Golestan Palace offers experience you can enjoy from home
The UNESCO-designated Golestan Palace has provided a new virtual tour of the majestic complex, which is located in downtown Tehran.
“This virtual tour offers 360-degree panoramic views of the palace complex,” the director of the World Heritage site, Afarin Emami, said on Tuesday. Available in both Persian and English, the tour has been developed according to professional technical and content standards, the official said. “Moreover, there are no restrictions for visitors as the routes are defined in such a way that they can move freely and selectively indoors and outdoors,” she explained. UNESCO says that the complex exemplifies architectural and artistic achievements of the Qajar era including the introduction of European motifs and styles into Persian arts. The royal complex was once the official residence of the Qajar monarchs who ruled the country between 1789 and 1925. It displays a remarkable mixture of ancient Persian and contemporary European architectural styles, which characterized much of Iranian art in the 19th and 20th centuries. Visitors can simply spend half a day admiring several key structures that make up the palace, including lots of spectacular halls, chambers, museums, and gardens. All of them were built during the rule of the Qajar kings. The stunning Karim Khani nook, which was the former residence of the founder of the Zand dynasty (1751 to 1779), and the brilliant Mirror Hall, which was used for royal weddings and coronations, are amongst the must-see premises of the complex. Also, the highlights include Shams-ol Emareh (“the Edifice of the Sun”), a palace that offered a panoramic view of the city for the monarchs, and Brilliant Hall, which is known for its incredible display of mirror work. Visitors may likely take two or three hours to thoroughly explore the palace complex. One can relax by the gorgeous pond in the main garden after all the walking around. Next to the palace lies the bustling Grand Bazaar of Tehran, which is a top place to get a glimpse of local life. Some visitors to the bazaar refer to it as “a city within a city” because it also includes several mosques, guesthouses, banks, and once-thriving caravansaries. While most of its covered structures and marketplaces are associated with the 19th century onwards, the history of trade in the bazaar is rooted much deeper in time.