Tehran tour 1
Visiting Golestan Palace, Tehran’s Grand Bazaar, the National Museum of Iran, and National Jewelry Museum.
The Golestan Palace, literally the Roseland Palace, is the former royal Qajar complex in Iran’s capital city, Tehran. The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, a world heritage, the Golestan Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg (citadel). Golestan Palace Complex consists of 17 structures including palaces, museums, and halls some of which are Brilliant Hall (Talar e Brelian), The Building of Windcatchers (Emarat e Badgir), The Marble Throne (Takht e Marmar), Karim Khani Nook (Khalvat e Karim Khani), Containers Hall (Talar e Zoroof), Diamond Hall (Talar e Almas), Abyaz Palace, etc.
The Grand Bazaar also known as Tehran’s Grand Bazaar is a historical market located in southern Tehran. Throughout its history, in addition to shops the Grand bazaar has contained banks and financiers, mosques and guest houses. Traditionally, the Tehran bazaar was split into corridors, each specializing in different types of goods, including copper, carpets, paper, spices, and precious metals, as well as small traders selling all types of goods. Today, modern goods are available as well, in addition to the many traditional corridor traders that still survive. Its many corridors are over 10 km in length. There are several entrances, some of which are locked and guarded at night. It is located In Arg Square and the main entrance is Sabze meydoon.
National Museum of Iran, aging more than 70 years, containing 300,000 museum objects in an area more than 20,000 square meters, is not only the largest museum of History and Archaeology of the country, but ranks as one of the few most prestigious museums of the world in regard to grand volume, diversity and quality of its huge monuments. In the Iranian museum tradition it is considered Iran’s mother museum, aiming at preserving relics of the past to hand down to the next generations, enhancing better understanding among world peoples and nations, discovering and showing Iranian’s roles in shaping world culture and civilization and trying to enhance public knowledge. The oldest artifacts in the museum are from Kashafrud, Darband and Ganj Par, sites that date back to the Lower Paleolithic period.Mousterian stone tools made by Neanderthals are also on display in the first hall. The most important Upper Paleolithic tools are from the Yafteh Cave, dating back approximately 30,000-35,000 years. There are also 9,000 year-old human and animal figurines from Sarab Hill in Kermanshah Province among the many other ancient artifacts.
The National Jewelry Museum – The Treasury of Iranian National -Royal- Jewels – accommodates the world’s most precious jewelry collection. Most of the collection dates back to Safavid times, when the shahs scoured Europe, India and the lands of the Ottoman Empire for booty with which to decorate their capital, Esfahan. But as the Safavid Empire crumbled, the jewels became a high profile spoil of war. When Mahmud Afghan invaded Iran in 1722, he plundered the treasury and sent its contents to India. On ascending the throne in 1736, Nader Shah Afshar despatched courtiers to ask for the return of the jewels. When their powers of persuasion proved unequal to the task, he sent an army to prove that he was serious. To get the soldiers off his back, Mohammed Shah of India was forced to hand over the Darya-ye Nur and Kuh-e Nur diamonds, a Peacock Throne (though not the one you’ll see here) and assorted other treasures. After Nader Shah’s murder in 1747, Ahmed Beg plundered the treasury and dispersed the jewels. The Kuh-e Nur, the world’s largest cut diamond, found its way into the sticky fingers of the colonial British and has been locked up in the Tower of London since. The Qajar and Pahlavi rulers enthusiastically added to the jewels collection, which grew to be so valuable that in the 1930s it was transferred to the National Bank of Iran (now the Central Bank of Iran) as a reserve for the national currency.
Tehran tour 2
Visiting Azadi Tower, Sa’adabad Palace, Carpet Museum, Glass & Ceramics Museum and Mausoleum of Imamzadeh Saleh.
The Azadi Tower, literally the Freedom Tower or Liberty Tower, previously known as the “Shahyad Tower” meaning “King Memorial Tower”, is one of the symbols of Tehran City, the capital of Iran, and marks the west entrance to the city. Built in 1971 in commemoration of the 2,500th anniversary of the Persian Empire, this “gateway into Tehran” was named the “Shahyad” (King’s Memorial) in honor of the Shah, but was changed to “Azadi” (Freedom) after the Revolution of 1979. It is 50 meters (164 ft) tall and completely clad in cut marble. The entrance of the tower is directly underneath the main vault and leads into the Azadi Museum on the basement floor. The black walls and proportions of the building are austere. Heavy doors open onto a crypt with subdued lighting issuing from showcases, each containing an object. Gold and enamel pieces, painted pottery, marble, miniature, and paintings are located among black marble walls. A concrete mesh forms the ceiling. Approximately fifty pieces have been selected, each representing a particular period in Iran’s history.
The main display is occupied by a copy of the Cyrus Cylinder (the original is in the British Museum). A translation of the cuneiform inscription on the cylinder is inscribed in golden letters on the wall of one of the galleries leading to the museum’s audio-visual department; opposite, a similar plaque lists the Twelve Points of the White Revolution. Next to the Cyrus Cylinder, a gold plaque commemorates the original presentation of the museum to the Mohammad Reza Pahlavi by the Mayor of Tehran.
Among the earliest items on display are square flagstones, gold sheeting, and terra cotta tablets from Susa, covered with uniform cuneiform characters. Potteries, ceramics, varnished porcelains (such as a seventh-century blue and gold dish from Gorgan), an illuminated Koran, and miniatures highlight milestones in the country’s history up to the nineteenth century, which is represented by two painted panels from Empress Farah Pahlavi’s collection.
The Sa’adabad Palace is a palace built by the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran in the Shemiran area of Tehran and currently official residence of the President of Iran. The complex was first inhabited by Qajar monarchs and royal family in the 19th century. After an expansion of the compounds, Reza Shah lived there in the 1920s. And his son, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi moved there in the 1970s. After the Iranian Revolution, the complex became a museum. However, the current presidential palace is located adjacent to the Sa’dabad compound. In total, Sa’dabad Palace contains 18 castles or houses, they are: Ahmad shah Castle (Currently used by the Women and Family Participation Affairs Organization), Shahvand Castle (Currently Green Museum), White Castle or White House (Currently the National Museum Castle), Special Castle (Museum of Natural History of the past, currently used by the president), Black Castle (Currently the Museum of Current Arts), Shams Castle (Currently the Museum of Human Studies), Ashraf Castle (Named after Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s twin sister, Currently the Museum of Historical Plates), Gholam Reza Castle, Mother’s Queen Castle (Currently the Republic Building), Ahmad Reza Castle, Abdol Reza Castle (Sa’adabad Control Center), Bahman Pahlavi Castle (Named after Gholam Reza’s son, Currently the Training Center), Shahram Castle (Named after Ashraf Pahlavi’s son, Currently the Military Museum), Farideh Diba, Valiahd Reza Pahlavi Castle (1st castle, Currently the Museum of Behzad), Valiahd Reza Pahlavi Castle (2nd castle, Currently the Museum of Dafineh), Farahnaz and Ali Reza Castle (Children of Reza Pahlavi, Currently the Museum of Calligraphy and book of Mir Emad), Leila Castle.
Located in Tehran, beside Laleh Park, and founded in 1976, the Carpet Museum of Iran exhibits a variety of Persian carpets from all over Iran, dating from the 18th century to the present. The museum’s exhibition hall occupies 3,400 square meters (10,200 ft²) and its library contains 7,000 books. The museum was designed by the last Queen of Iran, Farah Diba Pahlavi. The perforated structure around the museum’s exterior is designed both to resemble a carpet loom, and to cast shade on the exterior walls, reducing the impact of the hot summer sun on the interior temperature.
Housed in a beautiful Qajar-era building a short walk north of the National Museum of Iran, the Glass & Ceramics Museum is, like many of its exhibits, small but perfectly formed. Built as a private residence for a prominent Persian family, it later housed the Egyptian embassy and was converted into a museum in 1976. Unusually for its time, the building successfully blends features of Eastern and Western styles. The graceful wooden staircase and classical stucco moldings are particularly delightful, and there are many delicate carvings and decorative flourishes. The well-designed museum has hundreds of exhibits, mainly from Neishabur, Kashan, Rey and Gorgan, dating from the 2nd millennium BC to the modern day.
Imāmzādeh Sāleh is one of many Imāmzadeh mosques in Iran. The mosque is located at Tajrish Square in Tehran’s northern Shemiran district. The mosque entombs the remains of Sāleh, a son of the Twelver Shī‘ah Imām, Mūsā al-Kādhim, and is one of the most popular Shī‘ah shrines in northern Tehran.
Tehran tour 3
Visiting Darband mountainous area, Tajrish Bazaar and Naiavaran Palace.
Darband was formerly a village close to Tajrish, Shemiran, and is now a neighbourhood inside Tehran’s city limits. The Persian word “darband” means gateway or door of the mountain. It is the beginning of a very popular hiking trail into the Mount Tochal, which towers over Tehran. A chair lift is also available for those not interested in hiking. Darband has a suitable climate all year round, and sees heavy snowfall every year. The initial start of the trail at Darband is about 250 metres long and is dotted with a number of small cafes and restaurants. These are quite popular and are busy in the evenings, as locals and tourists alike visit the many hooka lounges (locally called qavekhane sonnati) along the trail. Darband is where many Iranian giants of art and culture such as Iraj Mirza, Mohammad Taghi Bahar, Forough Farrokhzad, Abolhasan Saba, Ruhollah Khaleghi, Rahi Moayeri, and Darvish-khan are buried (Zahir o-dowleh cemetery).
Tajrish is a former village in Shemiranat County, Tehran Province, Iran, which has since been absorbed into Tehran. The Tajrish neighbourhood is located along the northern edge of Tehran. This neighbourhood is one of the oldest parts of Tehran. Tajrish bazaar has been built according to architectural style which closely resembles the traditional bazaar located in downtown Tehran. Some of its arches have been destroyed due to construction of multi-story buildings and its traditional identity has been threatened by irregularity of window shops and external view of new stores. Tajrish bazaar includes a roofed passageway through which thousands of people pass en route to paying pilgrimage to Imamzadeh Saleh or to the Bazaar for purchasing goods.
Niavaran Palace Complex is a historical complex situated in the northern part of Tehran, Iran. It consists of several buildings and a museum. The Sahebqraniyeh Palace, from the time of Naser al-Din Shah of Qajar dynasty, is also inside this complex. The main Niavaran Palace, completed in 1968, was the primary residence of the last Shah, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the Imperial family until the Iranian Revolution. The main palace was designed by the Iranian architect Mohsen Foroughi. The Niavarān Palace Complex traces its origin to a garden in Niavaran, Tehran, that was used by Nasir al-Din Shah (16 July 1831 – 1 May 1896) as a summer residence. The palace erected by Nasir al-Din Shah in this garden was originally referred to as The Niavarān Palace and was later renamed The Sahebqraniyeh Palace. During the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi all the peripheral buildings of The Sahebqraniyeh Palace, with the exception of Ahmad Shahi Pavilion (or Kushk-e Ahmad-Shahi), were demolished and the buildings and the structures of the present-day Niavarān Palace Complex were built to the north of The Sahebqraniyeh Palace. In this period, The Ahmad Shahi Pavilion served as an exhibition area of the presents of the world leaders to Iran.