TEHRAN, Young Journalists Club (YJC) - “The miniature park is regularly visited by tour groups of schoolchildren, students, families and domestic sightseers and it’s also a destination for foreign travelers more or less,” said the museum director Seyyed Pejman Bazargani in an interview with the Tehran Times on Monday.
Spanning 2.9 hectares in area, Miniature Garden Museum was launched in 2014 by the Tehran Parks & Green Space Organization of the Tehran Municipality. It is home to giant models of thirteen Iranian historical sites that have been inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage list.
Some visitors say the miniature park provides ample opportunities for people who are not able to traverse the country on tours of these heritage sites.
“One of the key characteristics of the ensemble is that its replica models have entirely been designed and constructed by domestic sculptors and artists,” he said, adding the museum is home to some 70 to 80 species of floras and plants that are endemic to the country and it also embraces a permanent photo gallery showing variety of real shots of Iran’s UNESCO sites.
Bazargani also pointed to some side section programs which the park hosts, saying “There are occasional sales exhibitions dedicated to breadwinner women to showcase their handicrafts such as handmade shoes and clothing, embroidery, and traditional jewelry.”
The replicas are at one twenty-fifth of their original size. One of the complex’s highlights is probably the 17th-century Naghsh-e Jahan (Imam) Square that itself is composed of the Royal Mosque, the Ali Qapu Palace, the Mosque of Sheykh Lotfollah, the magnificent Portico of Qaysariyyeh and a 15th-century Timurid palace all linked by a series of two-storied arcades.
The park also features copies of the Armenian Monastic Ensembles in the north-west of the country; Bam and its Cultural Landscape, and ancient mudbrick fortress in the south-east; magnificent ruins of Persepolis that was the capital of the mighty Achaemenid Empire in southern Iran; Tchogha Zanbil, a prehistoric Elamite ziggurat in the southwest; and Pasargadae which was the first dynastic capital of the Achaemenid Empire, founded by Cyrus II the Great.
According to the Tehran Municipality website, miniature maquettes of some other UNESCO-registered sites will be constructed in the future.
The sites include Gonbad-e Qabus, the one-millennium-old brick tower in the north; Jameh Mosque in Isfahan; the 18th-century Golestan Palace in downtown Tehran; rock-carved dwellings with the Cultural Landscape of Maymand at the southern extremity of Iran’s central mountains; and several of famous Persian gardens scatted across the country.
The Miniature Garden Park opened its doors to the public in 2014. It is situated in district 8 of Tehran, sandwiched between West Janbazan St. in the south, Kerman St. in the west and Imam Ali Hwy. in the east.