Tehran is a city of diversities. It has different looks. You can find the rough face of a modern city besides its surrounding natural attractions, see impressive skyscrapers next to historic monuments or enjoy passing time in large gardens and parks in the heart of cement covered urban contexts. At the northernmost part of Tehran, on the foothills of the Alborz Mountains, there is a fabulous parkland known as stone garden or Jamshidieh, with a great story behind it.
Jamahidieh was once a private garden of a Qajar nobleman, Jamshid Davalu. He presented this nearly 70,000 m² garden to the last empress of Iran, Farah Pahlavi. Supposed to be an old people's home at first, it became a public park in 1977. Eighteen years later, in 1995, with the addition of a nearby garden named after the great Persian poet, Ferdowsi, Jamshidieh expanded to 230,000 m² and became a main attraction of Tehran at the slopes of the mountains.
As a part of the green Niavaran neighbourhood, Jamshidieh Park is full of old and tall trees. That is the reason for its pleasant mountainous weather and remarkable beauty. The presence of huge trees inside the park has made the park's paved paths one of the most picturesque spots of Tehran, especially in autumns.
From Jamshidieh Park, with a short walk through hiking trails, you can go from the heart of the city to the wonderful Kolakchal slopes. Actually, for lots of climbers, Jamshidieh is the preferred starting point for a challenging mountain climbing.
Kamran Diba, the famous modernist architect designed this beautiful public park. He kept the natural rocky face of the slopes and combined it with the natural elements, water, stones and herbs to create a unique place for recreation and relaxing.
Considering the land topography in designing this garden, it was tried to decrease the encroachment on the natural shape of the land and the garden trees. With a respectful eye on nature, local materials and stone used in designing different parts and flooring the pavements of Jamshidieh. The needed stones were brought from a nearby mine or prepared by carving rocks and destroying dangerous heights of the site.
Following Diba's respectful view of nature, GholamReza Pasban Hazrat, another well-known Iranian architect, completed the construction process of this park by designing the newly added Ferdowsi Park. Pasban Hazrat listened to the voice of the garden and followed the natural design of it to make the least damage to the garden.
It does not matter which of the four park entrances you choose, from the very beginning, the rare face of the park and its tranquillity will fascinate you. Tall trees on either side of cobbled passages offer you a dreamy view of a spectacular path taking you to an imaginary world.
Like a joyful ferry, water is present in every corner of Jamshidieh. Changing its shape in the forms of waterfalls, fountains and ponds, it magnifies the fresh and tranquil mood of the park and in a way, brings the image of Persian gardens to the mind. There are benches near the waterfall and the central big lake that give you the opportunity to stare at the soulful water for hours and enjoy the view of dancing fishes and roaming ducks in the water.
There are numerous restaurants, traditional teahouses, and hiking trails from the lower area of the park all the way up to the top of the mountain. A classically designed open-air amphitheatre is also in this park.
At special times of the year, specifically around Nowruz or at summers, several exhibitions held in Jamshidieh. With these exhibitions, you have the chance of getting familiar with the amazing diversity of Iranian ethnic groups, their unique cultures and of course their colourful delicate handicrafts.
Different species of plants are citizens of this uptown park. Elm, sycamore, cypress, oak, maple and fruit trees such as almonds, apples, apricots and pears are some of these special trees. More than 60 species of birds have been identified in the park. So, bird watching can be another interesting entertainment that Jamshidieh offers.
From the very beginning of your entrance to the park, the interesting statues catch your eyes. Almost all these amazing works have been made by the famous sculptor Naser Hooshmand Vaziri. He is one of the first artists who pursued the classic art of stone sculpturing academically in Iran. Being inspired by Shahnameh, the great Persian epic, and other ancient Iranian myths, Vaziri created mesmerizing sculptures out of stone.
Another interesting sight of Jamshidieh is the boulders that have been formed to evoke the awe of different animals in mind. In addition to this stone zoo, there are other metal statues that have natural, cultural and mystical concepts. These statues and sculptures of Jamshidieh are another good reason for the popularity of this park.
By Samaneh Zohrabi