Discover the Time Museum in northern Tehran
Zaman (Time) Museum in northern Tehran is where you may roam through for hours. It is home to water clocks and oil clocks, sun clocks, and ones operated with the help of candles or sand grains, to name a few.
The museum features a gradual evolution of time-measuring instruments from initial clocks to modern mechanical ones. Situated in the Zaferanieh neighborhood, the two-story museum exhibits clocks and watches once belonging to famous people such as Nasserdin Shah Qajar, and Professor Mahmoud Hessabi who was a nuclear physicist and senator. Furthermore, visitors may find the ship clock, two-stroke watches, guard watches, ancient Iranian calendars, time-measuring dishes among hundreds of watches made in France, Switzerland, England, and Germany. The interesting oil clock has a graduated tank in which special oil is poured. When the wick is turned on within an hour, the oil in the tank is used as fuel, and the time was measured by the oil levels of the tank according to the amount of oil remaining. The museum enjoys a kind of atmospheric architecture and decorations. The main museum building has two floors, each of which includes sights. On the first floor, you can tour clocks from the seventeenth to the twentieth centuries. Many clocks such as pendulum, wall, and stand clocks are decorated in an artistic way that shows the importance of the clocks in the past. The replicas of the various clocks, all of which combine art and craftsmanship, are very interesting in this section. Some of these clocks are gifts from political figures from their travels to other countries and some from people’s personal property. Another interesting piece of art in this section is a bronze clock, covered with a thin layer of gold, made in France, which is decorated in the style of Louis XVI and shows the body of Homer, the epic Greek poet. In this part of the building, there is a niche wall clock with an engraved image of the first Pahlavi in Tehran’s Ghorkhaneh, which dates back to 1934. A room named after Isfahan fascinates visitors with its unpretentious designs by prominent masters. The ceiling of this room is decorated with Isfahan carpet design, 99% of which is made of copper and 1% of which is made of gold. The second floor is dedicated to the display of Houshang Foroutan’s works. The reason for displaying his works in this museum is his collages, made by unused pieces of old clocks. On this floor, there is a circular display with clock repair tools. Other interesting sights of this floor are the clocks displayed from the Qajar period, such as the sun clock of Nasser al-Din Shah. In this part of the floor, there is an old astrolabe, which has been an astronomical device and a permanent calendar. Elsewhere, there is a celestial sphere that was used to measure time. Facilities include a restaurant-café and a time gallery (to purchase works by artists). Photography is also free inside and outside the museum.