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Friday, 06 November 2015 08:48

Iran Your Attractive Destination (184)

Iran Your Attractive Destination (184)

Welcome to the 184th episode of the series Iran Your Attractive Destination. As a reminder, we became familiar with different parts of Tehran’s marketplace and its especial architectural features. We also mentioned the markets of carpet dealers, goldsmiths, cloth dealers, shoe makers, and household appliances, which are the most important and well-known markets within the framework of Tehran’s marketplace. In this episode, we become more familiarized with these markets in Tehran’s marketplace.

 

As of ancient times, marketplaces have maintained significant importance and multiple roles in urban communities. The most important role of the market is its economic role. It is a trade hub, which establishes a balance between the supply and demand markets, thereby setting the price of goods. The local markets are for supplying new domestic goods and exporting them to other countries. The trade of goods in the marketplace impacts the economic policy of the government, while the economic policy of government also impacts the trade of goods in the marketplace. Economic recession and development becomes evident in the marketplace. Given the importance of Iranian carpets, and their elevated status in the global markets, one of the main sections of Tehran’s marketplace is the carpet dealers market. Upon the entry to the marketplace, through its main gateway, one goes through the shoemakers market to reach the carpet dealers market. During the recent decades, the carpet dealers market has hugely expanded. Within the roofed courtyards and before the stalls of this market, a large number of original and beautiful hand-woven carpets have been spread on the floor.

In another part of this market, ancient carpets can be observed, with darners repairing them. Undoubtedly, the French traveler, Ursel, who had traveled to Iran many years ago, was astounded by the attractive carpets which were on display in this part of Tehran’s marketplace. This French traveler, in his travelogue, points out: The most interesting and attractive market in the world is Tehran’s carpet dealers market, which displays carpets in different sizes and patterns for a variety of tastes and purchasing powers.

After covering the carpet dealers market, we arrive at the cloth dealers market. This market is usually packed with customers, while the cloth dealers display different types of cloth and fabric in a variety of colors for the customers. Some stalls only sell cloths for production of suits. Meanwhile, the workers carry the purchased goods in their trolleys in this packed and crowded market.

Meanwhile, by going through the cloth dealers market, and within one of the main streets of Tehran’s marketplace, the Imamzadeh Zaid Shrine is located.

This is the Holy Shrine of Zaid ibn Ali (AS), one of the descendants of Prophet Mohammad (Blessings of God upon him and his progeny).  This holy shrine maintains a courtyard, a balcony decorated with cut pieces of mirror, and a tiled dome. The main building of this holy shrine was constructed in the Safavid era, in early years of 10th Century AH. However, its dome and balcony were built in mid-13th Century AH.  There is marble grave stone in the courtyard of this shrine which has been engraved with the name of Lotf Ali Khan Zand, the last king of Zandieh Dynasty. Also, there is a chamber in this holy shrine which is decorated with cut pieces of mirror, in which a number of prominent figures have been laid to rest. In the past, this holy shrine covered an area of more than 30,000 square meters.

Meanwhile, the goldsmiths market also maintains its own particular features and has been largely changed since the French traveler, Ursel, visited it.

Today, under the light of lampposts, different types of jewelry and gold are on display, with customers buying and selling different items. The economic importance of the goldsmiths market is perfectly clear, given the presence of several banks in the surroundings of this market.

 In some parts of this market, young couples are observed buying wedding rings, in the company of their families.

Dear listeners, Tehran’s marketplace maintains important economic, social, cultural, political, and religious roles in the lives of people. As of ancient times, religious ceremonies were convened in Tehran marketplace’s mosques and the marketplace was closed for mourning ceremonies and participation in religious ceremonies.

The study of Iran’s contemporary history shows the active role of the marketplace’s traders in different phases in time. Based on historical documents, amid the historical movements in Iran’s contemporary era, such as the Tobacco Movement, Constitutional Movement, and Islamic Revolution, the traders in the marketplace stood by the clergy, forming a united front against the foreign colonial powers, and the then despotic regimes. For instance, throughout the 1963 uprising, and the years leading to the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, the traders in marketplace stood by the people Iran, and confronted the despotic Pahlavi regime.

Also, after the victory of Iran’s Islamic Revolution, the traders of the marketplace showed their support for the Islamic Revolution in different forms and shapes.

Meanwhile, the swift growth of Tehran has in some cases changed the traditional architectural style of Tehran’s marketplace, such that many of its parts have been reconstructed and/or renovated in recent years. The new shopping centers that have been added to Tehran’s marketplace in recent years have many customers, given that they render up to date goods to customers and maintain competitive prices.

MR/MG

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