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Thursday, 19 November 2015 16:02

Iran Your Attractive Destination (186)

Iran Your Attractive Destination (186)

Welcome to the 186th weekly episode of the series Iran Your Attractive Destination. As a reminder, in the last episode, we spoke of Tehran’s marketplace. It is noteworthy that many cultural and historical organizations of Tehran are located adjacent to Tehran’s marketplace, turning that district into the historical and cultural center of Tehran. Some of the locations in this district are reminders of important periods of time in Iran’s history, such as Mashq Square, Melli Orchard gateway, Shams ul-Emareh, Imam Khomeini Square, and a number of historical monuments that have turned into a museum.


Tehran’s Mashq Square was built throughout the reign of the Qajarid King, Fath-Ali Shah. This square has been situated in one of the oldest neighborhoods of Tehran. It was registered as one of Iran’s national heritages in the year 1998 AD. This square further developed and expanded during the rule of the other Qajarid King, Naser Ed-Din Shah, under the supervision of Mohammad Khan Sepahsalar. In this square which covered an area of sixteen hectares in those days, military exercises were carried out every day. Later on, upon the development of the military forces, this square turned into the venue of the Cossack’s quarters and several large buildings were constructed in the vicinity of this square. Although currently the premises of the Foreign Ministry are located in the surroundings of this square, it remains to be known as Mashq Square or Melli Orchard. The buildings situated next to this square maintain an especial architectural style, which is a blend of the architectural styles of different historical periods of Iran and the European architectural styles.

During the rule of the Qajarid King, Naser Ed-Din Shah, the city of Tehran was developed and this historical square was situated at the heart of Tehran. The oldest building of this square is the Cossack’s quarters, which was constructed in the northern corner of this square during the rule of Fath Ali Shah. The most recent buildings of this square are the Melli library and National Malek Museum, which has been built in the year 1997 AD based on the traditional Iranian architectural style.

This district maintained an entry, referred to as Naseri Gateway, during the rule of Naser Ed-Din Shah. Throughout the rule of Reza Khan, an orchard was built in this district known as Melli Orchard.

This neighborhood of Tehran has been witness to many developments throughout the years. Naser Ed-Din Shah’s assassin, Mirza Reza Kermani, was hanged in Mashq Square. The first plane in Iran landed in this square amid World War I. This plane was put on public display for a while at this square. The flight of the first balloon of this city took place at this square. The Shia Mojtahed, and one of the leaders of Tobacco Movement, Sheikh Fazlollah Nouri was hanged in this square.

Melli Orchard’s gateway has been built based on a blend of Iranian and European architectural styles, especially in regard to its tiling. Melli Orchard’s gateway was constructed between 1922 and 1925, as the entry to Mashq Square. Following the construction of this gateway, the idea of creation of the first public orchard of the city of Tehran under the name of Melli Orchard was presented, and this orchard was constructed in the vicinity of Mashq Square. The Melli Orchard only lasted for a few years, while the premises of Foreign Ministry, Melli Library, and Iran-e Bastan Museum were later constructed in this venue. People consider Melli Orchard gateway as the symbol of Tehran’s contemporary history and as an example of the especial architectural style of the old neighborhoods of Tehran.

This gateway was built by the Kashani architect, Ostad Jafar Khan. In its façade, poems of the renowned poet, Nadim Ul-Molk, are evident on the tiled inscription of this gateway. This gateway was registered by the Cultural Heritage Organization in the year 1997 AD.

In the vicinity of Tehran’s Imam Khomeini Square, there is a highly attractive building, which covers an area of 10,000 square meters, housing Melli Library and Malek Museum. This library is one of the endowments of late Haaj Hussein Malek. He was interested in study and collection of books as of a young age, and founded this library and museum. Late Malek, in addition to endowment of this complex, donated many other properties to Astan-e Qods-e Razavi. The previous venue of this library was situated in the residential house of late Malek, and was later transferred to the new building. The current premises of this library and museum were opened in the year 1997, while its construction took twelve years. The Malek Melli Library maintains 19,000 highly valuable and rare hand-written books, and is considered as one of the main sources of Iran’s hand-written books. For instance, only 104 books and hand-written treatises of the renowned Iranian scientist, Avicenna, are kept in this library. This library also keeps nearly 70,000 printed books; the majority of which have been printed prior to the year 1941 AD.

This library communications with major global scientific centers, and is host to hundreds of researchers on a daily basis.

The Malek Museum displays a collection of the best works of acclaimed Iranian and foreign artists, including the paintings of Kamal Ul-Molk and a number of European painters. It has also put on display the works of major Iranian and Islamic calligraphers such as Ali-Reza Abbasi. The carpet hall of the museum displays 34 rugs and carpets from different parts of Iran, which have been produced by highly skilled weavers during the two recent centuries. The collection of stamps of the museum displays thousands of valuable stamps, which have been printed in Iran and the world up to the contemporary era, capturing the attention of all viewers.


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