Introduction to the Oudlajan neighbourhood
Tehran, which was just a tiny county, quickly became a city during the Safavid period and the reign of Shah Tahmasp until it reached the capital of Iran during the Qajar period. The city has undergone many changes and transformations throughout history to reach its present form.
Oudlajan is one of the old and original neighbourhoods in Tehran and was one of the aristocratic areas of the capital during the Qajar era. Famous people such as Modarres, Malek osh-Sho’ara Bahar, Qavam al-Dowleh, Ezz ed-Dowleh, and Amir Nezam lived in the district. Also, the Oudlajan neighbourhood is historically rich due to the numerous historical monuments.
How choosing the name “Oudlajan” for the neighbourhood
Oudlajan means the place where the water of the stream is divided. It is interesting to note that in the past, the height of Oudlajan was higher than the southern neighbourhoods of Tehran, so was the place of the division of each source, and then water flowed from it to the lower areas. For this reason, Oudlajan was called the place of water distribution.
In addition, due to many holes (Chal) in the Oudlajan district, it was also called Sarchal. Also, in the neighbourhood, you can see different religions such as Muslim, Christian, Jewish, and Zoroastrian live together. Because the Jewish were the first who started living in the area, it is sometimes known as the Kalimiha (Jewish) neighbourhood.
The architecture of the Oudlajan neighbourhood
August Karl Krziž, an Austrian teacher at the Dar ul-Funun School, depicted a map of Oudlajan during the Qajar period, showing 20 paths and passages. Stepping into the Oudlajan area takes you into a different world, a neighbourhood that, with its old alleys and narrow slopes, turns walking into a day trip into history. Every corner you stand here is a good location for photography and will give you a specific atmosphere despite the old bazaars and noble houses.
Oudlajan contains three significant neighbourhoods named Pamenar, Imamzadeh Yahya, and Naser Khosrow. Imamzadeh Yahya, which dates back to the Mongol era, is one of the attractive sights of the neighbourhood. Also facing Imamzadeh, you can visit Kazemi House, one of the old Qajar houses, which today is known as the Museum of Old Tehran.
Historical houses in the Oudlajan neighbourhood
In the alleys of Oudlajan, you will reach the house of Fakhr al-Moluk, which is one of the well-known cafeterias in the neighbourhood, a building that is about 120 years old and includes a unique architecture. If you follow the same path, you will reach a house whose owner has played a significant role in the contemporary political history of Iran. The house belonged to Seyyed Hassan Tabatabaei, known as Modarres, one of the famous politicians at that time, who was exiled and martyred by Reza Khan Pahlavi.
It is fascinating to know that there are many firsts in Oudlajan. The first bank of Iran was established in Timcheh Akbarian, which today has been renamed the Tehran traditional teahouse and is famous in the city for its Dizi (lamb, potato and chickpea stew). Also, one of the attractive and famous sights of the region is the traditional bazaar, which, along with the original and ancient Persian architecture, will be unique for any viewer.