Introduction to Iran National Museum
Museums are the countries’ guardians regarding their identity and culture, and without them, there is no perception of the past. Iran has undoubtedly left valuable and significant works from the past for the future. The National Museum of Iran is the oldest and most prominent museum in Tehran, also known as the Mother Museum or the reference museum. The most eminent relics of ancient Persia and its culture are housed there. The National Museum has adequately displayed various works from the oldest historical periods of Persia to date, providing you valuable information.
History of Iran National Museum
Although the first proposal, to build a museum in Persia, made by Sani al-Dowleh, the first speaker of the National Council was not approved, later in 1916, Morteza Gholi Khan Mumtaz al-Mulk named one of the large rooms of the Education’s Ministry, on the north side of Dar-ul Funun college, as the first museum in Iran. It became known as the National Museum or Museum of Education and housed more than 270 historical artifacts. In 1925, these works were transferred to the Mirror Hall of Masoudiyeh Mansion, and in the same year, the government decided to establish a permanent place for their preservation.
The museum design was entrusted to the French architect Andre Godard in 1929 to outline a proper plan for the Iranian museum. This French architect designed the museum by studying the Iranian architectural style and was inspired by the Kasra Arch porch. The execution and construction were two Iranian architects’ duties; finally, after two years of activity, the National Museum of Iran opened to the public.
Architecture of Iran National Museum
The National Museum of Iran contains two separate but complementary buildings. The first one, known as the Museum of Ancient Iran, was built in 1937 in two stories with red bricks and a large arch; on the first floor, you will see works from the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Copper, and Stone periods. On the ground floor, the visit to the Bronze and Iron Ages began, then continued with the Achaemenid and Seleucid periods and will end in the Parthian and Sassanid eras.
The second museum, known as the Museum of Archeology and Islamic Art of Iran, together with the Museum of Ancient Iran, forms a large complex of the National Museum. Such a museum presents the early Islamic period up to the Qajar’s. The building’s architecture was inspired by the Sassanid palace of Bishapour; having a cruciform and octagonal design, the museum embraces works from different Islamic eras. There is a three-story building, the ground floor of which is dedicated to holding temporary exhibitions and a meeting hall. The first floor is devoted to Timurid, Safavid, and Qajar periods. Finally, on the second floor, you will see relics from the early Islamic period, the Seljuks and the Ilkhanids.