TEHRAN – On Monday, one-day package tours started in Rey under strict health protocols to mark the national tourism week, September 28 to October 3.

“On the occasion of [national] tourism week, package tours of Ray are being held in full compliance with health protocols amid the coronavirus pandemic,” provincial tourism chief Amir-Mosayeb Rahimzadeh announced on Monday.

“The Rey tours are being held on foot for ten visitors observing social distancing….. No vehicles are used during the excursions which only comprise open-air sites such as Toghrol Tower, and Cheshmeh-Ali,” the official explained.

Standing tall in the city of Rey, the 12th-century Toghrol Tower is in fact the tomb of Seljuk ruler Toghrol Beg, who died in Rey in 1063. Originally, like other monuments of its time, it was capped by a conical dome that would have added to its height. Cheshmeh-Ali, literally meaning Spring of Ali, is an underground mineral stream that pours into an open-air pool which has long been a traditional destination for sightseers and a recreational center for the locals.

Rey was one of the capital cities of the Parthian empire (3rd century BC–3rd century CE).

According to Encyclopedia Britannica, the city was briefly a capital under the rule of the Seljuqs, but in the 12th century. In 1220 the city was almost entirely destroyed by the Mongols, and its inhabitants were massacred. Most of the survivors of the massacre moved to nearby Tehran, and the deserted remnants of Rey soon fell into complete ruin.