Golestan Palace in Tehran

3 April 2020 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  6 minutes

© Peymanyeganeh/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Peymanyeganeh/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Golestan Palace is the former royal Qajar complex in Iran‘s capital city, Tehran. One of the oldest historic monuments in the city of Tehran, and of world heritage status, the Golestan Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s arg (“citadel”). It consists of gardens, royal buildings, and collections of Iranian crafts and European presents from the 18th and 19th centuries. The complex of Golestan Palace consists of 17 structures, including palaces, museums, and halls. Almost all of this complex was built during the 131 years rule of the Qajar kings. These palaces were used for many different occasions such as coronations and other important celebrations. It also consists of three main archives, including the photographic archive, the library of manuscripts, and the archive of documents.   read more…

Grand Bazaar in Tehran

26 September 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  9 minutes

© Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Antoine Taveneaux/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Grand Bazaar (Persian: Bāzār e Bozorg) is an old historical market in Tehran, the capital of Iran. Located at the Arg Square in Southern Tehran, it is split into several corridors over 10 km in length, each specializing in different types of goods, and has several entrances, with the main being the entrance of Sabze Meydan. In addition to shops, the Grand Bazaar of Tehran has contained banks, mosques and guest houses. The bazar has access to Tehran Metro through Khayyam Metro Station. While the current bazaar is most associated with the 19th century onwards, its roots go back much further. The area around Tehran has been settled since at least 6,000 BCE, and while bazaar-like construction in Iran as a whole has been dated as far back as 4,000 BCE, Tehran’s bazaar is not this old. It is hard to say exactly when the “bazaar” first appeared, but in the centuries following the introduction of Islam, travellers reported the growth of commerce in the area now occupied by the current bazaar. The Grand bazaar is a continuation of this legacy. Research indicates that a portion of today’s bazaar predated the growth of the village of Tehran under the Safavids‘ dynasty, although it was during and after this period that the bazaar began to grow gradually. Western travellers indicated that by 1660 CE and beyond, the bazaar area was still largely open, and only partially covered.   read more…

Theme Week Iran

25 July 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage Reading Time:  24 minutes

Tehran skyline © Amir1140/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tehran skyline © Amir1140/cc-by-sa-3.0

Iran is a sovereign state in Western Asia. Comprising a land area of 1,648,195 km2 (636,372 sq mi), it is the second-largest country in the Middle East and the 18th-largest in the world. With 78.4 million inhabitants, Iran is the world’s 17th-most-populous country. It is the only country with both a Caspian Sea and an Indian Ocean coastline. The country’s central location in Eurasia and Western Asia, and its proximity to the Strait of Hormuz, make it of great geostrategic importance. Tehran is the country’s capital and largest city as well as its leading economic center. Iran is heir to one of the world’s oldest civilizations, beginning with the formation of the Proto-Elamite and Elamite kingdoms in 3200–2800 BC. The area was first unified by the Iranian Medes 625 BC, who became the dominant cultural and political power in the region. Iran reached its greatest geographic extent during the Achaemenid Empire founded by Cyrus the Great in 550 BC, which at one time stretched from parts of Eastern Europe in the west, to the Indus Valley in the east, making it the largest empire the world had yet seen. The empire collapsed in 330 BC following the conquests of Alexander the Great, but reemerged shortly after as the Parthian Empire. Under the Sassanid Dynasty, Iran again became one of the leading powers in the world for the next four centuries. Beginning in 633 AD, Rashidun Arabs conquered Iran and largely displaced the indigenous faiths of Manichaeism and Zoroastrianism by Sunni Islam. Iran became a major contributor to the Islamic Golden Age that followed, producing many influential scientists, scholars, artists, and thinkers. The rise of the Safavid Dynasty in 1501 led to the establishment of Twelver Shia Islam as the official religion of Iran, marking one of the most important turning points in Iranian and Muslim history. During the 18th century, Iran reached its greatest territorial extent since the Sassanid Empire, and under Nader Shah briefly possessed what was arguably the most powerful empire at the time. Through the late 18th and 19th centuries, a series of conflicts with Russia led to significant territorial losses and the erosion of sovereignty. Popular unrest culminated in the Persian Constitutional Revolution of 1906, which established a constitutional monarchy and the country’s first legislative body, the Majles. Following a coup d’état instigated by the U.K. and the U.S. in 1953, Iran gradually became closely aligned with the United States and the rest of the West but grew increasingly autocratic. Growing dissent against foreign influence and political repression led to the 1979 Revolution and the establishment of an Islamic republic.   read more…

Tehran, economical, scientific and cultural center of Iran

25 September 2013 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General Reading Time:  17 minutes

Tehran Towers and buildings in the northern part of Tehran with the Alborz mountains © Shervan Karim/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tehran Towers and buildings in the northern part of Tehran with the Alborz mountains © Shervan Karim/cc-by-sa-3.0

Tehran is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of about 8,800,000 and about 15 million metropolitan area, it is Iran’s largest city and urban area, and one of the largest cities in Western Asia.   read more…

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