The museum of Qasr Prison is a historical complex in the capital city of Tehran. It’s one of the oldest political prisons in Iran, but currently exists as a museum complex surrounded by a public park with artwork.
In the year 1798, Fathali Shah of the Qajar dynasty ordered a palace be built outside Tehran. However once he was gone it didn’t receive much love and attention, so it’s no surprise the palace became deserted. After 130 years passed the site was converted into a penitentiary facility called the Qasr Prison.
The site was most active during the regime of ‘The Last Shah.’ Many dissidents were disposed including thousands of progressive writers, politicians, lawyers, poets, religious figures, and academic scholars. Mohammad Reza Shah had imprisoned many political opponents in the Qasr Prison. The political prison was so popular that it needed to be significantly expanded. Since the Islamic Revolution to remove the Shah, the prison has since been converted into a museum and opened to the public. Perhaps turning the prison into a museum is a political statement (many Islamic revolutionaries were imprisoned here), however it’s nonetheless a significant aspect of Iran’s modern history.
5 More Reasons to Visit Tehran
The best way to discover Tehran is to hire an experienced local tour guide. Either arrange a Classic Tour of Iran, or join a cheap Tehran Walking Tour to learn about it’s rich history and inspiring culture.
Where to Stay
My favorite luxury hotels, are the 5 Star Espinas Hotel Tehran and Parsian Azadi Hotel (ex-Grand Hyatt Hotel prior to revolution), both with professional staff and great views from different parts of Tehran. Double rooms start from US $230 and $250 respectively, including breakfast.
Great 4 Star Hotels also include Niloo Hotel and Eskan Hotel Alvand. Or for more budget options, the 3 Star Rated Mashad Hotel is right next to Taleghani Metro, has comfortable rooms, and is much more affordable at US $130 for a double, including breakfast. Iran Central Hotel (Hotel Markazi), Firouzeh Hotel, and Golestan Hotel are also some of the better budget options under $80/night.
Where to Eat Nearby
Not far away from the tourist center of Tehran is the popular Gol Rezaeieye Cafe serving great traditional Iranian dishes in a cute and hip American diner setting. Or for a great cup of coffee checkout Romaan Book Cafe near the Italian Embassy (what a perfectly match).