Tehran Tourist Attractions 05 May 2024 BY Batul Iddi

Tehran National Garden Gate | Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli  is one of Tehran's notable attractions, dating back to the Qajar period. It was  the city's main symbol before the construction of the Azadi Tower.

The  Gate of the National Garden is a magnificent brick gate, decorated with colorful tiles and multiple inscriptions. This entrance was the entrance to the national garden which  was  the first public garden in the capital and was once one of the most beautiful gardens in Tehran.

Bagh-e Melli was built by the order of Reza Shah alongside the National garden gate. Currently, not much remains of this garden However, the entrance to the national garden, which is an older structure than the garden itself, still stands as one of Tehran's most valuable historical sites. For more information on this ancient structure, continue reading this blog.


About Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

About Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

The National Garden Gate is one of the oldest remaining historical sites of old Tehran, which is still intact and has preserved its history. This entrance has a longer history than the National Garden itself and is one of the magnificent gates that every visitor to Iran should see.

This gate was built during the reign of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar with the aim of entering Mashq Square, and it was called the "Mashq Square Gate" in the past. Mashq Square is one of the largest and most magnificent squares in Tehran.

After the construction of this gate, the plan to establish the first and largest public garden in the capital, called the "Bagh-e Melli" was planned on the exact grounds of Mashq Square.

Afterward, the name of this gate was changed to "Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli or the National Garden Gate." Unfortunately, the National Garden did not last more than a few years, but due to the construction of various buildings such as the Museum of Ancient Iran, the National Library, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs building, this entrance is still referred to as the National Garden Gate. Currently, you won't see any remnants of Mashq Square in this area, and only the structure of the entrance remains from that complex.

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History of the National Garden Gate

History of the National Garden Gate

To understand the history of the National Garden gate and its significance, we have to know about the Mashq square.

Mashq Square is a relic from the Qajar era, originally serving as a military zone. It was a place for the Shah's guards to practice military exercises, established during the reign of Fath-Ali Shah Qajar. The term "Mashq" means "marching" in French, which was adopted into Persian.

After the February coup in 1921, these military grounds no longer had a place in the capital, and Tehran was not their base anymore. Therefore, they received their training outside the city. Consequently, Mashq Square had no further military purpose and remained completely unused.

Reza Shah ordered the construction of the National Garden Gate in this location.

The construction of the beautiful entrance took place from 1922 to 1925, in collaboration with Jafarkhan Kashani and the Germans, before the start of World War II.

Other architects involved in the construction included Master Ismaili for masonry work, Master Karim Monijeh for column construction, Master Khaknegar Moghadam for tile work, and Master Hossein Kashipaz for tile work and relief carving.

In 1998, on October 4th, this entrance was registered as a national heritage site in Iran.

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Architecture of Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

Architecture of Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

The architecture of the entrance to the National Garden in Tehran is a captivating blend of Iranian and European styles, showcasing exquisite tile work as its prominent feature. The design of the building draws inspiration from the gates of the capital during the reign of Naser al-Din Shah.

It was constructed using a combination of stone, brick, wood, iron, and bronze.

The entrance comprises two facades, an outer and an inner one. The inner facade is adorned with images depicting historical figures such as Cyrus the Great, Faravahar, and the people of Achaemenid.

The outer facade is composed of eight pairs of brick columns, with two columns slightly set back around each of the triple entrances. This arrangement creates a captivating interplay of light and shadow, adding to the unique appearance of the entrance.

The width of the entrance, originally including two guard and inspection rooms, measures around 27 meters from east to west. However, over time, one of the rooms became part of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company building, while the other was allocated to the Tehran Post Office and later demolished. The columns on the external facade feature designs symbolizing the 1921 coup and the takeover of Tehran.

One remarkable feature of the entrance is a small room situated on top of the central section, resembling a fez hat and influenced by Russian architecture. This room, with its vaulted roof and arched windows, used to serve as a drum house where drumbeats would inform the people of Tehran about sunrise and sunset.

The tile work on the entrance is adorned with verses by Mohammad Ali Keyhani and Nedim al-Molk Sanatgar. It showcases intricate patterns such as crowns with lions, panthers, suns, and cursive writing.

Some tile designs depict historical events, including Reza Shah shooting, the destruction of towers and turrets, and full-length depictions of the Cossack Legionnaires. Islamic and Quranic verses, and hymns can also be found on the upper part of the building.

The entrance to the National Garden is further enhanced by two cast iron gates, one for riders and the other for pedestrians. The larger gate, designed for riders, no longer exists, while the smaller gate remains.

The dark background of the gate, combined with golden-colored brass patterns, creates a visually striking and attractive appearance. The doors for these gates were meticulously crafted by Mohammad Ali Kermani in the Gorgkhaneh workshop, with inscriptions engraved on the cast iron background.

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National Garden Gate Location

The entrance to the National Garden is located on one of the busiest and most crowded streets, Imam Khomeini Street. It is very close to Toopkhaneh Square, as well as the western side of the Post Office and the eastern side of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


How to Get to Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

How to Get to Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

If you want to visit the Bagh-e Melli, below are some ways you can get there.



You need to use the Tajrish-Kahrizak metro line or the Farhangsara- Sadeghiyeh metro line and stop at the Imam Khomeini metro station or Hasan Abad Metro station respectively. After about 5 minutes of walking, you'll be able to see the entrance to Tehran's National Garden.

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Additionally, you can also use city buses from Imam Khomeini Square or Fayyaz Bakhsh Terminal or Gorgkhaneh Terminal. When you get off the bus at these terminals, head north towards Imam Khomeini Street and you will find the entrance to the National Garden along the pedestrian walkway.

| Related: A complete Guide about Iran Public Transportation


What is the Fee and Time Required for Visiting Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli?

What is the Fee and Time Required for Visiting Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

Visiting the entrance to the National Garden is free of charge, and perhaps this is another reason for the popularity of the National Garden in Tehran. All you need to do is allocate about 1 to 1.5 hours of your time during your trip to Tehran to admire this entrance. As you approach it, you will have a better and closer acquaintance with the symbolic details depicted on the tile works of the National Garden's entrance.


Best time to Visit Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

Best time to Visit Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli

Traveling to Tehran can be appealing in any season, but it seems that the best season for enjoying the entrance to the National Garden is summer. Due to the lack of rainfall during this season, it is more possible to have a better understanding and a more accurate view of the artwork present on the tile works of the National Garden's entrance.

| Related: Iran's Four Seasons


Tips for Visiting Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli in Tehran

Tips for Visiting Sardar-e Bagh-e Melli in Tehran

Visiting the National Garden Gate can be a delightful experience, but it's essential to plan ahead to make the most of your trip. Here are some practical tips to enhance your visit:

  1. Arrive Early: Beat the crowds by arriving early in the day, especially on weekends and holidays.
  2. Wear Comfortable Shoes: You'll likely be doing a lot of walking, so wear comfortable footwear to explore the area comfortably.
  3. Respect Cultural Norms: Be mindful of local customs.
  4. Visit during summer
  5. Allocate about 1 to 1.5 hours of your time to admire this entrance.
  6. Capture memories with your camera or phone.
  7. Take the time to learn about the history and significance of the National Garden Gate to appreciate its architecture and cultural importance fully.
  8. Finally, take a moment to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of the National Garden Gate, immersing yourself in its beauty and tranquility.


Bottom Line

Tehran is a city teeming with over 300 attractions, it offers an abundance of cultural, historical, and natural attractions that are sure to leave visitors amazed. The National Garden entrance is just one of many sites to explore in Tehran.

It offers visitors a serene oasis to explore, with its rich history and stunning architecture.

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