If we want to travel back in time in Iran today, we need to start from Tehran. This city of 15 million welcomes you with its bustling traffic, live and energetic daily life.

 In this city, which leans on the foothills of the Mount Elbrus, boiling water flows through the canals on the sides of roads. Azadi Square and the monument built by the Shah in memory of the 2000th anniversary of the Persian dynasty is worth seeing. In addition to Persian Civilization, the National Museum also exhibits works worth seeing in the Islamic period. If you follow the longest avenue of Tehran Vali Asr to Mount Elbrus Mountain, you will reach Tehran’s promenade area Chamran.

The jewels on display at the National Jewelry Museum of Iran, which is located opposite the Turkish Embassy, are truly magnificent. There are three palace complexes in Tehran: Golestan, Sadabad and Niavaran Palaces. All are located within beautiful gardens. The government is trying to preserve them as much as possible.

 Our first stop on our way from Tehran southward is the tomb complex of Ayatollah Khomeini, which is located in one of the suburbs of Tehran. Ayatollah Khomeini lies in the glass-covered section of the complex with his son Ahmet Khomeini. It remains in our minds as a place to see.

The six historic bridges over the Zayanderud River as remains from the Safavid period reflect the aesthetic taste of the architecture of this period, especially the Siosepol, Khaju and Joubi Bridges. One of the city’s intersections has a 15-20-meter-high mudbrick column, called the pigeon tower. There’s a multi-cell pigeon nest on it. The city’s messenger pigeons used to feed here.

 An interesting place in Esfahan is the Vank Armenian Cathedral. In Pasargad located between Esfahan and Shiraz, there is a mausoleum of Cyrus the Great, the founder of the Persian Empire, in the shape of a giant sarcophagus and also the ruins of his palace. Some sources state that he was the Dhul-Qarnayn, the one who imprisoned Gog and Magog behind the great wall.

As far as our research goes, Cyrus did not worship fire as then usual and this could point to the existence of an almighty God, which, during this period, arouses deep curiosity. The symbols which represent the creator Ahura Mazda and its evil opposite Ahriman are also present in the palace.

 In the cuisine of this geography, rice assortments are very important. The rice called chelov is prepared plain with very little oil.

Writer: Mustafa Ismet Saraç

Photographer: Bülent Katkak