Teheran is a city surprisingly rich in contrasts, a huge metropolis of fifteen million inhabitants located in the north of Iran, not far from the Caspian Sea. The region in which is located the capital is inhabited, according to archaeologists, since Neolithic times, but it is only since the thirteenth century that we start to talk to Teheran, in the first book Mo’jamol Boldan, then as a center where they found shelter residents Rey after the invasion and the sack by the Mongols. The city continued to develop and grow in the following centuries, especially under the auspices of the King Tahmasb I and his successors, who made it a place of delightful gardens and massive walls. Only in 1795 was chosen as the capital Teheran, Agha Mohammed Khan, though at the time was no more than fifteen thousand inhabitants, it is in the twentieth century that the town began the work of transformation from city to metropolis, becoming a chaotic scene of clashes, revolutions and even coups organized by the CIA.
It is still possible, organizing a plan of the city, making a kind of tour of the places symbols of these events: the White Palace where the meeting was held decisive for the plot against former president Mossadegh former U.S. embassy, through the Azadi Tower, where in 1979 the revolutionary spark flashed up to the impressive cemetery of Behesht-e Zahra resting place of the military in the war against Iraq.
What is most striking is the capital of the deep social divide between the north and south of the city, while in the former the economic level is higher, the best restaurants and the most cared for, in the second it denotes a certain degree of poverty and of chaos, even if it is in this area that are the main and most spectacular museums.
One of the places not to be missed for excellence is the Teheran Bazaar, a maze of narrow streets filled with shops full of goods themselves, and each street specializes in a very specific activities or the sale of a particular type of product, and although accessed by different points, we recommend retiring from the main entrance in Khordad Avenue. The morning is probably the best time to visit as it is less crowded, but in any case it will be a unique experience to go into and get lost, little by little, in its maze of streets.
Other key place in the city is the Mosque of Imam Khomeini, who is inside the bazaar; than the building itself, which can intrigue the visitor – even non-Muslim – is the outer court where the faithful preparing for the rite. Here it is allowed to stop to see what happens but please note that the photographs are not allowed.
The Golestan Palace complex, however, is a set of majestic buildings which are set around a beautiful garden and inside (for access to the main entrance tickets must be purchased separately for each building), you can choose between Ivan-and Takht-e Marmar – the majestic hall of hearings where there is a massive yellow alabaster throne – or the art gallery Negar Khane, through the building of the Sun (called Shams-Al Emarat) or four bagdir soar sull’Emarat -and Bagdir.
The National Museum of Iran, The Tir Street, hosts instead collections of artifacts, engravings, archaeological finds from excavations in the country, including Persepolis, Shush, Rey and Ismail Abad. Inside there is also a body of so-called Man Salt Zanjan dating from the third century, certainly one of the most impressive finds. Fans of museums will not want to miss the opportunity to visit the National Museum of Jewelry Ferdosi Street, most of the pieces is preserved Safavid era. Among the highlights of the collection we report the Darya-ye Nur – a unique pink diamond of 182 carats – and the incomparable Globe of Jewellery, a work of more than fifty thousand 34 kg studded with precious stones.
Who wants to take a rest after a walk to the center or museum visits, you may stop at Park-e Shahr, in the southern part of the capital, here in the winter people use to go ice skating, while summer is pleasant to take a boat ride on the lake or just sit in one of the cafes to watch the passage of people. The museum complex Sa’d Abad, just like the Golestan Palace, is a collection of buildings, many of which house more or less important museums, including the Art Museum of the Nation in the White Palace, the former residence of the Shah before the revolution.
To finally enjoy a little peace of mind, you can leave for a few hours downtown traffic heading toward the Elburz Mountains, on which its paths of Darband and Darakeh crossing streams and waterfalls in the lower part of the route is lined with cafes, tea shops and kiosks are ideal for stop to eat and drink in a pleasant and relaxed. The Park-and Jamsidiyeh, on the slopes of the Elburz Mountains, is an ideal place for a breath of fresh air and admire the view, the more willing will also engage in the excursion along the steep path on the side of the mountain until Darband.
Women are advised to take appropriate clothing (hejab), trying as much as possible to respect the traditions and customs. By law, after the 1979 revolution, women are in fact required to wear long cloaks that cover the body and hair, specifically it is the chador or maqna’e, although in reality in Teheran, more modern than other areas of the country, there is a certain tolerance.
There are numerous flights between Teheran and the major European cities, making it a complete list would be impossible here, but suffice it to say that, among other things, Iran is directly accessible from Milan, Rome, Vienna, London, Frankfurt, Amsterdam, Paris, as well as numerous world capitals (from Beijing to Delhi, from Caracas to Beirut, there are many airlines that travel at a time using Iran Imam Khomeini International Airport). Internal flights instead use the second airport in the city, namely the Mehrabad, in the west of Teheran. Those who wish to travel by land, take one of the many buses that go from the capital to any location, even tiny, Iran; stations are four main sections and each one is different, so it is better to inquire in advance about the place starting of vehicles.
Originally posted 2012-09-15 09:39:03.