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Closest visit from the capital and some seven km to the south east of Tehran along the old national road to Qum, is situated the little bustling, holy, and modern town of Shahr-e Rey, or just Rey. The plain surrounding the city is still being irrigated to some extent, by the ancient Iranian-type of subterranean canals known as the qanats. According to a 10-century geographer, it used to be the finest city in the east, discounting Baghdad. From 5,000 BC to 1200 AD Rey, formerly Raques, or Raga, was a large and important city. Its name is upon rupestrial inscriptions from Darius?s period, in the Zoroastrian Avesta and in the Bible. The ancient walls of the old Rey consisting of some relics dating from the Achaemenian, Askhanian, Sassanian, as well as the Islamic period, particularly Seljuk, are clearly visible between the modern town and the mountainside. Today, Rey is an industrial suburb with a lively bazaar in the center of town.

Visited by Alexander, fortified by the Parthians, the birthplace of Harun or-Rashid, a flourishing city of the Seljuk Empire and perhaps the finest source for early Islamic pottery, Rey was utterly destroyed by the Mongols in 1220 AD and its populations dispersed to Varamin, Saveh, and elsewhere. The main interesting places for the tourist in Rey are as follows:

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