Tehran ( pronunciation (help·info)) (Persian: تهران - Tehrān) is the capital of Iran and Tehran Province. With a population of around 8.4 million and 14 million (2015) in the wider metropolitan area, Tehran is Iran's largest city and urban area, and the largest city inWestern Asia.
Until 1796, Tehran was an unimportant village. In 1796, Agha Mohammed Khan chose Tehran as Iran's new capital, in order to remain in close reach of Iran's territories in theCaucasus, at that time still part of Iran, and to avoid vying factions of previous Iranian dynasties. Throughout Iran's history, the capital has been moved many times; Tehran is the 32nd national capital of Iran. In pre-Islamic times, part of the area of present-day Tehran was occupied by Rey, now a part of the city of Tehran, which took over its role after the destruction of Rey by the Mongols in the early 13th century.
In the 20th and 21st centuries, Tehran has been the subject of mass migration of people from all over Iran. The city is home to many historic mosques as well as several churches,synagogues and Zoroastrian fire temples. However, modern structures, notably Azadi Towerand the Milad Tower, have come to symbolize the city. Tehran is ranked 29th in the world by the population of its metropolitan area. Although a variety of unofficial languages are spoken, roughly 99% of the population understand and speak Persian.
There are plans to relocate Iran's capital from Tehran to another area because Tehran is prone to earthquakes. The majority of the inhabitants of the city are Persians, but there are also populations of other Iranian ethnicities such as Lurs, Armenians, Kurds, andAzerbaijanis who speak Persian as their second language. The majority of people in Tehran identify themselves as Persians.
|کلانشهر تهران · Tehran Metropolis|
|Coordinates: 35°41′46″N 51°25′23″E|
Tehran has been hosting communities for over 7,000 years.
An important historical city in the area of modern-day Tehran, now absorbed by it, is known as "Rey", which is etymologically connected to the Old Persian and Avestan "Rhages". The city was a major area of the Iranian speaking Medes and Achaemenids.
In the Zoroastrian Avesta's Videvdad (i, 15), Rhaga is mentioned as the twelfth sacred place created by Ahura-Mazda. In the Old Persian inscriptions (Behistun 2, 10–18), Rhaga appears as a province. From Rhaga, Darius the Great sent reinforcements to his fatherHystaspes (Vishtaspa), who was putting down the rebellion in Parthia (Behistun 3, 1–10).
The Damavand mountain located near the city also appears in the Shahnameh as the place where Freydun bounds the dragon-fiend Zahak. Damavand is important in Persian mythological and legendary events. Kyumars, the Zoroastrian prototype of human beings and the first king in the Shahnameh, was said to have resided in Damavand. In these legends, the foundation of the city of Damavand was attributed to him. Arash the Archer, who sacrificed his body by giving all his strength to the arrow that demarcated Iran andTuran, shot his arrow from Mount Damavand. This Persian legend was celebrated every year in the Tiregan festival. A popular feast is reported to have been held in the city of Damavand on 7 Shawwal 1230, or in Gregorian calendar, 31 August 1815. During the alleged feast the people celebrated the anniversary of Zahak's death. In the Zoroastrian legends, the tyrant Zahak is to finally be killed by the Iranian hero Garshasp before the final days.
In some Middle Persian texts, Rey is given as the birthplace of Zoroaster, although modern historians generally place the birth of Zoroaster in Khorasan. In one Persian tradition, the legendary king Manuchehr was also born in Damavand.
During the Sassanid era, Yazdegerd III in 641 issued from Rey his last appeal to the nation before fleeing to Khorasan. Rey was the fief of the Parthian Mihran family, and Siyavakhsh, the son of Mihran the son of Bahram Chobin, resisted the Muslim Invasion. Because of this resistance, when the Arabs captured Rey, they ordered the town to be destroyed and ordered Farrukhzad to rebuild the town.
There is also a temple in Rey, which is said to be one of the temples of Anahita, the Iranian goddess of waters. But after the Muslim invasion, it got dedicated to Bibi Shahr Banou, eldest daughter of Yazdegerd III, and one of the wives of Husayn ibn Ali, the fourth leader of the Shia faith.
In the 10th century, Rey was described in details in the work of Islamic geographers. Despite the interest of Baghdad displayed in Rey, the number of Arabs there was insignificant, and the population consisted of Persians of all classes. The Oghuz Turks laid Rey to waste in 1035 and in 1042, but the city recovered during the Seljuq dynasty and Khwarazmian era. The Mongols laid Rey to complete waste and according to Islamic historians of the era, virtually all of its inhabitants were massacred. The city is mentioned in later Safavidchronicles as an unimportant city.
The origin of the name "Tehran" is unknown.Tehran was well known as a village in the 9th century, but was less well-known than the city of Rey which was flourishing nearby in the early era. Najm ol Din Razi, known as Daya, gives the population of Rey as 500,000 before theMongol invasion. In the 13th century, following the destruction of Rey by Mongols, many of its inhabitants escaped to Tehran. In some sources of the early era, the city is mentioned as "Rhages' Tehran". The city is later mentioned in Hamdollah Mostowfi's Nozhat ol Qolub (written in 1340) as a famous village.
Toopkhaneh Square in 1911
Don Ruy González de Clavijo, a Castilian ambassador, was probably the first European to visit Tehran, stopping in July 1404, while on a journey to Samarkand (now in Uzbekistan), the capital of Timur, who ruled Iran at the time. At that time, the city of Tehran was unwalled.
Tehran has a wide range of shopping opportunities, from traditional bazaars to shopping districts and modern shopping malls. The great Bazaar of Tehran and the Tajrish Bazaar are the biggest traditional bazaars in Tehran. Shopping districts such as Valiasr, Shariati, Mirdamad have shopping with a wide range of different shops. Big malls like Tiraje, Hyperstar, and smaller shopping centers like Tandis, Golestan, and Safavie are popular among Tehran's population and visitors.
Most of the international brands and upper class shops are located in the northern and western parts of the city, and the rest of the shops are distributed in all the areas of the city. Tehran's retail business is growing with new malls and shopping centers being built. The biggest malls under construction are the Tehran Mega Mall, Kourosh Mall, and smaller "luxurious" shopping centers like Zafaranie or Farmanie shopping center.
Tandis Mall in Tajrish
Tehran has many modern and classical restaurants and cafes, serving both traditional Iranian and cosmopolitan cuisine. One of the most popular dishes of the city is the chelow kabab (kabob/kebab is originally a Persian word meaning grilled or roasted meat). Fast food is also popular, especially within the younger generation. Pizza, sandwich and kebab shops make up the majority of food outlets in the city.
A restaurant in Darband
Tehran is the economic center of Iran. About 30% of Iran's public-sector workforce and 45% of large industrial firms are located in the city and almost half of these workers are employed by the government.Most of the remainder of workers are factory workers, shopkeepers, laborers, and transport workers.
Few foreign companies operate in Tehran because of the Iranian government's relations with the west. But before the Revolution of 1979, many foreign companies were active in this region. Today many modern industries of this city include the manufacturing of automobiles, electronics and electrical equipment, weaponry, textiles, sugar, cement, and chemical products. It is also a leading center for the sale of carpets and furniture. There is an oil refinery near Rey, south of the city.
Tehran has four airports. Mehrabad International Airport and Tehran Imam Khomeini International Airport are the two active ones. Doshan Tappeh Air Baseis closed, and the former Ghale Morghi Air Base has been converted to an amusement park named Velayat Park.
Tehran relies heavily on private cars, buses, motorcycles, and taxis, and is one of the most car-dependent cities in the world. The Tehran Stock Exchange, which is a full member of the Federation Internationale des Bourses de Valeurs (FIBV) and a founding member of the Federation of Euro-Asian Stock Exchanges, has been one of the world's best performing stock exchanges in recent years.
Cafeteria of Mellat Park
Police Palace (Today, theBuilding No. 9 of Foreign Ministry)
Salam Hall at Golestan Palace
Tehran, as Iran's showcase and capital city, has a wealth of cultural attractions. The Sun Throne (also known as the Peacock Throne) of the Persian Kings (Shahs) can be found in Golestan Palace. Some well-known museums are National Museum of Iran, Sa'dabad Palaces Complex, Glassware and Ceramics Museum of Iran, The Carpet Museum of Iran, Tehran's Underglass painting Museum, Niavaran Palace Complex, and Safir Office Machines Museum. The Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art features works of famous artists such as Van Gogh,Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol. The collection of these paintings was selected by former Empress Farah Diba.
Tehran is also home to the Iranian Imperial Crown Jewels, also called the Imperial Crown Jewels of Persia, it is claimed to be the largest, most dazzling and valuable jewel collection in the world. The collection comprises a set of crowns and thrones, some 30 tiaras, numerous aigrettes, jewel-studded swords and shields, a vast amount of precious loose gems, including the largest collections of emeralds, rubies and diamonds in the world. It also includes other items collected by the Shahs of Iran during the 2,500 year existence of the Iranian Kingdom. The Imperial Crown Jewels are still on display in the Iranian Central Bank in Tehran.
Tehran International Book Fair (TIBF) is known to the international publishing world as one of the most important publishing events in Asia.
One of the most popular social activities, especially among the younger generation, is cinema. Most cinema theaters are located downtown. The Azadi Cinema was inaugurated in 2008. It is the largest cinema complex in Tehran with ten theaters. The Cinema Farhang in the north is the only official theater that plays foreign films in Tehran.
The Tehran Zoological Garden (Eram Zoo) and Eram City Game are also popular meeting points, especially for families with children. A new larger zoo was also planned for 2010.
Artists often mingle at the House Of Artists. Tehran City Theater was opened in 1962. It is the largest theater in Tehran. Tehran TV 1, Tehran Cinema TV, Omid TV and Tehran Show TV are among the most popular TV stations in Tehran. Tehran TV2, Tehran TV3 and Tehran Sport were planned to be launched in 2012.
Since early 2010, the municipality of Tehran started to implant millions of Tulips in the springtime in order to make the city environment glamorous, romantic and more lush. At the beginning, some millions following by 5 millions in 2014 and 10 millions in 2015.