With 15 million people residing in Tehran, the capital of Iran, air pollution, traffic, high cost of living, and political instability are amongst the primary words that are often associated to this metropolis. I was born in Tehran and I lived the first 20 years of my life there. I moved to Vancouver, BC to attend university and start my adult life in a more independent way, not possible, or to be more accurate frowned upon, in my home country. I travel to Tehran every year to visit my family, and every time I visit this chaotic city, I am shocked how much it's changing! Everywhere you see, there is a new building, a new store, or a cafe that is by no means aesthetically fitting within its surrounding and is clearly in clash with its context.
But the Tehran I love and reminisce in Vancouver, is the Tehran that I am sharing with you in this post. The old and intricate islamic-inspired architectures heavy on colours and patterns built hundreds of year ago and now nestled within the rundown and older part of the city, the downtown. This is a city that has witnessed different dynasties who tried to rule this dry and mountainous land and turn it the modern capital of Iran. Now, Tehran looks like a very confused child of many races and identities that cannot decide what it wants to be. Modern? Classic? Traditional? Who knows! It somewhat has it all!
This is not a travel guide or the dos and don'ts for visiting Tehran. This is a pictorial story of my Tehran, the way it is engraved in my memories. I get a lot of questions about how Tehran looks like by people who haven't been there and there are many misconceptions about it. I am sharing some photos from my last trip to showcase the more traditional aspect of this perplexing city.
For those who are visiting Tehran and want to check out these places, I recommend checking out www.peeyade.com and checking our Instagram page as it is filled with photos of stunning and forgotten gems in Tehran that you must visit during your stay.
These photos are taken at two places, both in vicinity of each other. One is Khaneh Moghaddam which means the house of Moghaddam. Professor Moghaddam used to reside in this property who he inherited from his father. He lived here with his French wife and they collected astonishing art and historic pieces. Professor Moghaddam donated his house to the city of Tehran during the 70s which was turned into a museum.
The other location is the Golestan Palace which is one of the palaces of the Qajar dynasty who initially elected Tehgran as the capital of Iran. The fascinating aspect of this place is the western influences of that era and Qajar's fascination with their luxury and classic aesthetics, specially the French and the British.