Tehran an architectural museum
Numerous architectural relics in Tehran belong to the Qajar, modern and postmodern eras, said a member of the presiding board of Tehran Institute (Metropolis Studies).
Hamid Reza Nasser Nassir added that Tehran is like an architectural museum.
“This museum is of high importance in terms of architectural value and sociology, because it is part of our society’s political, social and cultural history. The ancient monuments showcase the lifestyles, beliefs and characteristics of people,” he said.
Alireza Qahhari, another member of the institute, said if the mayor prioritizes protection of cultural heritage and regards violators as culprits, the people will realize that cultural heritage should be protected.
“If Einoddoleh Edifice or Golestan Palace is destroyed, we will not have another like them. We have registered Golestan Palace on World Heritage List, but we should be careful no one builds a shopping mall near it,” he said.
Reza Behboudi, another member, said negligence to the memorials of citizens and inhabitants is the reason behind the destruction of Tehran’s cultural heritage.
Tehran, the capital of Iran, is the country’s most populous city.
The city is home to many historical mosques, churches, synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples. However, at present, modern structures, such as Azadi Tower and the Milad Tower, symbolize the city.
Often overlooked in favor of the glorious tourist attractions of Isfahan, Shiraz and Persepolis, Tehran has numerous draws of its own to keep visitors busy. Its tourist spots are spread wide, from the edgy cafes and modern high-rises on the slopes of Alborz in the north to the sprawling suburbs of the conservative south.
Visitors can glimpse the old world atmosphere of its grand bazaar to the blinding gaudiness of Golestan and National Jewel Museum.
Tehran offers tourists a little bit of everything, including the best place in which to feel the pulse of modern Iran.
Sarab-e Qandil rock relief
Iranian king Bahram II (276-293) was not the strongest ruler of Sassanid dynasty.
Having lost a war against Roman Emperor Carus, he accepted the loss of Armenia and Mesopotamia, Livius reported.
Bahram had difficulty in suppressing a revolt by his brother Hormizd II, and in the end, lost power to the Zoroastrian high priest, Kartir.
Still, Bahram introduced new standards of relief art. He introduced new kinds of sceneries: images of intimacy like the enthroned frontal representations (Sarab-e Bahram), or fights against lions (Sar Mashhad). He also used new sites that had never been used before.
Bahram II left no less than ten rock reliefs. One of these can be seen at Sarab-e Qandil (Ice Cold Spring) near Kazeroun in Fars province, which shows the queen offering a lotus to her husband.
The two characters look at each other, while a prince (probably their son, the future king Bahram III) holds the ring of power (called farshiang or cydaris), which is, surprisingly, not ribboned.
Such representations of love are very rare in Sassanid iconography, which generally consists of audience, victory or inauguration scenes.
An equivalent image of love was carved at Barm-e Dilak, where it is the king who offers the flower to the queen.
Like almost Iranian rock reliefs, this one is located near a source of water.
The relief is set in a quadrangular frame, carved on a isolated rock beside the bed of a river, without being eroded or damaged by water.
Its isolation from frequented roads might explain its excellent state of conservation: it was not accessible for vandals.
The carving is well-executed. Special attention has been paid to the clothes, which show beautiful and fine details, giving an impression of lightness, of aerial movement.
The king appears to wear his winged crown and jewels. His left hand is on top of his sword. His right hand is open, waiting for the gift.
The composition shows the royal figure at the center of the panel, the queen being on his right and the prince on his left/back.
Both attitudes of the king and the queen express love and respect. Although this relief is generally attributed to Bahram II, the lack of inscription makes that uncertain.
The main arguments for its identification with Bahram II lay in the fact that he is the only Sassanid king who minted the image of his queen on coins. The female figure appears to be dressed more like a queen than a goddess.
Scholars like Vanden Berghe and Aerinck, therefore, think that the relief can be attributed to Bahram II.
However, Lewitt-Tawill maintains that the relief represents Ardeshir I and the goddess, the prince being Shapour I.
Dossiers of 15 Fars heritages under preparation
The dossiers of 15 historical, cultural and natural heritages of the southern province of Fars are being prepared for registration on the National Heritage List, said director general of Fars Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Department.
Mosayyeb Amiri added that at present, the dossiers of three natural heritages, namely Khorrambid sycamores dating back to 200-600 years, Mozaffarabad sycamore going back to 400 years and Kavar Kohneh Graveyard’s cedar trees that are 270-300 years old, are under preparation.
Amiri noted that the dossiers of 12 historical and cultural monuments and relics are under preparation.
These include Imamzadeh Panjshir Mausoleum in Firouzabad, Baregal Hill in Gerash (Sassanid era and early centuries of Islamic era), remnants of Chahar Taqi and Tangab site in Shiraz (late Sassanid era and early Islamic era), Tull-e Sabz in Firouzabad, Tull-e Kalat-e Mashayekh-e Mamasani, Shirin and Farhad Vault in Nourabad (Mamasani), Khan Bathhouse in Zarqan, Kazeroun Bathhouse in Jahrom (Safavid era), Shiraz Drinking Fountains (belonging to Qajar and Pahlavi eras), Chah-Talkh Caravanserai in Jahrom, Qanbari Historical Site in Sarvestan (end of Sassanid era and early Islamic era) and the rock arts of Khatoun Mountain in Boanat (pertaining to the prehistoric era).
Our desert all around
Has no limit or bound,
Our hearts and souls
Are both restless from wound.
World in world has taken
The form’s semblance
Say which of these images
Belongs to us perchance?
When in your path
A severed head you see
Which towards our field
Is rolling in misery.
Ask from it, ask from that head
The secrets of the heart,
That head, that severed head,
Our hidden mysteries shall impart.
What if a bird flying
Would take wing
And carry our Solomon’s
Mysterious royal ring?
What shall I say,
What I know of this tale?
It is beyond my power,
Beyond my strength to scale.
How can I speak,
For every moment
Our distress grows bigger
And so is our vexation and torment.
Every moment a revelation does fall,
Descending upon souls from the heaven;
Come up, till when like dregs to stall?
Till when linger on the earth? Till when?
Whoever is heavy of soul shall descend,
In the end, he will sink like dregs to the base;
That drink shall soar to the cask’s surface
Which is clear of dregs in pureness.
Stir not the mud, stir it not,
Till the water is clear of the stain;
Till your dregs are revealed,
Till your wound is healed of pain.
It is a soul like the torch alight
But the smoke is thicker than the radiance;
When the smoke swells beyond expanse
It won’t show the house’s brilliance.
Should you look into the muddy water,
You will see neither moon nor sun,
The sun and the moon are hidden
When darkness spreads in heaven.
A northern breeze now blows,
Which purges and clarifies the air;
For the sake of this polishing at dawn
Zephyr breathes into the rose bower.
The breath issuing from the breast
Drives away from the breast the gloom;
Let breathing cease for a moment;
And it will bring death and doom.
The soul, a stranger to the earthly recess,
Yearns to return to the placeless;
Why does the soul continues to yearn
To graze like animal which is base?
O goodly spirit! O pure essence!
How long must you wander and hustle?
You are the king’s falcon; hence,
Fly back to the king’s whistle.
Discovery of historical tile
A historical tile belonging to Ilkhanid era has been discovered in Esfarayen, North Khorasan province.