A MODERN CITY IN THE HEART OF ANCIENT IRAN
Altitude between 1,200 and 1,700 meters. Mehrabad Airport to the west of city.
Railway: European link through Tabriz and Istanbul, internal lines to Mashad,
Yazd and Khoramshar. Regular coach services in all directions.
Nearly 12 Million people live in Tehran Bozorg in contrast to two hundred
thousand in 1920. Tehran is immense and proliferates like a coral reef, but
in an orderly manner. Nine-tenths of the built up area is in square blocks
with absolutely straight boulevards. The visitor who has been away for a while
can no longer find the way around the city. New roads link the western part of
the city to the northern quarters. Towering buildings have been erected right
and left. Large stores, super-markets, self-service shops have been opened, public
buildings, government departments and monuments have been built and an array of
giant cranes show the development fever.
"North Tehran -- city view"
Tehran is pleasant, it derives its originality from its dry climate, always cool in
the evening, its pure sky, the nearness of the mountains, its numerous parks and
gardens where flowers blossom throughout the year, the alleys of young plan-trees
in the avenues or even smaller streets, the water which runs down from the upper
city along deep and wide gutters which look like small rivers during spring.
Daring modern buildings, erected during the past few years, give, despite their frequently
dry architecture, an impression of what tehran's beauty will be in the year 2000.
The Golestan (Rose Garden) Palace was the Qajars' royal residence. Its garden is an
oasis of coolness and silence in the heart of the city. The main building, architecturally
unpretentious, houses a museum with objects from the Qajar period in the overloaded
and pompous style of last century. In the Golestan garden, a one-story pavilion to
the right and slightly behind the entrance, shelters one of the best organized
museums in Tehran. Do not be discouraged by its scientific title. It contains about
thirty show-cases presenting everything which makes up the basic originality of
Iranian life in the various provinces of the country.
The Capital a veritable boom town under going intense activity, continues to expand
according to a rational plan in a checkered pattern. Modern building rise up beside 19th
Tehran became a capital in the 19th century. Its more ancient monuments bear the
marks of that period when everywhere in the world, taste had degenerated. Furthermore,
its rapid growth explains the proliferations of houses without any style, fortunately
laid out in square blocks, but anonymous, without harmony, grey, with never a flower
on their window-sills. The baroque and pretentious appearance of certain facades,
particularly banks, built twenty or thirty years ago, do nothing to improve the city's
"Ta~atre-e Shahr -- City Theater"
The Alborz range separates the central plateau front the lush Caspian littoral, the
only part of the country where the rainfall is plentiful. The highest peak in the
country, Mt. Damavand, is an extinct volcano covered in snow for most of the year.
Mount Damavand, the highest mountain in Iran, has for centuries, attracted
mountaineers, nomads and legends to its snow-covered slopes. The epic hero
Feraydun wrestled and defeated the evil giant Zahhak, chaining
him to a cave on the mountain peak. Villagers living near the base of the
volcano still remark that Dahhak is straining to be free at the first
signs of smoke or rumbling often heard deep within the mountain. On a clear day,
the 18,550 foot cone is visible from Tehran, fifty miles away.
"The Beautiful Mt. Damavand"
In winter, the mountain hotels and ski-clubs at Shemshak, Shahrestanak and
Dizine are full several days a week. Some expert skiers people consider the snow
quality in northen tehran to be one of the best in the world.
"North of Tehran, Tochal Cable Car" "One of many Ski Resort"
Dozen of small houses with zinc roofs nestle among the bushes. Some are private dwellings,
but most are coffee-houses. Mountain streams run among the tables. But everyone does not
sit around a table, many of the customers prefer the ancient-style comfort of low divans
covered with old carpets. Delicious "kababs" are peacefully consumed accompanied by boling
hot tea and Pepsi-Cola sodas.
"North of Tehran, Darakeh " "The mountainous region of Darakh in the north of Tehran"
Copyright © 1997
Last modified: 9 Oct 1997