photos

Ray(=luminous) (Rey, Rayy, Rhages or Rages & Rhagae in Greek) is the most historic city in southeast of the Tehran connected via the Tehran Metro to the rest of Tehran..

Ray is situated on a very ancient road. It started in Babylonia, went through Ecbatana (Hamedan) to Ray, and from there through Parthia to Susa, where it divided. Its northern branch was to become known as the Silk road that linked Anatolia and the Mediterranean with China.

Ray is richer than many other ancient cities in the number of its historical monuments.


Aryan inhabited in The place that now called Cheshme Ali. (6000Bc - 4000Bc)
The city is estimated to be more than 6000 years old.

According mythical History, The city was developed by King Hoshang Pishdadi.

The Avesta mentions a town "Ragha of the three races" as one of Ohuramazd special creations (Vendidad, Fargard 1.16)

Moghan(=Magician) clan of the Median Empire settled in Ragha.

some believe that Ray was the seat of a dynasty of Zoroastrian leader & then Zoroaster was born in Ray.

The Jewish book Tobit mentioned city, where it is stated that there were Jews living in "Rhagae" since they were deported from Israel to Assyria. (8th cent. BC)

It was the place where the Median rebel king Phraortes was arrested by troops of the new Persian king Darius I the Great. (Summer of 521 BC.)

The city is mentioned in the reliefs Darious The Great of Achaemenid at Bisotun (6th cent. BC)

The last Achaemenid king, Darius III, fought against Alexander in the streets of Ray & then fled to Damghan (Summer of 330 BC.)

Ray totally destroyed by great earthquake.

The town was refounded by the Seleucid king Seleucus Nicator under the name Europos. (3rd cent. BC)

In the Parthian period, Ragha called Arsacia, was the spring residence of the kings.(247 BC - 220 AD)

In the Sassanid period, city called Ragha again. (226 AD. – 651 AD.)

The stronghold of the Masmoghan (the high priest of the Zoroastrian religion) was in the Ray.

Varharam fire one of Biggest & most Important & religious fire was kept in the Ray.

The City is/was a sacred place in former Aryan religion & Zoroastrian & then in Islamic era.
Ray became holy city & center of Zoroastrian religion.

City captured by Moslem invaders (~643 AD)

after some rebellions, Arabs totally destroyed Rey.

The Ray-e Zirin or Rey-e No(=new) founded.

Ray was the ruling center of Umayyad Caliphate (661AD - 750AD)

Mardavij Ziari the funder of Ziarid dynasty made the Ray as his capital (~931AD)

The Ray became one of the richest & major cultural centres of the Iran Such cities as Balkh, Neyshabur until Mongol

The Ray was the Buwayhid dynasty capital (~976AD)
The Ray became most important & greatest city in Islam world.
Ray population mentioned 1,000,000 During Buwayhid dynasty.

Mahmud of Ghaznavi gained Ray in 1029

Toghrol of Seljukid transferred the capital city from Neyshabur to Ray in 1040.

Genghis Khan massacred 1,000,000 population of the city and the skulls of men, women, and children were piled in pyramids by the Mongols in 1221.
City never could rose again

The few survivors relocated themselves slightly north, founding Tehran.

Safavid refounded & developed city in 16th century.

Ray was used as a recreation center under the reign of the Qajar dynasty.(1781 - 1925)

Fath Ali Shah portrait and that of some Qajar princes were engraved on a rock at Cheshmeh Ali hill in 1831.

Ray today has been absorbed into the Greater Tehran metropolitan city.


Ray is also home to many scientists and cultural celebrities.

Zartosht (Zoroaster): was an ancient Iranian prophet and religious poet. The hymns attributed to him, the Gathas, are at the liturgical core of Zoroastrianism the 1st monotheism religion.
His birth place & date isn't clear some believe he was born in Ray or Azarbaijan or Balkh or Central Asia, his date is suggested 1700Bc to 6000BC.

Muhammad ibn Zakarya Razi (Rhazes): was a alchemist, chemist, physician, philosopher and scholar. Razi was born in Ray, in the year 865 AD & died there in 925 AD.
Razi made fundamental and enduring contributions to the fields of medicine, alchemy, and philosophy, recorded in over 184 books and articles in various fields of science.
He is considered the father of pediatrics.He was also a pioneer of neurosurgery and ophthalmology.
Razi is known for his study of sulfuric acid. He also discovered ethanol and refined its use in medicine.

Amin Razi: was a 16th century geographer and author of an encyclopedia called Haft eqlim (seven climes).

Fakhr e-Din Razi: was a well-known Muslim theologian and philosopher. He was born in 1149 in Ray and died in 1209 in Herat. He also wrote on medicine, physics, astrology, literature, history and law.


Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Rich History & Monuments
  • Cons:Smog
  • In a nutshell:not Just a Abdol Azim shrine
  • Last visit to Rey: Mar 2008
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (13)

Comments (1)

  • PierreZA's Profile Photo
    Sep 27, 2008 at 10:06 PM

    Such great informative tips and pictures, very interesting, regards Pierre


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