District 11, District of Cultural Halls
District 11 is the rectangular heart of the capital city. It looks like a thorough but smaller Tehran which has everything in it. True that geographical coercion has placed one of the oldest districts of Tehran under layers of smoke and busy traffic but the fate of its streets and neighborhoods is such that has to tell a lot about the 100 year history of the capital city.
District 11 enjoys an exciting and historical past and at the same time is the navel of Tehran today: A district filled with important offices, companies and organizations – both public or private. New city maps divide this district into four separate parts in an attempt to make its administration area-oriented and more centralized. This is because District 11 has a population of 300,000 and every day treats visitors three times more than this number.
The four corners of this rectangular have been surrounded by four important streets: Azadi and Enqelab streets stand on the northern border of this District; Shoush Street is on the southern border; Vahdat Eslami on the eastern border; and Navvab Highway on its western border.
Inside the fence there are the biggest number of government offices, private companies, embassies and military barracks. Furthermore, District 11 hosts important political centers such as the residence of the Supreme Leader, the Presidential Office, the Council of Guardians, the Inspectorate General, and the Supreme National Security Council. This further adds to the importance of this central part of the capital city.
District 11 is also the historical treasure chest of Tehran. Although Tehran's museums and historical palaces are mostly located in Districts 12 and 1, however District 11 is the treasure box of the capital city's social history particularly from the second half of 1332 (started March 1953).
The peak of the role played by District 11 in Tehran's contemporary history can be pursued around the outbreak of the Islamic Revolution (Feb. 1979). It was a time when the streets of this District marked an epic through holding of rallies, slogan writings on the walls and overnight distribution of revolutionary announcements. Vali Asr crossroad, Enqelab Avenue (between College Bridge and beginning of Eskandari Street), Kargar Street, Boloursazi Street, Vahdate Eslami Street… are names that made epics on those days as they were the passage of revolutionaries whose clinched fists were about to tear the black skies of Tehran to let the angel come out.
Economic and Social Features
If the large corridors of the grand Tehran Bazaar are believed to be the most important source of the economy in Tehran and perhaps in Iran, District 11 too with its diversified bourses and economic centers has nothing short of that. In District 11 you can find the major producers and suppliers of vehicles parts, tools, foodstuffs, clothes and garments, audio-visual devices, and most importantly the book market of Iran across Enqelab Avenue.
Nowhere in Iran will you find big and small bookshops like those across Enqelab Aavenue so attractive to students, researchers and book lovers. Furthermore, Qazvin Street is a rich source of tools and gadgets. Mowlavi and Shoush streets offer all types of foodstuffs; Jomhuri Street is the main center to buy audio visual appliances; and finally Amir Akram Street and its Shams Elysees shopping center is one of the most famous neighborhoods to buy clothes.
Cultural and Historical Features
The picture most of the people in Tehran and other cities have from District 11 is a very crowded, traffic loaded and polluted area. But if you really want to know this District better you have to correct this image. True that District 11 is busy and polluted but at the same time its lungs function very well. Every evening you find a big number of people going to the parks in this District to smell flowers and spend some time in a green atmosphere.
The biggest park in District 11 which is also among important parks of Tehran is Razi Park. The 6500 meter park hosts a lake used for fishing. It also has a funfair for kids and a cultural center in another part of the park. These have turned Razi Park into a recreational, sports and cultural center for families and passengers as well.
If you like sightseeing make sure you will visit the City Theater and Vahdat Hall in this District. Anytime during the year you may wish to go to these places you will see a good theater or enjoy an excellent concert. Moreover, District 11 is filled with old mosques and historical buildings which are left behind from big personalities or can be easily found on the map. Imam Sajjad Mosque on Jonhuri-Abureyhan streets; Shisheh Mosque; Boloursazi Neighborhood Mosque, University of Tehran; Horr Square, Mowlavi Caravanserai…can be easily found on the map. District 11 has also something in store for foreign guests as five embassies are located in the heart of this District: Italy, France, the Vatica, Lebanon and Armenia.