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BAHĀRESTĀN SQUARE

Written by Super User. Posted in Tehran historical sites

BAHĀRESTĀN SQUARE

By:.Shams

The name of a garden, a public square and a complex of buildings in central Tehran, whose main body today is the headquarters of an Islamic revolutionary militia, the Central Committee of the Islamic Revolution (Komīta-ye Markazī-e Enqelāb-e Eslāmī); The southern section houses the library of Majles.
The place was originally the property of Moḥammad-Ḥasan Khan Sardār Īravānī and was purchased by Ḥājī'Alī Khan E'temād-al-Salṭana. Toward the end of his life (1293/1896) Mīrzā Ḥosayn Khan Mošīr-al-Dawla Sepahsālār bought the property to build a mansion, a mosque and a great Madrasa.
When Sepahsālār without heirs died in 1298 / 1881-82, Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah took possession of the property and its buildings. In imitation of the name of the nearby Negārestān Palace (the place of Fatḥ-Alī Shah's private quarters), the Shah called the property "Bahārestān". The generous space in front of the building site was also known as Bahārestān
The Bahārestān building is the scene of many historical events. Sepahsālār, a reformer and a devotee of European culture and law, has hoped that the building and the Madrasa might one day become a place where the deputies of the nation could meet. A statement attributed to Ẓell-al-Solṭān seems to confirm this report: "I visited [Sepahsālār] while he was on the way to Khorasan. When he was in prayer, I spoke to my aunt [wife of Sepahsālār] His prayers were completed, Mīrzā

Ḥosayn turned to my aunt and said, "Your brother took my house and my school from me, but I hope that the day will come when this house will be a house of parliament In which the representatives meet and Parliament will uproot the Qajar tyranny, these statements appear apocryphal, since the death of Sepahsālār preceded the confiscation of Nāṣer-al-Dīn before his property. Sepahsālār may have pointed out that the Qajar ruler had driven him out of his house and banished him to Khorasan. It was understandable with a man who visited Europe several times, recognizing the advantages of his legal systems, and also aware of the corruption of the Qajar court.
The Bahārestān garden and buildings were completed in 1296/1879 (the date 1288/1871 of Bāmdād), the date is celebrated in a chronogram ode of Ḥājī Mīrzā Ḥasan Eṣfahānī Ṣafī'Alīšāh, with which the calligraph Moḥammad-Ebrāhīm Badāye ' Negār the Architrave of the interior decorated buildings in the east wing of the garden. This architrave was later built on the new structure to build the Majles library in the south wing.
The Bahārestān consisted of two structures, an outer quarter (bīrūnī) and an inner (andarūnī) in the eastern part of the garden. After Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah confiscated the property, the inner quarter became the residence of Malījak, 'Azīz-al-Solṭān and his wife, the daughter of the Shah; Thus, it was known as the'Azīzīya '(M.-E'temād-al-Salṭana, Rūz-nāma-ye ṭāṭerāt, ed. Ī. Afšār, 2nd ed., Tehran, 1350 Š. / 1971). During the reign of Nāṣer-al-Dīn Shah, the outer quarter, which contains a spacious hall and luxurious rooms, was used to receive important foreign visitors and occasionally serve as a temporary residence of the Crown Prince in Tehran.

According to the Edict of the Constitutional Government of 25 Jomadah, 1324/17 August 1906, Prime Minister Mošīr-al-Dawla ordered the outer building to become the place of the new parliament; But the representatives, especially the clerics, pointed out that the Bahārestān was not central and that part of the country was still in dispute. That is why the first college of voters (clerics, servants and courtiers charged with the election of the first deputies) met at Madrasa-ye Neẓām. But three weeks after the elections, when the Madrasa-ye Neẓām was too small to hold all the elected deputies, the assemblies of the National Assembly were transferred to the building and the grounds of the Bahārestān. In memory of the event, a gold plaque with the words dār al-šūrā-ye mellī (national assembly house) and'adl-e moẓaffar (justice triumphant, a ambiguous phrase also referring to Moẓaffar-al-Dīn Shah) , The numeric value Of which the date 1324/1906 is, was placed over the entrance to the garden.
During the first session of the Majles, deputies sat on the floor of the large hall, which was arranged in a four-row square. At that time, various opportunist, especially interesting groups gathered in the form of anjomania (leagues) in the Bahārestān Garden and the Sepahsālār madrasa, which would disturb the Majles with their provocative demonstrations and speeches. With the Shah and the Majles at the crests, the Shah escaped into the Bāḡ-e Šāh, and imperial troops terrorized the people. The slightly armed constitutionalists were threatened in the Bahārestān and neighboring buildings. On 23 Jomadam I 1326/4 July 1908, imperial troops commanded by Amīr Bahādor surrounded the Bahárestān garden and protected the Majles building. Eight hours later, after a number had been killed, some of the deputies fled, others were

captured, and Cossacks, imperial troops, and the specter of Tehran struck the Bahárestan to its curtains, doors, and windows.
A year later (24 Jomādā II 1327/13 July 1909), after the leaders of the constitutional movement had defeated the Shah and entered Tehran in triumph, the Bahārestān garden was the place of a great celebration. In the same place three days later a high commission Moḥammad-'Alī Shah abdicated and arranged the accession of his son Aḥmad Mīrzā.
The Bahārestān building was finally repaired and became the home of the National Assembly. In later years, the hall and the rooms were set up and the'Azīzīya was converted into the library of the National Assembly.
In 1312 Š / 1933 a statue for the assembly was purchased from the estate of Sardār As'ad Ja'farqolī Khan Baḵtīārī for the Bahārestān gardening. Known as the "Angel of Freedom", the statue is of a winged figure that appeals to a defeated devil of tyranny. The heirs of Sardar When later the money returned to buy the statue and presented it as a gift of the assembly.
The original Bahārestān building, with some cosmetic alterations, still exists, but the Majles Library was relocated to new lodgings in the southern corner of the garden. The Bahārestān Garden was expanded north and east, and in this section of the garden a new National Assembly Building was built. With the advent of the 1979 revolution, the name and venue of the National Assembly has changed: the Islamic Assembly (Majles-e Šūrā-ye Eslāmī) now meets what was formerly the Senate Building.

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