The world has witnessed long-lasting and strong empires and civilizations, such as the Ottoman Empire and the Byzantine Empire, but the mother of them all is the Persian Empire, whose capital has changed 32 times, with the latest being Shiraz, then Isfahan, and Tehran, for nearly 220 years. This longevity reflects Tehran’s invincibility in leadership, strength, power and massiveness.
A journey to Tehran—and the wowing—starts 20 minutes before landing, as soon as the descent commences either by day or by night. You are already in the aerospace of the capital city of Persia. There is a tremendous night view and millions of spot lights, the result of high levels of electric power. Iran is the world number one reserve of natural resources, oil & gas most precisely.
There’s no big tourism infrastructure, but this cannot stop your curiosity or hitting the road in all directions to discover the city, but also it makes your experience more original. Tehran is a very flat city, due to very dynamic tectonic plaques underneath it, hence high rise buildings are rare to find, however the government dared to build an immense TV tower in the heart of the city. Milad Tower is ranked the sixth tallest tower in the world, 435 meters 12 floors on its pod only and containing 3 very beautiful levels offering a 360o panoramic view of Tehran. The tower is so high that you can even see it from the airport, which is about one hour drive at 120Km/H speed from center.
Azadi tower (Liberty Tower) used to be called the Kings tower since it was built in 1971, then its name changed after the revolution to witness a new footprint in the history of the Empire. Last but not least we have Tochal Mountain, laying at 12km north, charming the city with its white cone of snow almost 10 months a year, higher than 4500m, and offering very long adventure slopes in its Alborz ski station.
Crossing the mountain from the east is a very short drive, but high enough to oblige you to stop every dozen of meters to enjoy breathtaking views, take some photos, or simply enjoy the landscape of the hills, lost small lakes and charming little waterfalls.
Northwest of the city there used to be one of the residencies of the shah, Niavaran Place, which is today home to one of the local museums displaying the class, the richness and the power of the “old” regime. Gold, diamonds, rubies, sapphires, emeralds are rare stones … But not in the Shah’s palace. All is unique and handmade and all is personalized for his or her majesty, and this is just one of many palaces spread around the country, depending on where his or her majesty would like to spend few days or weeks, based on the weather’s conditions and seasons.
Like many Islamic cities, Tehran’s center is its old town, home of Iranian spices, dried fruits, local cuisine, silk, and the mother of all things Persian, rugs. For your enjoyment and shopping there shines in the very center of the town a mosque with four very tall turquoise towers, where Imam Moussa al Khadhim, 7th Imam of the Shia Muslims has been resting since September 799, circled by millions of glass and crystal stones covering every single inch of every single wall or pillar of the holy place, and blessing whoever comes to pray for him.
In the very center of the city – few yards from Imam Khoumeini square, you may find the biggest bazaar of the country, covering about four square kilometers where you can buy everything from clothes to groceries, with most of the items being manufactured in Iran, and the rest either imported or made in Asia. And in the very middle of it there is “Golestan Palace” which is today home to many temples of the shah, with breathtaking unique decorative objects and many more incredible fountains framing many corners of the garden. These kinds of places are simply indescribable and worth the trip, whether you are fan of luxury, architecture, jewelry, history, or even politics.
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