Start of restoration work on 30 monuments in Tehran

TEHRAN — Restoration work has started on a selection of 30 historic sites and aging buildings in Tehran province on the occasion of the national cultural heritage week, which started on Wednesday.

A budget of 120 billion rials ($414,000) has been allocated for the mass catering project, the province’s deputy tourism chief said.

Highlights include Varamin Jameh Mosque, historic Jajrud-Pardis Bridge, Haj Kamal Caravanserai and Badrud Tower, CHTN quoted Mohsen Sa’adati as saying on Saturday.

Skirting the lower slopes of the magnificent snow-capped Alborz Mountains, Tehran is much more than a chaotic jumble of concrete and mad traffic blanketed in a miasma of air pollution. It is the dynamic beating heart of the nation and the perfect place to understand modern Iran and what its future is likely to be.

The metropolis has a lot to offer its visitors including Golestan Palace, Grand Bazaar, Treasury of National Jewels, National Museum of Iran, Museum of Glass and Ceramics, Masoudieh Palace, Sarkis Cathedral , the Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, the Carpet Museum of Iran, to name a few.

Among all these monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace is the only one listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace complex, located in the heart and historic center of Tehran, is one of the oldest in the Iranian capital, originally built during the Safavid dynasty (1501-1736) in the historic walled city.

After extensions and additions, it received its most characteristic features in the 19th century, when the palace complex was chosen as the royal residence and seat of power by the ruling Qajar family (1789-1925). At present, the Golestan Palace complex consists of eight key palace structures mainly used as museums and the eponymous gardens, a shared green center of the complex, surrounded by an outer wall with gates.

As mentioned by UNESCO, the complex exemplifies the architectural and artistic achievements of the Qajar era, including the introduction of European motifs and styles into Persian arts.

The first time Tehran is mentioned in historical accounts is in an 11th century chronicle in which it is described as a small village north of Ray.

Ray, whose signs of settlement date back to 6000 BC. AD, is often considered the predecessor of Tehran. It became the capital of the Seljuk Empire in the 11th century, but then declined with factional conflicts between different districts and the Mongol invasion of 1220.

Various exhibitions, meetings, workshops and festivals have been organized to mark the rich heritage of Iran from the earliest civilizations to the modern era.

Iran has played a leading cultural role as a source of innovation, as a melting pot and cultural engine linking Africa, Asia and Europe. Highlights are the pre-Islamic empires of the Achaemenids and Sassanids, the formation of a Persian-Islamic culture and artistic masterpieces from the 9th to 13th centuries as well as the heyday of the Safavids to name a few- one.

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