Holy QomDecember 10, 2017 in Iran
Qom is the second holiest city in Iran after Mashhad and an important pilgrimage destination. We became aware of that at least since Ali, our host, asked Silke if she could put her chador on (a few minutes after we met). Which chador? Luckily, she carried a long, black summer dress, her black jacket over it, finished. By the way, the Iranian word for 'tent' is 'chadore' which describes the look of this piece of clothing very well, as you can see in the picture :)
The reason for the holiness of Qom is the shrine of Fatima Masumeh who was the sister of the 8th imam, a well-respected strong woman. After her death she was buried at this place.
Ali has been a great host for us during the two days in Qom. He invited us into a cosy, historical tea house and even took Hauke into the shrine secretly which is actually strictly forbidden for foreigners ('Look down, maintain a low profile, and enjoy!'). The atmosphere was incredible, people walking around the giant, cubic grave, touching the pure gold, along with the sounds from the prayers of hundreds of people, awakening memories of TV scenes from Mekka - so we're really lucky to visit this place on holy Friday!
Another highlight of our stay in Qom was a short trip to a relatively unknown, reddish mountain called 'Salt Dome' with Ali and his brother. Climbing down to the salt lake, admiring the views of the surrounding mountains, and wandering around them felt a bit like being on mars. Having a blue sky above and a diamond of pure nature
in front of us finally led us to stay there also for breakfast. So we had Iranian chai, Lavash with cheese and carrot jam as well as boiled eggs. Of course, we salted them by the use of lying around salt crystals. What the nature is able to create, will forever remain beyond mankind's search.
So far, Qom has been the city which fascinated us the most in Iran. The holy atmosphere at and around the impressive main square, the beautiful lighting of the numerous minarets and domes, and noticeably less rush compared to all other Iranian cities we've seen, made it a unique experience.Read more