Iran’s first ‘modern university’ reopens to visitors

January 1, 2020 - 18:59

TEHRAN – The 19th-century madrasa of Dar ul-Funun in Tehran, known as Iran’s first modern university, has reopened doors to visitors while undergoing restoration work.

The center was opened by Mirza Taqi Khan Farahani (1807-1852), who was nicknamed ‘Amir Kabir’ who was chancellor under Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, appearing to be one of the most capable and innovative figures in the whole Qajar period.

“This historic school is a symbol for commencement of modern educational system in the country, and (now) all cultural and municipal bodies should work together in order to complete restoring it as soon as possible,” IRIB quoted Tehran province’s tourism chief Parham Janfeshan as saying on Tuesday.

The Ministry of Education currently assumes ownership of the historical center which is a symbol for the start of modern education era in the country. It is located near the grand bazaar in downtown Tehran. 

The cultural heritage [department of Tehran] is ready to provide any technical and advisory support to the Ministry of Education to expedite Dar ul-Fonun’s restoration project, the official said.

“The history and identity of the educational system in Tehran is tied to Dar ul-Fonun school and to the name of Amir Kabir, which can be very appealing to domestic and foreign tourists and visitors.”

Travel agencies and tour operators may put visits to Dar ul-Fonun on their schedules, Janfeshan proposed. 

Established in 1851, Dar ul-Funun has an atmospheric garden that is hemmed by walls featuring Persian poetry inscribed on decorative tiles. Parts of the property have recently been handsomely restored with the aim of making it into a museum on education.

According to Encyclopedia Iranica, the number of students in its first year reflected an immediate popularity of Dar ul-Funun, with about 105 students enrolling in seven main subjects.


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