Tehran has many various and spectacular museums. In this part just some of the most viewed museums have been introduced. Visiting these significant museums is highly recommended.
Iran national museum which is located in Tehran can be classified as the biggest and the most important museum in the field of archeology in Iran. All the invaluable things existing in this place belong to prehistory time up to Islamic era. This great museum is designed by the famous French architect Andre Godard in 1933. It covers Iran’s rich history. Designed by French architect André Godard and completed in 1928, it’s one of the most attractive modern buildings in Tehran, blending Sassanian principles such as the grand iwan-style entrance with artistic brickwork. It includes ceramics, pottery, stone figures and carvings, mostly taken from excavations at Persepolis, Ismail Abad (near Qazvin), Shush, Rey and Turang Tappeh.
Among the things found from Shush (Susa) we can mention a copy of the stele detailing the Babylonian Code of Hammurabi, found at Shush in 1901, is also displayed and the original one is in Paris. Exhibits from Persepolis include a magnificent human-headed capital, a cuneiform inscription proclaiming the might and godly affinity of Xerxes and a striking frieze of glazed tiles from the central hall of the Apadana Palace. Also there is a famous trilingual inscription from the time of Darius I, a bull-headed capital and carved staircase; a statue of a sitting dog that looks like it was carved just weeks ago and four foundation tablets inscribed in cuneiform.
One of the more startling exhibits of this museum is the Salt Man from Zanjan. He’s thought to have been a miner who died in the 3rd or 4th century AD, but whose white-bearded head, leg in a leather boot and tools were preserved by the salt in which he was buried. Also a bronze statue believed to be a Parthian prince ‘Shami’ found in Khuzestan. (Address: 30 Tir St, Imam Khomeini Ave, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021-6670 2061)
This museum was founded in 1930. It is located inside the ministry of culture. The elegant dome of this building recalls its former majesty. A large marble pool occupied the center of pillared area and water spouted from pillars into the pool. Some eminent and invaluable wood inlay, metal works and carpets are held there. (Address: Ministry of Culture, Kamalolmolk St, Baharestan Square, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021-3116329)
The National Jewelry Treasury is located in the Central Bank of the Islamic Republic of Iran, at the heart of the City of Tehran. Here is the most dazzling collection of gemstones and jewelry known in the world. The Crown Jewels of Iran have been little more than a legend in the past. Travelers marveled at the splendor surrounding the shahs of ancient Persia; but few were permitted to examine it in any detail. Now the most spectacular objects have been placed on public display and form one of the country’s principal tourist attractions. (Address: Ferdowsi St, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021-64463785)
This great museum is named after a famous painter of Safavid era. It consists of many parts including pre Islamic gallery, Islamic calligraphy, painting and a wonderful library with more than 6000 books. A comprehensive record of the Iranian tradition of painting in the Islamic era is on display in the galleries of this museum. The art of illumination, impressive pottery, metal works of different eras also can be viewed there. (Address: No. 972, Seyed khandan bridge, Shariati Ave, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021-88463001-3)
Niavaran Palace Complex is a historical complex situated in the northern part of Tehran, Iran. It consists of several buildings and museums. The Sahebqraniyeh Palace, from the time of Naser al-Din Shah of Qajar dynasty, is also inside this complex. The main Niavaran Palace, completed in 1968, was the primary residence of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and the Imperial family until the Iranian Revolution. The main palace was designed by the Iranian architect Mohsen Foroughi. (Address: Bahonar square, Niavaran Ave, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021-2282012)
As one of the Iranian famous museums, Abgineh museum comprises several halls and workshops and a library. Art works and handicrafts exhibited in this museum include three collections of porcelains, glassworks and crystals. The premises that have been turned into museum where glass and clay works are on display were built about 90 years ago upon orders of Ahmad Qavam for his personal lodging. The building is situated in a garden used by Qavam himself till the year 1953. (Address: No.55, 30 Tir St, Jomhuri Ave, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021-66705614)
The Saadabad Palace is a palace built by the Pahlavi dynasty of Iran in the Shemiran area (north) of Tehran. This garden was the summer residence of Qajar Dynasty and has an area of 110 hectares. Reza Shah first lived there in the 1920s. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi moved there in the 1970s. After the Iranian Revolution it became a museum. The museums which are currently open to visitors are: Green Palace, Nation’s Palace, Military Museum, Water Museum, Behzad Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Abkar Museum, Farshchian Museum and Museum of Natural History. (Address: Saad Abad St, Tajrish Square, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021-22282031-9)
The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace (Palace of Flowers) belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg (citadel). In its present state, Golestan Palace is the result of roughly 400 years construction and renovations. The buildings at the contemporary location each have a unique history. The Arg was built during the reign of Tahmasp I (r. 1524-1576) of the Safavid dynasty (1502–1736), and was later renovated by Karim Khan Zand (1750-1779). Agha Mohamad Khan Qajar (1742–1797) chose Tehran as his capital. The Arg became the site of the Qajar (1794–1925). The Court and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal Qajar family. The palace was rebuilt to its current form in 1865 by Haji Abol-hasan Mimar Navai. (Address: Imam Khomeini Ave, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021- 33113335)
In 1978, the founders of the Carpet Museum of Iran established this Museum with a limited number of Persian carpets and Kilims, in order to revive and develop the art of carpet-weaving in the country, and to provide a source to satisfy the need for research about the historical background and evolution of this art. The Carpet Museum of Iran, with its beautiful architecture and facade resembling a carpet-weaving loom is located on the northwest of Laleh Park in Tehran. It is composed of two exhibition galleries covering an area of 3400 m2.The ground floor gallery is assigned for permanent exhibitions and the upper floor gallery is considered for the temporary exhibitions of carpets, Kilims, and carpet designs. (Address: Dr. Fatemi St, Tehran, Iran. Tel: 021-652703)