From The moment, some 3000 years ago, when an ingenious artist shaped and painted the magnificent bridge-spouted vessels at Tepe Sialk … to the time when master craftsmen carved the famous Achaemenian relief’s at Persepolis … and on into the Islamic era when sophisticated glassware and ceramics were made in the kilns of Ray, Gorgan and Nishapur … art has become an inseparable part of Iranian life. One just has to stand before the intricately designed Ardabil carpet, woven for the shrine of Sheikh Saffieddin, to appreciate that. This artistic tradition, resulting in the creation of numerous objects of extraordinary beauty, has meant that most of today’s Iranian cities boast at least one museum. However, the capital, Tehran, is particularly rich in this respect, allowing the traveler to Iran to begin or end his visit with a tour of very fine collections.
The Archaeological Museum, along with the magnificent collection of the Islamic Museum, forms Iran’s National Museum. The Abguineh offers a wonderful exhibition of delicate glass and ceramics housed in an elegant early 20th century building. The Carpet Museum justifies the worldwide fame of Persian carpet weaving with its display of beautiful new and old carpets created in the workshops of Kerman, Qom, Tabriz, Isfahan and Kashan, etc. Persian miniatures and calligraphy – two more artistic traditions in which the Iranians excel – can be seen at the Reza Abbasi Museum. These are just a selection from the fabulous collections to be visited in Tehran – ‘the City of Museums’.