Shahrdari Square: A Gem in the Heart of Rasht

ToIranTour - Shahrdari Square

Shahrdari Square is located in the center of Rasht, the main city of Gilan province. It is known as one of the most beautiful open areas in Iran. This square has been presented since the early years of the Pahlavi Dynasty, which ruled from 1925 to 1979. In the vicinity of this busy square, you will find some important buildings such as the city hall, museums for post and telegraph, the national library, and the former provincial government of Gilan.

Shahrdari Square is a vibrant place where you can find various activities to enjoy. There are cultural events, music performances, and plays taking place right in the heart of the city. Additionally, you will find shops, restaurants, cinemas, and hotels here, making it a popular spot for both tourists and local residents. The clock tower in the city hall square is a well-known symbol of Rasht. It was once used to monitor the city, ensure safety, and prevent fires.

Shahrdari Square History

Shahrdari Square was constructed during the early reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was the king of Iran from 1926 to 1942. The square houses several significant buildings, including the Mayor’s Palace, the Post Museum, and the old Iran Hotel building. The Mayor’s building, featuring a clock tower, stands as a symbol of Rasht city. Although it incurred damage during the major Manjil earthquake in 1990, it was later repaired and restored to its original appearance by Robert Vahanyan.

Prior to the square’s establishment, the site was occupied by a hill where a revered individual was buried. The construction of the square represented a transformation in Rasht, signifying its progression towards modernity, particularly due to its proximity to Russia. This transformation brought numerous advancements to the city, such as the introduction of the first bank branch, national library, theater, bus services, and railway station in Iran. These developments positioned Rasht as a modern city ahead of others in Iran.

Presently, the square is a vibrant hub where people gather for shopping, socializing with friends, and enjoying street performances. Recent improvements, including enhanced pedestrian-friendly streets, have further elevated Shahrdari Square’s popularity as a venue for experiencing Rasht’s cultural richness.


Haji Mirza Khalil, a prominent advocate of the Constitutional Revolution, was appointed to establish the municipality. He received assistance from the “Municipality Association,” led by Haji Mirza Yousuf Khan and other influential individuals such as Sayyid Mehdi and Naser Al-Tujjar. The construction of the palace in Municipality Square took a considerable amount of time. Prior to the establishment of the palace, the Rasht Municipality office was located in the Khoshtaria building before eventually relocating to its current location.

The establishment of the municipality in Rasht was made possible through the collaborative efforts of Haji Mirza Khalil and a group of dedicated individuals who shared a common belief. The move from the old Khoshtaria building to the new Municipality Square was a reflection of the city’s growth and transformation. This transition represented more than just a change in office space; it was a significant milestone in Rasht’s development, blending traditional practices with innovative ideas at the heart of the city.

Shahrdari Square Architecture

ToIranTour - Shahrdari Square Architecture
Photo by Behrad Moudi on Wikimedia

Rasht’s City Hall, also known as the Shahrdari Palace, is an impressive building that combines elements of Russian and Iranian architecture. The design of the palace was crafted by a Russian architect named Sardaroff, who drew inspiration from the contemporary structures in Saint Petersburg. Collaborating with local Iranian architects in Rasht, Sardaroff brought his vision to life, while German-Armenian engineers were responsible for the construction process.

The Russian architectural influence is evident in the palace’s notable features, such as its towering height of 24 meters and a prominent tower that stands above the surrounding cityscape. This tower, once used for city surveillance, offers panoramic views of more than half of Rasht. Notably, architectural expert Robert Vahanyan suggests that the palace’s design represents a period characterized by Renaissance culture, which coincided with the military’s control of the city. From 1924 to 1926, Rasht was governed by the military following the defeat of the Jungle Movement by Cossack forces.

The emblem of Rasht’s City Hall, prominently displayed on the building, depicts two crossed keys, symbolizing the city’s commitment to addressing its challenges. The same emblem is also featured on the city flags adorning the bridges spanning Rasht’s rivers. The Shahrdari Palace stands as a splendid testament to the harmonious fusion of diverse cultures, creating a remarkable architectural masterpiece that embodies the city’s rich history.

Shahrdari Square Attractions

Shahrdari Building

The Shahrdari building in Rasht’s Shahrdari Square is a unique structure that combines elements of Iranian and Russian architectural styles. It exudes a captivating aesthetic and draws inspiration from the buildings in Saint Petersburg, Russia. The intricate features, including the elegant clock tower, lend an air of sophistication and allure to the Shahrdari building, showcasing a harmonious blend of contemporary and cultural influences.

The Russian architectural influence extends beyond the Shahrdari building, harmonizing the surrounding structures within the square. This cohesive design creates a visually pleasing ensemble. The Shahrdari building’s architectural composition, reminiscent of Russian buildings in Saint Petersburg, narrates the story of Rasht’s diverse culture and historical legacy. With its meticulous detailing and prominent clock tower, this exceptional building symbolizes both modernity and beauty in Rasht.

As the central feature of Shahrdari Square, the Shahrdari building serves as a representation of the city’s governance and the fusion of Iranian and Russian architectural styles. It has become a beloved destination for locals and visitors alike, who are drawn to its captivating beauty and rich historical significance.

National Library

The Rasht National Library holds a significant position as the first national library in Iran. Situated near the Rasht Municipality building at the entrance of Alamolhoda Street, it has been in operation since 1935. The library boasts an extensive collection, including approximately 150,000 printed books and 1,750 ancient handwritten books. This establishment holds immense cultural importance for Rasht, attracting numerous visitors who seek knowledge and enrichment from its vast array of books and historical documents.

Functioning as a hub for learning and intellectual growth, the Rasht National Library plays a pivotal role in the preservation and dissemination of knowledge. Its substantial collection, comprising valuable printed and handwritten works, serves as a testament to the rich literary heritage of the region. Being the first national library in Iran, it carries immense historical significance and stands as a source of pride for the people of Rasht. The library continues to contribute to the community by providing access to a wealth of knowledge, and fostering a culture of learning and intellectual curiosity.

Post Office

The Post Office located in Municipality Square offers visitors a glimpse into its rich history. Dating back to the first Pahlavi era, this building encompasses a substantial area of 1930 square meters and spans four floors. Notably, the ground and first floors are configured in the shape of the letter L, adding a unique architectural element to the structure.

The second floor is positioned above the entrance and occupies a section of the building’s east side, while the third floor features a distinctive mansard roof design. The Post Office serves not only as a facility for sending and receiving mail but also as a historical landmark that showcases the city’s past. Its presence invites individuals to explore its architectural beauty and appreciate the significance it holds within Rasht’s cultural heritage.

Rasht Grand Bazaar

The Rasht Grand Bazaar holds a significant position as the primary marketplace in Gilan Province and is located in the historic district of Rasht. Its origins can be traced back to the Safavid era, which spanned from 1501 to 1736. Unlike other similar markets, the Rasht Bazaar lacks a roof or ornate domes. Instead, it retains its traditional character, offering a glimpse into the bygone era of commerce.

The bazaar serves as a hub for various goods, including fruits, fish, delectable local cuisine, and handmade crafts. It continues to embody the old methods of trade, providing a platform for the sale of agricultural products, diverse fish varieties, flavorful local delicacies, and unique handcrafted items. Throughout the years, the Rasht Grand Bazaar has maintained its traditional appearance, preserving its historical charm while offering visitors and locals alike the opportunity to experience the authentic essence of Rasht’s commercial heritage.

Shahrdari Square at Night

When the sun goes down and the shops near Shahrdari Square close for the day, something magical happens in this part of Rasht. The city center, which is usually bustling with activity throughout the day, takes on a different vibe in the evening hours. As the sky darkens, numerous food carts suddenly appear on the streets surrounding the square, ready to serve the hungry crowds that gather here to enjoy the pleasant night air.

The carts offer a wide variety of delicious treats, from hot and cold drinks to fresh fruits, kebabs, and other local specialties. Families and young locals alike flock to the area, seeking a cozy spot for a cup of tea, a tasty kebab, or simply a leisurely evening stroll. The streets are alive with laughter, chatter, and the tantalizing aromas of the food being prepared right before your eyes. The carts remain in service well into the night, especially on weekends, making Shahrdari Square a popular destination for those looking to savor the flavors of Rasht’s vibrant street food scene.

In the center of the square, a magnificent fountain stands tall, surrounded by beautiful public buildings that add to the charm of this lively neighborhood. As the night progresses, the square transforms into a hub of social activity, where people come together to share a meal, catch up with friends, and soak in the unique atmosphere that only Shahrdari Square can offer.

How to Get to Shahrdari Square

Shahrdari Square Rasht is a special place where you can go by car or on foot.

By Car

If you drive, you can park on a nearby street or in a parking lot and then walk the rest of the way.

On Foot

If you prefer walking, you can take public transportation from anywhere in the city to get close to the square and then walk the rest of the distance.

Shahrdari Square is a lively spot with old buildings and a lot of things to see and do. It’s a great place to explore and enjoy the local culture and food.

Where to Eat Near Shahrdari Square

Khan Baba Restaurant

Khan Baba Restaurant is another great place to try authentic Gilani flavors. They are known for their yummy kebabs, stews, and rice dishes. The restaurant has a warm, friendly feeling and nice staff.

Khan Baba Restaurant is another excellent place to taste authentic Gilani flavors. They are famous for their delicious kebabs, stews, and rice dishes. The restaurant has a warm, friendly atmosphere and kind staff.

Gilak Restaurant

Gilak Restaurant is a popular place to eat traditional Gilani food. They serve many local dishes made with fresh, high-quality ingredients. The restaurant has a cozy, real atmosphere that makes it a favorite of both locals and visitors.

Gilak Restaurant is a well-liked place to eat traditional Gilani food. They offer many local dishes prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. The restaurant has a comfortable, genuine atmosphere that makes it a preferred choice for both local people and tourists.

Napoli Italian Restaurant

If you want some Italian food, Napoli Italian Restaurant is the perfect spot. They serve classic Italian dishes like pizza, pasta, and salads in a modern, stylish place. It’s a good choice if you want a break from the local food.

If you desire Italian food, Napoli Italian Restaurant is the ideal location. They offer traditional Italian dishes such as pizza, pasta, and salads in a modern, fashionable setting. It’s a good option if you want a break from the local cuisine.

Where to Stay Near Shahrdari Square

Ordibehesht Hotel

If you want a cheap but nice hotel close to Rasht Shahrdari Square, Ordibehesht Hotel is a great choice. It’s just a short walk from the busy square and has comfy rooms and basic things you need at a low price.

Rasht Saboori Apartment Hotel

Another budget-friendly option is Rasht Saboori Apartment Hotel. It’s a bit further from the square, but the hotel’s apartment-style rooms and peaceful location make it a good deal. You get more space and quiet for your money.

Kadus Grand Hotel

If you want to treat yourself to a more luxurious stay, Kadus Grand Hotel is one of the best. It’s right on Manzarieh Boulevard, just steps from Shahrdari Square. The hotel has big rooms, great service, and lots of extras to make your stay really nice.

No matter how much you want to spend or what you’re looking for, there are lots of great hotels near Rasht Shahrdari Square. Whether you prefer a cozy budget hotel or a luxurious getaway, you’ll find a warm welcome and a comfortable place to stay while exploring Rasht.

Other Attractions Near Shahrdari Square

ToIranTour - Where to Stay Near Masuleh
Photo by Nargess Tahmasbi on Wikimedia

There are many interesting places close by Shahrdari Square that you can go see. These places offer different experiences that will make your trip in northern Iran even better.

Masuleh Village

In the Alborz Mountains, there is a village called Masuleh. The houses in this village are built on top of each other in a very special way. The small streets and stairs wind through the village. Walk through this pretty place and see the traditional buildings and the beautiful mountains around you. Masuleh gives you a glimpse into the region’s rich culture and a quiet escape from the busy city.

Rudkhan Castle

Rudkhan Castle (Qale Rudkhan) is a special place from the past waiting to be explored. Rudkhan Castle is not just an old fort; it’s like a door to Iran’s history. When you hike up the rough mountain paths, you’ll be surrounded by the natural beauty of Northern Iran. The castle itself sits dramatically on the side of the mountain and shares stories of long-ago times with its old walls.

Bandar-e Anzali

A short distance from Rasht is Bandar-e Anzali, a pleasant town situated alongside the Caspian Sea. You can take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, admire the expansive Anzali Lagoon teeming with various bird species, or simply unwind in this serene seaside town.

Additionally, you have the option to spend time on sandy beaches, dip your feet in the refreshing water, or bask in the tranquil ambiance of this coastal destination.

FAQs about Shahrdari Square

Q1: Where is Shahrdari Square located?

A1: Shahrdari Square is situated in Rasht, the main city of Gilan province in Iran.

Q2: What is the history of Shahrdari Square?

A2: Shahrdari Square was constructed during the early reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi, who was the ruler of Iran from 1926 to 1942. It includes important buildings like the Mayor’s Palace, the Post Museum, and the old Iran Hotel building. The square represents the modernization of Rasht.

Q3: What makes Shahrdari Square special?

A3: Shahrdari Square is known for its beauty and lively atmosphere. It is considered one of the most attractive open spaces in Iran. The square has a long history dating back to the early days of the Pahlavi Dynasty and features significant buildings such as the municipality, the Post and Telegraph Museums, the National Library, and the Former Provincial Government of Gilan.

Q4: What can you do at Shahrdari Square?

A4: Shahrdari Square offers a range of activities and attractions. Visitors can enjoy cultural events, music performances, and plays that take place in the square. There are also many shops, restaurants, cinemas, and hotels in the area, making it a popular destination for leisure and entertainment.

Q5: What is the significance of the clock tower in Shahrdari Square?

A5: The clock tower in the municipality square is a well-known symbol of Rasht. In the past, it was used for surveillance, safety, and fire prevention in the city.

Last Words: Explore the Best of Shahrdari Square with a Customized Tour

Shahrdari Square is a famous landmark in Rasht, the capital city of Gilan province in Iran. It’s considered the heart of Rasht and is located in the middle of the city’s map. The square was built over 100 years ago by Russian architects and features several notable buildings, including the Municipality building, post office building, and Iran hotel, all of which have a Neoclassic style inspired by European architecture.

When planning a trip to Iran to see Shahrdari Square, it’s best to choose a Customized tour that fits your interests and preferences. To Iran Tour is a team of travel lovers who want to show visitors the best of Iran. We know that every traveler is different, with their own likes and expectations. Our tour guides are experts who know a lot about Iranian culture, history, and traditions. They will be with you on your trip, sharing their knowledge and making sure you have a safe and fun time.

If you’re ready to visit Iran and see Shahrdari Square, trust To Iran Tour to make it happen.

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