Tehran, also spelled Teheran, is the modern capital of Iran situated in the north of the country. Hugging the lower slopes of the magnificent, snowcapped Alborz Mountains, Tehran is Iran’s most liberal and secular city. Since its establishment as the capital city by Agha Mohammad Khan more than 200 years ago, Tehran has grown from a small city to a major metropolis. Metropolis which currently holds close to 20 million inhabitants, which makes it Iran’s largest city and one of the most populous cities in whole world. Exploring this fascinating metropolis will transport you on a journey through more than 250 years of Iranian history, city holds many sights and places which leaves you speechless.
For instance, its central Golestan Palace complex, with its ornate rooms and marble throne, was the seat of power of the Qajar dynasty. Or National Jewelry Museum which holds many of the Qajar monarchs’ jewels, while the National Museum of Iran has artifacts dating back to Paleolithic times. Also, Milad Tower offers panoramic views over the city and that is just few of many. Or adjacent Grand Bazaar and notorious former US embassy. In such places, as well as, in contemporary cafes, traditional tea houses and on the walking trails in the mountains, you can relax and enjoy all that's good about Tehran.
What people abroad portrays about Tehran was strongly influenced by the Iranian Revolution of the late 1970’s. For these past two decades of the 20th century, television, newspapers around the world created image of Tehran as a religious city steeped in tradition, fighting against modernization and Westernization. While on the other hand Iranian self-image is that of an ancient people with a long history and a rich heritage. As more than half of Tehran population is less than 30 years old, they challenge this created image. Often uneasy coexistence of old and new, of continuity and change, and a deep social divide between rich and poor characterize the city, causing vitality as well as tension and upheaval—reflected in two revolutions and many social movements during the 20th century.
Spending time here allows you to realize that the city is so much more than a chaotic jumble of concrete and crazy traffic. Which even locals are afraid of by the way. Here you can find the nation's dynamic beating heart and the place to get a handle on modern Iran and what its future will likely be. With a dramatic topography reflective of its proximity to the highest peak in the country, Tehran is Iran’s gateway to the outside world.
Best of luck planning your holidays in Iran!
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