Thursday, 5 November 2009

A bit of history

Today we visited the former Shah's Palace in North Tehran. It stands in extensive grounds and is, in fact six or seven "palaces". It is now home to several museums all open to the public on payment of a small fee. From the entrance gate it is quite a steep climb up the roads to the Green Palace, the facade of which is shown in the first picture here. It is called the Green Palace as the stone used to build it in 1922 for Reza Shah (the last Shah's father) has a greenish tinge.
Inside is something else, the main reception hall is entirely covered in small mirror tiles and silver. The effect is amazing a can be seen from the picture here. The "palace" is quite small but is decorated in a lavish style. The rooms are grandly proportioned and the decorations include silk wall coverings, damask of course, original oil paintings from France and the UK of 18th and 19th Century vintage - in the "small" dining room I think I saw two Constables on the walls (see the picture) - and the furniture is French Empire period with some 18th Century as well. The Shah's bedroom is, like the reception room, decorated with silver and the mirror tiles. Hell to sleep in I should think.

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