DARBAND QUARTER (دربند) of Tehran, formerly a village in the summer resort (yeylāq) of Šamīrān, situated at an elevation of 1,700 m on the extreme northern edge of the capital, where the Alborz foothills begin. A stream of the same name flows through it, and in July 1987 it flooded, destroying the bāzār of Tajrīš. Since the 1950s, when Šamīrān and Tajrīš were gradually incorporated into Tehran, Darband has become the yeylāq quarter par excellence, adjacent to the palaces of Saʿdābād; it has a hotel, restaurants, and cafés, which are frequented by members of the more prosperous social classes. Darband has become increasingly popular since the 1970s, especially as the point of departure for hikes and climbs toward the Towčāl (stopping at the Šīrpalā shelter in the Osūn valley). On both winter and summer holidays the square and single main street of this old mountain village, which can be reached easily via urban transportation, are the setting for tens of thousands of strollers, and many boutiques and teahouses (čāy-ḵānas) serve hikers along the whole length of the valley as far as Pas-qalʿa.

Owing to the huge growth in the population of Tehran, as well as the integration of Darband into the city, tourism there remains undiminished, despite the development of other, similar resorts near the capital (e.g., installation of a telpher from Towčāl to Valanjak and construction of a road from Emāmzāda Dāwūd).

(Bernard Hourcade)

Originally Published: December 15, 1994

Last Updated: November 15, 2011

This article is available in print.
Vol. VII, Fasc. 1, pp. 19-20