Tehran, as one of
the main tourist destinations in Iran, has a wealth of cultural
attractions. It is home to royal complexes of Golestan, Saadabad and
There are several
historic, artistic and scientific museums in Tehran, including the
National Museum, the Malek Museum, the Cinema Museum at Ferdows
Garden, the Abgineh Museum, Museum of the Qasr Prison, the Carpet
Museum, the Reverse Glass Painting Museum (vitray art), and the Safir
Office Machines Museum. There is also the Museum of Contemporary Art,
which hosts works of famous artists such as Van Gogh, Pablo Picasso,
and Andy Warhol.
The Iranian Imperial
Crown Jewels, one of the largest jewel collections in the world, are
also on display at Tehran's National Jewelry Museum.
A number of cultural
and trade exhibitions take place in Tehran, which are mainly operated
by the country's International Exhibitions Company. Tehran's annual
International Book Fair is known to the international publishing
world as one of the most important publishing events in Asia.
The oldest surviving
architectural monuments of Tehran are from the Qajar and Pahlavi
eras. Although, considering the area of Greater Tehran, monuments
dating back to the Seljuk era remain as well; notably the Toqrol
Tower in Ray. There are also remains of Rashkan Castle, dating back
to the ancient Parthian Empire, of which some artifacts are housed at
the National Museum; and the Bahram fire temple, which remains since
the Sassanian Empire.
Tehran only had a
small population until the late 18th century, but began to take a
more considerable role in Iranian society after it was chosen as the
capital city. Despite the regular occurrence of earthquakes during
the Qajar period and after, some historic buildings have remained
from that era.
Tehran is Iran's
primate city, and is considered to have the most modernized
infrastructure in the country.