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Posts Tagged ‘Tehran’

After successfully negotiating the Tehran Metro, which was very straightforward my husband Feri, his cousin Mannaz and I made our way to the Golestan Palace in Panzdah Kordad Square. There are several government buildings on the approach to the palace and you need to be careful that you are not freely taking photographs as you walk along as you might be caught out when you come across a “No photography” sign attached to the fence. It is also not advisable to take a photo of the no photos sign as you may get yourself into very hot water as a result. It is best to walk past, admire the architecture and keep your camera off until you get to the Golestan Palace where there are plenty of opportunities for amazing photos.

I was given a little guide-book in English on entry and apparently Golestan Palace (which means Palace of Flowers) is the “oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran.” If you are like me and love historic buildings and sites then this visit won’t disappoint.

As there are several different rooms and areas to visit, you are given the option of choosing which ones you want to visit and pay for when you enter. The guide should help you but it is useful if you do some research before you visit so you have an idea which rooms you want to see and those you are not bothered about. For instance, we didn’t visit the Chador Khaneh (House of Tents), the Howz-Khaneh where you will find European paintings, the Wind-Tower Building or the Ethnological and Special Museum. From experience you can see too much at once which tends to dilute and not enhance your visit as you spread yourself too thinly. Clearly everyone is different which is why this system of ticket purchase is so flexible.

I wasn’t expecting such a beautiful and exquisite building with its pool and surrounding gardens in the middle of Tehran. Only a few minutes walk away from 6-lanes of smoky traffic, the incessant noise of blaring car horns and thousands of city workers on their lunch break you will find this oasis of peace.

There is plenty of information about Golestan on the internet which I don’t intend to repeat here, but I will post my photographs and give a brief description of our visit. Sometimes less is more and in this case a few words are all that are needed to show off the highlights. The pictures will do that job nicely.

Takht-e Marmar (Marble Throne)

The Marble Throne is found on the Terrace built in 1806. The marble comes from Yazd, famous for its yellow marble, and the throne is made of 65 separate pieces. The terrace and throne were used for the coronations of Qajar kings, but was also used for the last time when Reza Khan formed the Pahlavi Dynasty in 1925. Reza Khan was the father of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran who was exiled in 1979 after the Iranian Revolution.

Talar-e Aineh (Hall of Mirrors)

Wow! Although quite a small room, the décor is unbelievable. My camera takes decent general photos but I wish I had a more sophisticated camera which could cope with the refraction of light and detail. I also don’t have a wide angle lens so if you would like to see this Hall in all it’s glory, check out the images on line or even better, go and visit!

Be prepared to put on plastic bag overshoes when visiting indoors. This protects the carpets and mosaics and you won’t be allowed in unless you comply. If you are dressing to impress in your Jimmy Choo’s, this is not the place to do it.

Talar-e Salam (Reception Hall)

This room was originally designed to be a museum and house the famous Peacock throne. The Peacock Throne was however moved to the Royal Jewel Collection at the Central Bank and this hall was then used “to hold special receptions in the presence of the King.”

 

To be continued.

 

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“From little acorns big oaks grow” is a traditional saying and I am hoping that my series of musings about my travels in Iran which are now being published in our little village magazine will go some way to illustrating an Iran much removed from the politics and sanctions dominating the news,  instead focussing on the “real” Iran and its wonderful people.

I never fail to be amazed by comments I receive about my writing however mundane I feel it is. It is important to describe and explain how people live in Iran even if my observations are based on a small rural/urban population around Esfahan. I cannot and will not pretend that my experiences of traveling in Iran are representative of the population. They cannot possibly be so with a country the size of Iran but I hope that I can give comfort to readers that Iranian people are just like us. They have families, jobs, go on holiday, eat and drink, enjoy themselves. They are not all extreme political or religious animals. They are normal. Just like us.

Let’s hope that by writing about my experiences, more people will begin to understand and appreciate the Iran not publicised by the western media.

Fingers crossed.

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One of the first Iranian  films I watched-Offside directed by Jafar Panahi. A brilliant film for me as I love football and go to matches regularly and a real wake-up call to realise that women in Iran are not allowed to attend football matches.

Offside” is a comedy film about a group of Iranian girls who attempt to enter Tehran’s Azadi Stadium by disguising themselves as men. It was filmed at the actual 2006 World Cup qualifying match between Iran and Bahrain at the Azadi Stadium which Iran won to duly qualify.

A little off-beat but definitely worth a watch!

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