After lunch, our guide, Rana, was ready to take us to the next stop – Glass & Ceramics Museum. Sounds boring, isn’t it? I’m not into pots and vases, and especially after such a fascinating morning of history and architecture at Golestan Palace, I wasn’t sure if the afternoon itinerary was going to be as interesting as the morning one. But I told myself to keep an open mind and just go with the flow.
I won’t go into details about the artefacts in the Glass & Ceramics Museum but the history behind the building was: It was formerly a private residence of a distinguished Persian family and later was sold to the Egyptian embassy which became their premises for 7 years. When diplomatic relations strained between Iran and Egypt, the Egyptians closed the embassy and the Commercial Bank purchased the building. The building changed hands again when it was sold to Farah Pahlavi in 1976 and turned into a museum by groups of architects from Iran, Austria and France.
The one thing that we learnt during our time in Tehran was that Farah Pahlavi (born Farah Diba) – the widow of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and former Queen of Iran – was instrumental in promoting culture and arts in the country. It was during her time that Iran had managed to procure a number of their historical artefacts from foreign museums and private collections, and she set up several national museums for these artefacts. Many of these museums still exist to this day.
Iran is renowned for their carpets and the next agenda on the itinerary was the Carpet Museum. I have never been to a Carpet Museum, so I was actually looking forward to this activity compared to the Glass & Ceramics Museum visit. I have always thought that carpets were only sold in shops and not curated or displayed in a museum. As much as I was curious about this visit, I certainly didn’t want to be brought to a museum to purchase carpets, and fortunately that was not the case! 🙂
The Carpet Museum of Iran was founded in 1976 by Farah Pahlavi with the aim of reviving and developing the art of carpet-weaving in the country. The variety of carpets – from all over Iran – displayed in the museum range from 18th century to present.
We were captivated by the intricacy and details of the carpets displayed – some could be mistaken for a painting but they were threads finely and painstakingly woven into beautiful carpets. I will let the pictures below show you just how beautiful these Persian carpets are…
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