Immerse yourself in the world of luxury and splendor at Tehran National Jewelry Museum, which holds one of the finest collections of jewelry once worn and used by members of Persian royal dynasties. The Tehran National Jewelry Museum is housed within the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, at the heart of the City of Tehran. It is the most astonishing, astounding and awe-inspiring museum you have ever been to.

The incomparable “Treasury of the National Jewels”, which is open to public, is a collection of the most expensive jewels of the world, collected over centuries.
Every piece of this collection is a reflection of the tumultuous history of this great nation, and artistry of the residents of this land. Each piece recalls memories of bitter-sweet victories and defeats, of the pride and arrogance of rulers who were powerful or weak.

Treasury of National Jewels in 1962 (white building)

How much is the value of this collection in Tehran National Jewelry Museum ?

No one knows the answer to this question. Because this collection contains gems that are unique in the world. The answer to this question can be as the following: from the artistic viewpoint, historical background and containing incomparable jewels, the Tehran National Jewelry Museum is on a level that even the most expert evaluators of the world have not been able to calculate the price of this collection.

This Treasury, on one hand, depicts the culture and civilization of the Iranian people who have had an adventurous past, and on the other hand, repeats the silent tears of oppressed people who worked hard and instead the rulers, could show off their arrogance and power with their gold and jewels.

Our intention in presenting these jewels in Tehran National Jewelry Museum is to get you more acquainted with the rich culture and civilization of Iran. And to learn from history the fate of those who pursue power and hoard wealth. For this end we present this rich collection, which we have inherited and hope to preserve and pass on richer to our inheritors.

Treasury of National Jewels in 1962 (white building)
Treasury of National Jewels in 1962 (white building)

The value of the objects in the Tehran National Jewelry Museum is not limited to their economic value, but is also a reflection of the creativity and taste of Iranian craftsmen and artist over the different eras of history, and represents the artistic and cultural heritage of the vast country on Iran.
These jewels and rarities were decorations for the rulers during the past eras, and often showed the glory and extravagance of their courts, as well as their power and wealth.

Don’t Miss…

Don’t miss the highlights of the collection: the largest uncut pink diamond in the world, the Peacock Throne, and the 1869 globe fully encrusted with precious stones – emeralds for the oceans, rubies for the land, and diamonds for the countries of Iran, Great Britain, and France. Most of the pieces in the collection changed hands many times since the 16th century when Safavid Shahs scavenged Europe, Middle East, and India looking for these exquisite gems. Although diminished from what it once was, the current collection is still so vast and valuable that it serves as a reserve for the Iranian currency, the Rial.

The National Museum of Iran based in Tehran, aging more than 70 years, is the combination of two museums, the old Muze-ye Irân-e Bâstân (“Archaeological Museum of Iran”, a break, Sasanian revival building), and the modernistic white travertine National Arts Museum (“Mūze-i Honar-i Millī”), inaugurated in 1972. National Museum of Iran is not only the largest museum of History and Archaeology of the country, but ranks as one of the few most prestigious museums of the world in regard to grand volume, diversity and quality of its huge monuments. In the Iranian museum tradition it is considered Iran’s mother museum, aiming at preserving relics of the past to hand down to the next generations, enhancing better understanding among world peoples and nations, discovering and showing Iranian’s roles in shaping world culture and civilization and trying to enhance public knowledge.

a very must-visit place for all types of tastes. you can see the most ancient stuff since Palaeolithic up to Islamic time. gripping models of ancient Shush, first simple houses and even early humans. strongly recommended. Saeedeh A | Tripadvisor  

Architecture of National Museum of Iran

National Museum of Iran consists of two buildings, built one after each other. The first building of the Museum of Ancient Iran with the impressive arch-shaped entrance is a creation of French architects André Godard and Maxime Siroux. The project draws inspiration from Sassanian architecture, uses red bricks and takes an area of 11 000 sq.m. The construction started in 1935, and the museum started operation in 1937. The building of the Museum of Islamic Era, on the other hand, has a modern design, using white travertine and dark colonnades, decorating the entrance. This exposition started working after Islamic Revolution in 1979.

National Museum of Iran is the first choice of travelers, who have interest in archeology and history, and the main museum of Tehran. The exposition of the museum covers the history of Iran from Paleolithic to Qajar period. Thus visitors of the museum can follow up the whole history of Iran – from Stone Age to the 20th century. Due to the location in the center of old part of Tehran, it is easy to include the museum to a daily Tehran tour.

Exposition of National Museum of Iran

Museum of Ancient Iran has a focus on archaeological artifacts and presents the wide range of ancient relics. Accordingly, artifacts come from Shush, Rey, Ismailabad, Persepolis, Turang Tappeh and other places, where pieces of evidence of ancient civilizations were found. The collection includes stone tools, which belong to Stone Age and are more than 30 000 years old. Also here visitors can observe a copy of Babylonian Code of Hammurabi – the world’s first legislation. Probably the most shocking and exciting item of the exhibition – Salt Man from Zanjan. It is a salt-cured mummy, found in a salt mine of Chehrabad. Moreover, there are statues, manuscripts, pottery and other items on the display. Museum of Islamic Era presents pottery, textile, artworks, texts and calligraphy from the post-classical period of Iran’s history. The newest exhibits belong to Qajar Era.

Location of National Museum of Iran

National Museum of Iran is located between Imam Khomeini and Hassan Abad metro stations of the dark blue line. It is the very center of Tehran, where you will find the most popular tourist attractions. In the walking distance from the museum there are City Park and Tehran Peace Museum, Moghadam Museum, Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli, National Jewelry Museum and Golestan Palace. This neighborhood is interesting because of its architecture and is a part of old city.

Amir Chakhmaq Complex is including the bazaar, the mosque, the cistern and a tomb, which is usually referred as the symbol of Yazd. Since this Square has always been a gathering place for various ceremonies during history, it is also called the epic square.The date of the Amir Chakhmaq Square returns to the 9th century AH and Timurian time. The square was built by Amir Jalal od-Din Chakhmaq; one of the commanders of Shahrokh Timury with the help of his wife; Seti Fatemeh Khatoon. During the Safavid period, some parts changed and in the early thirteenth century a hussainiyah (A building like mosque) was created instead of the bazaar main entrance. Until the Pahlavi era, people buried their dead in square, but Reza Khan prevented from doing and returned the square to its previous conditions. In the following, we will explain the various sections of this monument.

  Amir Chakhmaq mosque

Amir Chakhmaq mosque, or Dohuk mosque, is the oldest part of Amir Chakhmaq Square, located on its southern side. The mosque has two entrances, one of which is adjacent alley and the other is from the tomb of Siti Fatima. The mosque has two summer and winter seraglio, which is located a windcatcher in summer seraglio for air conditioning. Access to the winter seraglio is possible from both entrances and its light is provided by marble. The ceiling of the mosque is made of arches. In the decoration of the mosque have been used calligraphy on the inscription, tiles, Muqarnas and Eslimi pattern.

  Bazaar & Tekyeh

This bazaar was created by Nezam al-Din Haji Qanbar, the governor of Yazd in the 9th century. It was divided into two parts due to construction in the Pahlavi era, and some parts of it were destroyed. However its northern parts are so active and there are shops like confectionary, Jewelry, fabric store and carpets wholesale that have remained since the nineteenth century. In the thirteenth century, the entrance of the glory was created for the bazaar which is said “Tekyeh “. Tekyeh is a public place in the bazaar with series of booths used for watching mourning ceremonies. The governor watched the ceremonies in the Shah’s house and women in other booths. Amir Chakhmaq Tekyeh contains 8 rows of 2 floors and 3 rows of 3 floors in middle which is higher than other booths and it is decorated with two minarets and beautiful tiles. In the past, the Moazzam were rise to the top of the minarets and said Azan.

  Seti Fatemeh Tomb

Sati Fatima’s Tomb is located in the north of the square and people have a special respect for him. This tomb consist of a room and dome covered with green tiles. The inner covering is made up of plaster and the Moa’raq tiles shine in Muqarnas.


Seti Fatemeh Cistern: is located on the northern side of the square and is made on the orders of Sati Fatima.Haji Qanbar Cistern: is located among bazaar and tekyeh and is made on the order and cost of Nezam al-Din Haji Qanbar. There were four windcatcher on the Cistern, one of which has already been destroyed.

Vank Cathedral is one of the largest and most beautiful churches of Iran, the cathedral was completed in 1664. It includes a bell-tower, built in 1702, a printing press, founded by Bishop Khachatoor, a library established in 1884, and a museum opened in 1905.

History of Vank Cathedral

Following the Ottoman war of 1603-1605, Armenians began to arrive in Iran in search of a new life under the Safavid King Shah Abbas I. Shah Abbas I, who settled tens of thousands of them in the Iranian provinces south of Aras River, also relocated Armenians, who had fled from the Ottoman massacre in Nakhchivan to Iran. Nakhchivan suffered a lot during the 14th to 18th century wars between Persia and the Ottoman Empire. The city fell under Safavid rule in the 16th century. In 1604, when Shah Abbas I realized that the lands of Nakhchivan and its surrounding areas might fall into Ottoman hands, he decided to force the entire Muslim, Jewish and Armenian population of the city to leave their homes and move to Iran.The Armenian immigrants settled in Isfahan, the capital of the Safavid Dynasty, and populated the city’s New Jolfa district, which was named after their original homeland in today’s Azerbaijan Republic. Upon entering Iran, Armenian refugees started building churches and monasteries to continue their religious activities in their new home. The first monastery in Jolfa was built in 1606 and included a little church called Amna Perkich, which means ‘All Healing.’The little church was later expanded and turned into the magnificently designed Vank Cathedral, which was built 50 years later under the supervision of Archbishop David.

Interior of the Cathedral
Interior of the Cathedral

Architecture of Vank Cathedral

The architecture of the building is a mixture of the 17th-century Safavid style with high arches and an Islamic-style dome.The cathedral has greatly influenced the architecture and decorative treatment of many churches in Iran and the Mesopotamian region.
The main entrance of the cathedral is a large wooden door through which visitors enter the courtyard of the building.Upon entering the courtyard, one encounters two rooms that were once used as administrative offices, which helped Armenians process their paperwork.Inside the Armenian Cathedral of the Holy Savior.A large freestanding belfry stands in the cathedral courtyard and towers over the graves of Orthodox and Protestant Christians who have been buried along the wall before the entrance.Built 38 years after the main structure, the belfry leads into the nave. On the right side of the belfry there is a large blue inscription surrounded by crucifix stones. The stones have been collected from the ruined churches of the Jolfa quarter.On a raised area to the left, a memorial has been set up in memory of the victims of the Ottoman massacre. Every year on April 23 Armenians gather by the memorial to light candles in honor of their martyrs.
At a corner of the cathedral’s courtyard, rooms and halls have been built to accommodate guests, the Isfahan archbishop and his retinue, as well as other Armenian religious authorities in Iran.Across the courtyard and facing the cathedral is a building, which houses the Vank library and

museum.The library contains more than 700 manuscripts and hard-to-find sources on Armenian and medieval European languages and arts.The Vank museum houses unique and priceless collections of various types of items gathered from across the Armenian world.
Built in 1871, the museum contains numerous objects related to the history of the cathedral and the Armenian community of Isfahan, including the 1606 edict of Shah Abbas I establishing New Jolfa and prohibiting interference with, or the persecution of, Armenians and their property and affairs in the district.Exquisite Bibles are also part of the museum’s dazzling collection. A sevengram bible displayed at the museum is believed by some to be the world’s smallest written text in seven languages.
Safavid costumes, tapestries, European paintings brought back by Armenian merchants, embroideries and other valuable items from the Iranian-Armenian trading heritage are also part of the museum’s unique archive.The Vank museum also houses an extensive collection of photographs, maps, and Turkish documents related to the 1915 massacre of Armenians by Ottoman kings.Vestments, monstrances, chalices and other sacramental objects have also been displayed at the museum.
The Vank printing house is known as the first of its kind in Iran and the Middle East. The first book published at Vank was about the lives of Armenian priests and monks, a few prints of which are now kept at the Vank museum.
The early printing machine, which was built by Bishop Khachatoor, was replaced by a new one brought from Amsterdam in 1647.Later in 1844, an Armenian resident of Jolfa brought a printing machine from Europe, which is also housed at Vank Museum.The first book printed by the machine was the Psalms of David, which is now kept at Oxford’s Bodleian Library.

Vank Cathedral courtyard
Vank Cathedral courtyard

The dun-colored brick exterior of the cathedral gives way to a stunning combination of Persian tiles, Byzantine gold and European-style frescos inside.The modern and plain exterior has a striking contrast with its gloriously decorated interior.The entrance ceiling is adorned with floral motifs and the top of the walls are covered with murals depicting events from the life of Jesus.The interior is adorned with paintings, gilded carvings and eye-catching tile work and the pendentives bear painted images of a cherub’s head surrounded by folded wings.On the northern wall of the cathedral paintings of Judgment Day can be seen with heaven depicted above and hell below. The bottom parts of the interior walls are covered with paintings depicting Armenians being tortured by the Ottoman Turks.
The double-layer brick dome is beautifully gilded and adorned with paintings and floral patters in its azure interior.The paintings depict the Biblical story of the creation of the universe and man’s expulsion from Eden.An Armenian fresco depicting Heaven, Earth, and Hell, at the Vank Cathedral.Eight windows surround the dome with biblical scenes painted between them. The creation of Adam and Eve, eating the forbidden fruit and the death of Able are among the stories painted between the windows.
The narthex is also adorned with four paintings, which are surrounded with floral patterns and show tortures inflicted upon holy figures.The birth of Jesus, the Last Supper, the crucifixion of Jesus and the Ascension of Jesus are also among the biblical stories depicted in the paintings inside the cathedral.The paintings have been inspired by both old and new testaments and have been painted by Armenian masters and three monks, namely; Havans, Stepanus and Minas.
After the death of Shah Abbas I, his successor Shah Abbas II also paid close attention to Armenians and New Jolfa, which is located on the banks of the Zayandeh River and still houses a large part of the Iranian-Armenian community.

Iran’s Armenian community grew in number as until 1933 immigrants and refugees continued to flock to Iran from the Soviet Union.They built churches, schools and various cultural, artistic and sports centers across the country and eventually became Iran’s largest Christian community.Today,
Iranian-Armenians have two seats in the Iranian Parliament (Majlis) and are the only minority with official observing status in the country’s Guardian and Expediency Councils.Armenians also publish books, journals, periodicals, and newspapers, including the daily Alik.

The Zoroastrian Fire Temple in Yazd is the most important Zoroastrian fire temple in the world. It’s been  built about 80 years ago. When the Zoroastrians decided to build a fire temple for themselves, a Zoroastrian Indian, accompanied them to build this fire temple. In India, Zoroastrians are known as “Parseh”, they are the same Zoroastrians who immigrated to India 300 years ago. At the top of the building is the symbol of “Farvahar”, which for Zoroastrians seems like a sign of the Christian cross. The symbol of Farvahar is the image of an old man showing the value that Zarathustra attaches to the elderly. It is said that the fire burning in the fire temple has not been extinguished for about 1600 years. The worshipers are only allowed to enter the room of the fire headquarters. The fire burns inside a large bronze chamber. This fire was brought to Aqda from Larestan and was lit there for about 700 years, then it moved from Aqda to Ardakan and finally to Yazd. He was first transferred to the house of one of the priests and later to the current location of the Zoroastrian fire temple in Yazd.

Zanjan Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. Located in Iranian Azerbaijan with mostly Azerbaijani residences, it is part of Iran’s Regions 3. Its capital is Zanjan city. The province lies 330 km northwest of Tehran, connected to it by a freeway. Zanjan is the happiest province in Iran.

Soltaniyeh's tiles (interior designs)
Soltaniyeh’s tiles (interior designs)

Zanjan has an area of 22,164 km2, occupying 1.34% of the Iranian territory. In the northwest of Iran, Zanjan covers joint borders with seven provinces: East Azerbaijan, West Azerbaijan, Hamadan, Kurdistan, Gilan, Ghazvin and Ardabil. Zanjan has a highland climate characterized by cold snowy weather in the mountains and moderate climate in the plains in wintertime. The average maximum temperature of Zanjan is around 27 °C, whereas the average minimum temperature minimum stands at -19 °C. The average annual rainfall in the first month of spring stands at 72 millimeters. The rate of humidity in the morning stands by average at 74%and at noon at 43%.

Hamdollah Mostowfi, the Iranian traveler and historian, in his book claims that Zanjan was built by Ardashir I, the first king of the Sassanid Empire and named as “Shahin”. One important moment in the history of the city was in 1851 when the city became a center for the Babi uprisings, along with Neyriz and a fortress known as Sheikh Tabarsi.

The forces of the central government captured the Babi fort in Zanjān after a long siege. According to Bosworth, who quotes Hamdollah Mostowfi, the inhabitants during the Ilkhanid era spoke “pure Pahlawi”, a Median or northern form of Persian.

Zanjan city was a major city in pre-historic Azerbaijan. It is said that the Sassanid king Ardashir I of Persia, reconstructed the city and called it Shahin, but later it was renamed Zangan: the present name is the Arabicized form. In past times Zanjān’s name was Khamsen, which means “province with five tribes. Zanjam Province incorporates areas of the former Gerrus Province.

The people of Zanjān province speak Azerbaijani Turkish. Tati language is spoken in the northern part of the upper Tarom-e Olya on the slopes of the Alborz Mountains. In about 8 villages (Charzheh Balklur, Jamal Abad, Hezar-rud, Bandar-Gah, Siavoud, Nokian, Quhijan), they speak Tati. Hamdollah Mostowfi, in the book of Nishat al-Qoulub, written about 1339 AD, introduces Zanjāni people as Sunni But during the Safavid period, with the support of the Safavids, the Shi’a religion has gradually become prevalent.

Reference: Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization of Iran, Iran Travel guide. Iran: 2018

Yazd Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran and located in the heart of the country. Its administrative center is the city of Yazd. The province has an area of 131,575 km2. The city of Yazd is the economic and administrative center of the province and therefore the most populated.

Yazd is the driest major city in Iran, with a yearly precipitation amount of 49 mm and only 23 days of precipitation, which is also the hottest city north of the Persian Gulf coast, with summer temperatures very frequently above 40 °C in blazing sunshine with no humidity. Even at night the temperatures in summer are rather intolerable. In the winter, the days remain mild and sunny, but in the morning the thin air and low cloudiness cause very cold temperatures that can sometimes fall well below 0 °C.

Malekzadeh House (Yazd Art House)
Malekzadeh House (Yazd Art House)

Yazd province was considered to be an important passage in historical periods. The area has been one of the most well-established routes for railways, postal and harbor centers during the Achaemenes period. Since roads maintenance in Yazd was so important, the Al-Mouzaffar family came to power as they used to be in charge of roads maintenance of the Meybod district. This province has been somewhat immune from the conflicts and wars took place during Iran’s history. The harshness of the roads, along with the limitation of water resources, has been a major obstacle to conquer this area by some of the great and small governments throughout history. There are so many signs and constructions in Yazd province which indicate to the depth of culture and civilization in the land during pre and post-Islamic period.

Tomb of Seyed Roknildin -Negin Mohamadi Fard
Tomb of Seyed Roknildin -Negin Mohamadi Fard

The majority of the people of Yazd are Persians, and speak Persian with Yazdi accent which is different from Persian accent of Tehrān; but there are also small populations of other Iranian ethnicities in the city such as Azerbaijanis and Qashqais who speak Persian as their second language.

Reference: Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization of Iran, Iran Travel guide. Iran: 2018

Iran - Yazd - Amir Chakmaq Complex
Iran – Yazd – Amir Chakmaq Complex

West Azerbaijan Province is one of V the 31 provinces of Iran. It is in the northwest of the country, bordering Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan’s Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, as well as the provinces of East Azerbaijan, Zanjan and Kurdistan. It is separated from Armenia by Turkey’s short border with the Azerbaijan Republic. The province of West Azerbaijan covers an area of 39,487 km2. The capital and largest city of the province is Uremia.

With an area of 43,660 square km, including Lake Uremia, the province of West Azerbaijan is located on the northwest of Iran. The climate of the province is largely influenced by the rainy winds of the Atlantic Ocean and Mediterranean. Cold northern winds affect the province during winter and cause heavy snow.

The major known ancient civilization in the region was a state between Urartian and Assyrian sphere of influence. Mannaeans in turn spoke a language related to Urartian. After the fall of Assyria, the region was known as Mantiene (or Matiene) in Greek sources. Matiene bordered on Atropatene situated east of Lake Urumiä. In the late 4th century the Sassanids incorporated the area into the neighbouring Adhurpadagan satrapy to the east. At 7th century this area was under Islamic rule. After Babak Khorramdin revolted, the grip of the Abbasid caliphate weakened, allowing some native dynasties to rise. By the first half of the 11″ century the Byzantine emperors were actively trying to found off their eastern territories, in an attempt to absorb the unstable Armenian dynasties.

West Azerbaijan possesses a rich culture, stemming from Azeri and Kurdish traditions. Many local traditions, such as music and dance, continue to survive among the peoples of the province. As a longstanding province of Persia, West Azerbaijan is mentioned favorably on many occasions in Persian literature by Iran’s greatest authors and poets:

All the nobles and grats of Iran,

Choose from Azarbaijan, Rey, and Gorgan

Tehran Province is one of the 31 provinces of Iran. It covers an area of 18,909 square kilometers (7,301 sq. mi) and is located to the north of the central plateau of Iran. The province was put as part of First Region with its secretariat located in its capital city, Tehran, upon the division of the provinces into 5 regions solely for coordination and development purposes on June 22, 2014. Tehran Province borders Mazandaran Province in the north, Qom Province in the south, Semnan Province in the east, and Alborz Province in the west. The metropolis of Tehran is the capital city of the province and of Iran. Tehran Province is the richest province of Iran as it contributes approximately 29% of the country’s GDP. Furthermore, it houses approximately 18% of the country’s population. Tehran Province is the most industrialized province in Iran; 86.5% of its population resides in urban areas and 13.5% of its population resides in rural areas. The province gained importance when Tehran was claimed the capital by the Qajar dynasty in 1778.

The province of Tehran has over 13 million inhabitants and is Iran’s most densely populated region. The largest rivers of this province are Karaj River and Jaj-Roud River. Environmentally, the climate of Tehran province in the southern areas is warm and dry, but in the mountain vicinity is cold and semi-humid, and in the higher regions is cold with long winters. The hottest months of the year are from mid-July to mid-September when temperatures range from 28 °C (82 °F) to 30 °C (86 °F) and the coldest months experience 1 °C (34 °F) around December January. Average annual rainfall is approximately 200 millimeters (79 in). On the whole, the province has a semi-arid, steppe climate in the south and an alpine climate in the north.

Vista de Teherán desde la Torre Milad, Irán

Tehran Province has several archeological sites indicating settlements dating back several thousand years. Until 300 years ago, Rey was the most prominent city of the province. However, the city of Tehran rose to become the larger city and capital of Iran by 1778, and since then has been the political, cultural, economic, and commercial nucleus of Iran. Tehran has over 1.500 historical sites of cultural significance registered with the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran. The oldest of these in Tehran province are the remains of two sites in Firouz-Kouh County that date back to the 4th millennium BCE.

Palacio de Golestán, Teherán, Irán
Tehran Milad Tower
Tehran Milad Tower
National Garden, Tehran Azadi Tower

Even though the Tehran is the meeting point of many ethnic and linguistic groups, it is dominated by the Persian culture and language, as well as the Shiite branch of Islam, with which the majority of the population identifies.

The Islamic Revolution had a distinctive cultural impact. Within this framework, traditional arts such as calligraphy and music have seen a revival, with many educational institutional and galleries involved. Alongside the more traditional centers of cultural activity, cultural centers, and libraries were established to cater to the young urban population. Tehran is modern, vibrant city.

National Garden, Tehran
National Garden, Tehran

Its skyline is dominated by snowcapped mountains and a proliferation of high-rise buildings. Tehran’s architecture is eclectic; while many buildings reflect the international Modernist style, others display postmodern, Neoclassical, and traditional Persian styles, others display postmodern, Neoclassical, and traditional Persian styles. Tehran’s vibrancy is marked by large crowds of young people, numerous shopping malls, commercial streets, and bustling public squares. The city mixes tradition with modernity and religious imagery with different lifestyles. From art to history and anything else you can imagine, are available in Tehran museums. Tehran is the biggest and most important educational center of Iran. Today there are nearly 50 major colleges and universities in total in Greater Tehran. Since the establishment of Dar-ol-Fonoun in the mid 1800s, Tehran has amassed with a large number of institutions of higher education.

Palacio de Golestán, Teherán, Irán
Palacio de Golestán, Teherán, Irán

Reference: Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization of Iran, Iran Travel guide. Iran: 2018

Tabriz, the City of Compassion, is one of the most historically important cities of Iran, which played a major role in the Constitutional Revolution of the early 1900s. Some of the historical sites in Tabriz such as the magnificent Blue Mosque of Tabriz and the 700-year-old Rab’-e Rashidi University have been devastated by the several earthquakes which have rocked the city throughout its history. The ruins, however, still tell of their glorious past. Once the city where Qajar Crown Princes resided before coming into power, Tabriz is the city of extravagantly decorated mansions, many of which have been turned into museums.

Arg Alishah

The early history of Tabriz is not well-documented. The earliest inscription about Tabriz, referring to the city as Tarui or Tauris, is on the Assyrian King Sargon II’s epigraph in 714 BC. Tabriz has been chosen as the capital for some rulers commencing from Atropates era. A recent excavation at the site of the Iron Age museum, in the north of the Blue Mosque site, uncovered a graveyard of 1″ millennium BC. More likely the city has been destroyed multiple times either by natural disasters or by the invading armies. The earliest elements of the present Tabriz are claimed to be built either at the time of the early Sassanids in the 3rd or 4th century AD, or later in the 7th century. The Middle Persian name of the city was T’awres.

El Gölü (Şah Gölü) - panoramio
El Gölü (Şah Gölü) – panoramio

After the Muslims conquest of Iran, the Arabic Azd tribe from Yemen resided in Tabriz. The development of post-Islamic Tabriz began as of this time. The Islamic geographer Yaqut al-Hamawi says that Tabriz was a village before Rawwad from the tribe of Azd arrive at Tabriz, In 791 AD, Zubaidah, the wife of Abbasid caliph Harun al-Rashid, rebuilt Tabriz after a devastating earthquake and beautified the city so much as to obtain the credit for having been its founder.


In 1501, Shah Ismail I entered Tabriz and proclaimed it the capital of his Safavid state. In 1514, after the Battle of Chaldiran, Tabriz was temporarily occupied by the Ottomans. Tabriz retaken by Iranian forces and it remained the capital of Safavid Iranian Empire until 1548. In that year Shah Tahmasp 1 transferred it to Qazvin to avoid the growing threat of Ottoman army to his capital.

Thanks to the geographical features and communications with nearby countries’ enlightenment movements, Tabriz became the center of the Iranian Constitutional Revolution movements between 1905 and 1911, which led to the establishment of a parliament in Iran and the formation of a constitution. Sattar Khan and Bagher Khan, two Tabrizi reformists who led Tabriz people’s solidarity against absolute monarchy, had a great role in Constitutional Revolution. In 1909, Tabriz was occupied by the Russian forces. Four months after the constitutional revolution’s success, in December 1911, the Russians reinvaded Tabriz. After crushing the local resistance by invading Russian troops, they started suppressing the constitutional revolutionaries and residents of the city. 1200 Tabriz residents were executed following the invasion Russian troops. As a result of the campaign, Tabriz was occupied by the Russian forces between 1911 and 1917.

Reference: Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts & Tourism Organization of Iran, Iran Travel guide. Iran: 2018