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Persian Hostel Co.

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bed in dormitory (7€)

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Spacious and beautiful dorm decorated with flowers and pictures.
Comfortable beds with clean sheets

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Private Double Room (25€)

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Private rooms with a couch, desk, shared bathroom just by the door in the dorm, free Wi-Fi, as well as a good complete breakfast.

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Private Twin Room (25€)

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Private rooms with a couch, desk, shared bathroom just by the door in the dorm, free Wi-Fi, as well as a good complete breakfast.

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3-bed private room (30€)

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3-bed private room with private bathroom and kitchen

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4-bed private room (35€)

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4-bed private room with private bathroom and kitchen

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5-bedroom apartment (40€)

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5-bedroom apartment with private bathroom and kitchen

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Negarestan Garden and Building

Negarestan Garden and Building

This estate was one of the ten luxuriant gardens built by order of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar. Its construction was completed in 1810 and it on remained in service as a summer resort of Qajar monarchs. The Negarestan Garden extended westward as far as Safi-Ali ' Shah Avenue and eastward as far as Darvaze-ye Shemiran. Its large portal was on present-day Baharestan Square. Occupying the northern side of this square, the remaining parts of this historic garden today house the Culture and Art Research Institute of the University of Tehran and the main building of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance. Two beautiful and majestic buildings known as Qalamdan and Delgosha were built in this garden by the famous artists of the time. Their reception halls featured a decoration of fine mirror-work, exquisite gilded patterns, magnificent sash windows and precious objects. Splendid paintings by such renowned masters as Mirza-Baba Naqqash, Ahd-ollah Khan Naqqash-Bashi, Mirza-Jani Naqqash and Mehr-Ali-Aqa Naqqash adorned their walls, which explains the appellation of this ensemble [Negarestan=Painting Gallery]. Most foreign voyagers and diplomats who have traveled to Iran in Qajar times have paid visits to this garden and left behind sundry descriptions of Fath-Ali Shah's pleasure resort within its walls. As these accounts indicate, the garden's pavilions were built within a rectangular enclosure. Its portico was followed by a long entrance alley and the buildings' facades bore tile-work decoration The garden's main alley led to a farangi pavilion located at the center of the garden and was lined by trees and pergolas made up of trees.
The most important element of this pavilion was a large pool with a water spout lying in the middle of its vast main reception hall. The Negarestan, or Divan-Khaneh, building stood at the end of the main alley. This was a quasi-circular palace with beautiful rooms all adorned with gilded Arabesques, mirror-work and naturalistic floral paintings. Some of its larger reception halls also bore wall paintings depicting the king, his sons, local dignitaries and foreign ambassadors, all represented in ceremonial outfits. These paintings, which include 118 full-size portraits, were completed in 1813 by an artist by the name of Abd-ollah. European ambassadors, writers and travellers, however, found the Taj-e Dowlat pavilion
the most attractive building of this ensemble. Located in the north-western part of the garden, it was a two-storied structure whose upper floor rooms belonged to the ladies of the harem. Its lower floor housed a bathhouse and a marble and jade toboggan. According to Ahmad Khan Malek Sassani, a notable figure in the Qajar period, this famous toboggan consisted of a 60 cm by 3 m slab of jade installed at a steep angle against a 1 by 3 m platform abut-ting the western wall of the Howzkhaneh and accessed by two flanking narrow flights of 10 to 12 stairs. A turquoise-colored smaller pool at the bottom of the to-boggan was connected to the main pool. These were both about 50 centimeters deep. Fresh water entered the main pool at its center and overflowed into surrounding chan-nels before leaving the area through an aperture. Wearing a qalamkar [block-printed] nightcap, Fath-Ali Shah would sit on a rug on the eastern side of the Howz-khaneh, facing the toboggan, smoking the qalian [water-pipe] while admiring the naked ladies of the harem climbing the stairs, sliding down the toboggan and splashing into the pool, all to his great delight. The Negarestan remained the summer resort of Qajar monarchs until 1867, when Naser-ed Din Shah had the capital enlarged. The garden and its buildings lost their importance thereafter. In 1900, under Mozaffar-od Din Shah Qajar, the first Iranian college of agriculture was established in this garden. During the ministry of Hakim-al Molk, the Academy of Fine Arts, headed by Mohammad Ghaffari Kamal-ol Molk, was opened in the southern building (the Howykhanel) and the Elmiyeh Madrasa (Theological School) began its activity in the northern building. The Academy of Fine Arts offered courses in painting, sculpture, carpet weaving, stone carving and wood inlay, and soon the most illustrious contemporary masters of these arts emerged from it. In 1928, plans for a superior academy conforming to the Iranian style of architecture and modern school construction principles were designed and executed on the northern side of the Negarestan garden by the Russian engineer Markov, following which the Superior School for Teachers, previously housed in Qavam-od Dowleh's house, was transferred to the Negarestan, with its 180 students and 16 professors (8 Iranian and 8 French). After the addition of several new buildings to the original configuration of the University of Tehran, the Dar-ol Mo'allemin was renamed Daneshsara-e Ali and included two important faculties: those of Letters and Social Sciences. Sixty-four rooms and two large halls were built on this 10,000-square-meter plot of land and a large library was erected on its north_ eastern side in 1936. The illustrious poetess Parvin E'tesami served as this library's vice-director. Upon the completion of the library, examples of superb poems by great Iranian men of letters were selected by Badi'- oz Zaman Forouzanfar, one of the most prominent contemporary professors of Persian language and literature, which were written by the great calligrapher 'Emad-ol Kottab on tile panels and installed on its facades. These inscribed panels are among the most attractive features of the Negarestan garden ensemble. The panel on the frontispiece of the library reads:
Khonok nikbakhti ke dar gooshe'i,
Be cast arad az ma'refat tooshe'i.
'Happy the fortunate man who in a corner,
A provision of knowledge amasses.'
And this hemistich appears on the frontispiece of the southern building, which housed laboratories:
'Aqebat juyandeh yabandeh bovad.
[He who seeks, eventually finds.]
In 1934 a Theater and Music Society was inaugurated in the Daneshsara, where dramas inspired from Persian literature were staged for the first time. In 1935 the first Iranian Academy was created in the Daneshsara's council hall and inaugurated in the presence of Iranian and foreign scholars. In these buildings, for more than five decades, this school dispensed education in various scientific fields, literature and social sciences to thousands of people. Indeed, most of the great scientific and literary figures have studied and taught in these historic monuments, including Dr. Mahmood Hessabi, Malek-osh Sho'ara Bahar, Ali-Akbar Dehkhoda, Badi'-oz Zaman Foruzanfar, Pr. Pour-Davoud, Gholam-Hosain Sadiqi, Parviz Khanlari, Mohammad Mo'in, Sa'id Nafissi, Ali-Naqi Vaziri, Jalal Homa'i, Dr. Bastani Parizi, Dr. Hasan Habibi, and hundreds of other erudite artists and scholars. This university comprised faculties of letters, sciences and premedical studies. From 1946 onwards, alongside the city's northward development, these faculties were gradually transferred to the campus of the University of Tehran. This building has housed the Geographical Society, the Institute of Foreign Languages, the Dehkhoda Dictionary Foundation and the general courses of the Faculty of Letters are also held here. In 1958, thanks to Dr. Gholam-Hosain Sadiqi's efforts, the Negarestan garden was handed over to Institute for Social Research. After the Islamic revolution, garden was transferred to the Planning and Budget Organization.
In recent years the University of Tehran has had the extant buildings restored and transformed into the Culture and Art Research Center. However, none of the past majesty of this ensemble remains today. Governmental buildings are now scattered here and there across the large Negarestan garden, which once evoked images of the "Thousand and One Nights" in the mind of tourists. The only remaining original part of this ensemble is part of the famous Howzkhaneh, which originally was a cross-shaped structure whose central part was topped by a dome resting on four pillars. A marble pool, whose water inlet has been found, existed under the dome. This building was later altered and transformed into a rectangular structure, in which the National Arts Museum was established. Featuring superb carved stucco floral decoration, the ceiling and pillars of the old Howzkhaneh building date back to the 19th century and the complementary parts were painted so as to replicate these stucco carvings. Today, this monument is encircled by the administrative buildings of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance.
The Fountain Pavilion of Negarestan Gardens
On the northern side of Baharestan Square, within the grounds of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance, there is an old rectangular building that now houses the Museum of National Arts. The building of the museum is in fact the fountain pavilion of the old Negarestan Gardens — the only remnant of the majestic Negarestan Palace — built in the reign of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar (1799 — 1834). The palace was built by two masters, Ostad Abd-ollah Khan and Ostad Aqa lani of Isfahan over a period of ten years about the middle of Fath-Ali Shah's reign.
In 1930 Karim Taherzadeh Behzad, the famous contemporary artist, suggested that a school of ancient crafts be founded to preserve Iran's national arts and that it should be housed in the old fountain pavilion building. This suggestion was accepted by Reza Shah Pahlavi and the School of Fine Arts started its work in the same year. The school became a major centre of learning and many of the foremost contemporary master artists were trained in it including Mohammad Ali Zavieh, Ali Karimi, Moqimi Tabrizi, Clara Abkar and many others. The most important works of these masters are now housed in the Museum of National Arts.
The School of Fine Arts was later converted into a museum with displays of Khatam (inlaid work), mosaic work, marquetry work, carpets, embossed work, miniature paintings, illumination and many other arts and crafts. The Howzkhaneh (fountain pavilion) building of the Negarestan Gardens was a recreational structure built on a cruciform plan in the middle of the gardens with for alcoves surrounding a central open area where the pool and fountains were situated. To provide privacy the alcoves were devoid of any other windows or doors. The building had a dome resting on four columns. The inside of the dome was decorated with stucco-work with floral designs depicting 16 vines growing out of flowerpots. Water entered and exited the pool through channels running between the columns. By the end of the Qajar period the building had been abandoned and was in a ruinous state. Restoration and additions to the venerable structure were started in the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi under the supervision of such masters as Kamal-ol Molk and Behzad. The cruciform building was converted into a rectangular building and new rooms were added to its sides. Doors and windows were added to the old alcoves. The old stucco decorations were restored and the new rooms were decorated with stucco-work imitating the old patterns. The pool and water channels were filled and thus the building was made suitable to house the famous academic institution, and later, the museum that it became.

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