NORTH OF ENQELÂB AVENUE
At its westernmost end, Enqelâb-e Eslâmi Avenue (Avenue of the Revolution, ex-Shâh Rezâ) crosses the university quarter. Here it is lined with bookshops, some of which sell books in foreign languages. When the University of Tehran was first built in 1930 on this avenue, it marked the northern limit of the city.
Directly behind the university, on the other side of Keshâvarz Boulevard, is the large Laleh Park (Tulip Park) which includes within its grounds the Museum of Modern Art and the Carpet Museum. The Museum of Modern Art (muzeh-ye Honarhâ-ye Mo'âser, entrance on Kârgar Avenue, tel 655664), easily recognizable by the sculptures standing in the park, holds temporary exhibitions of contemporary Iranian and foreign artists. Open from 9 am to 12 pm and from 1 pm to 6 pm every day. The Carpet Museum (muzeh-ye Farsh, at the corner of Kârgar and Dr Fâtemi avenues) houses a fine collection of carpets and kilim from all regions of Iran dating mostly from the 19th and 20th centuries, with a few older pieces. Open from 9 am to 5 pm, closed Tuesdays (tel 653027, 657707).
To the east of Keshâvarz Boulevard is Vali-ye Asr Square and the Museum of Decorative Arts (muzeh-ye Honarhâ-ye Tazini, 337 Karim Khân-e Zand Boulevard) which houses a collection of craft products from the 19th and 20th centuries (textiles, brocades, lacquerware, miniatures, carved woodwork) including inlaid furniture originally made for the Marble Palace in Tehran. Open from 9 am to 5 pm, closed Mondays .
In the quarter known as Abbâs Abâd, between the centre of town and Shemirân, is the Rezâ Abbâsi Museum (927 Dr Shari'ati Avenue, near the Resâlat Highway) which houses an astonishing collection of cultural objects dating back to Neolithic times. If you only have a single day in Tehran, this is the museum to visit, not the Archeaological Museum, due to the exceptional quality and variety of the objects on show. Begin your visit on the third floor and work your way down if you want to keep to the chronological order of the exhibits. On the top floor are Neolithic pottery, Luristan bronzes from the ninth and tenth centuries BC, some superb Median and Achaemenian gold vases and jewellery, Parthian statuettes and Sassanian gold zythons-drinking cups often in the form of an animal's head. Unfortunately, most of the labels are written in Persian only the second floor is devoted to Islamic arts (bronzes, ceramics, tiles) with some particularly fine minai from Kâshân and plates from Neishâbur. The first floor has a very good •exhibition of miniatures and illuminated manuscripts, including illustrations from the Shâhnâmeh. Open from 9 am to 12 pm and 1 pm to 4 pm, closed Mondays