Meshed, Or Meshid, a city of Persia, capital of the province of Khorasan, in an extensive valley of the same name, about 185 m. N. W. of Herat, 300 m. E. of the southern extremity of the Caspian sea, and 400 m. E. of Teheran; lat. 36° 20' N., Ion. 59° 35' E.; pop. estimated at 70,000. It is surrounded by walls 12 m. in circuit, enclosing much space occupied only by extensive burying grounds, and great tracts of ruins, the population being mostly confined to the centre. Its principal street is spacious and handsome. The place is chiefly known by the splendid mausoleums of Imam Riza, Haroun al-Raschid, and Nadir Shah. Next to Mecca, it is the most sacred place for a Shiah Mussulman, and many pilgrims visit yearly the shrine of Imam Riza, which is crowned with a splendid cupola and gilded minarets, and stands in a court 480 ft. long and 225 ft. broad. The court is incrusted with mosaic work of painted and glazed tiles, and entered by four lofty gateways. The shrine is entered through a silver gate, the gift of Nadir Shah. Within the same court is the mosque of Gohur Shah, which is also very splendid. Meshed contains several colleges, a spacious but unfinished caravansary, and a palace which is also a citadel. There is an aqueduct whose banks are shaded with trees.
Velvets esteemed the best in Persia, sword blades of celebrated temper, some kinds of armor, and some silk and cotton goods are manufactured; and many of the inhabitants are employed in cutting gems from the turquoise mines in the vicinity. There is an important 'commerce, by the great caravan routes of Persia, with Bokhara, Khiva, Herat, Ker-man, Yezd, and other quarters; rich caravans arrive daily. Near by are the ruins of Thus, the home of the poet Firdusi. The town suffered terribly from the famine of 1871.