Trans Eurasia travel

Highlights

ShahdariShahrdari
(Municipality Bldg; Shahrdari Sq) Rasht's most identifiable landmark, the Shahrdari's colonial style is tempered by a token mini-dome topping a distinctive whitewashed tower. It looks great when floodlit at night. Palm trees admire the interplay of fountains in the square opposite.

Mirza Koochak Khan was an early twentieth century revolutionary or rebel, and is considered a national hero in modern Iranian history. He was the founder of a revolutionary movement based in the forests of Gilan in northern Iran that became known as the Nehzat-e Jangal (Forest movement).Kuchuk Khan Statue & Mausoleum
The central horseman statue (Shohada Sq) is Kuchuk Khan, the Jangali leader of 'Soviet Iran'. A steady flow of well-wishers also visit his tomb (Manzariyeh St), 2km southwest of Shohoda Sq (also known as Shahrdari Sq), sheltered by a contemporary brick gazebo with intricate wooden roof.

Rasht Museum
(Taleqani St; 8am-5.30pm Tue-Sun, 9am-1pm Fri) While small, this museum is well presented in a 1930s house. Its mannequin displays illustrate Gilaki lifestyle, amid a selection of 3000-year-old terracotta riton drinking horns in the shape of bulls, rams and deer. Supping from such vessels supposedly endowed the drinker with the powers and skills of the animal depicted.

Gilani gottageGilani cottages
Supposedly 'typical' thatched-roof with upper wooden balustrades are shown in many brochures, but are very rare in situ. One-such has been dismantled and moved to a traffic island in Shahid Ansari Blvd (behind a drive-in burger takeaway) and is now used as a tourist information outpost.

Rural museumGilan Rural Heritage Museum
(9am-dusk Thu-Fri) Many more traditional Gilani cottages have been reassembled in the grounds of this excellent museum 18km south of Rasht (2km off the Qazvin highway). Six full homesteads complete with rice barns are already 'active' in 150 hectares of woodland. On open days, local crafts (thatching, mat-making, cloth-weaving) are displayed and there are tightrope-walking mini-shows. Houses display local tools left lying around as though the owners had just nipped out to the pub.

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