If you have traveled to Tabriz and seen the center of the city, certainly the Tabriz Municipality Building attracted your attention. The building of Tabriz that is also known as the Palace of Municipality, not only has historical and architectural value but also it contains a rich museum that you must visit.
An old building with magnificent architecture is observed in Sa’at (meaning watch) square of Tabriz, where two Artesh and Imam Khomeini streets meet. It is for 70 years that passengers have heard the sound of the clock of mansion every 15 minutes and seen its magnificent landscape.
The story of municipality building started in 1314 SH, during the reign of Pahlavi I, when Haj Arfa’ ol-Molk Jalili was the mayor. At that time, it was to build a building in German-style inside an old cemetery. The construction of this building lasted four years and it came into operation in 1318 SH. Baladieh building was constructed in a land with 9600 square meter area and 6500 square meters built-up area.
With regard to the supervision of German engineers, it is no wonder that the building was formed as an eagle with opened wings; the pattern that was popular in those years in Germany. This three-story building was designed as a U-form structure so that the famous watch of the municipality is seen in the eagle’s beak. That is why people call it the Watch Building or Qabaqi Building.
The Watch Tower of Tabriz Municipality that is four and a half meters high must be set one time every 24 hours. Passengers can see the watch from all sides because the watch has been designed in all sides of the tower.
The northern and eastern façades were built of carved stone and the southern and western ones made of stone and brick. Most of walls are of brick with sand and lime mortar. The carved stones on frames of windows and the mansion’s roof give a beautiful appearance to the building.
Today the administrative affairs, formal meetings of the mayor and meetings of the city council are held in this building. However, it has many attractions for visitors due to being located in the heart of the old texture and considered as the symbol of the city.
After walking in Watch square and enjoying the attractive architecture of the Municipality building, one can visit the museum. The only museum of the municipality in Iran is placed in the same place, in the basement of the mansion.
There are many halls in this museum that starts its work from 1386 SH. One of the main halls is the carpet hall. There are many rugs here that are related to 1320 SH, the year of establishment of Baladieh building.
In the hall of old cameras, you can follow the evolution process of photography camera. Visiting these cameras in time of digital and advanced cameras is extremely attractive. Most of the camera collection was gifted to the museum by Mohammad Ali Jadid-ol-Islam, the Tabriz collector and photographer.
Many books and manuscripts are on display in the hall of documents. And sound hall exhibits some of the local and classical musical instruments.
The photos and documents related to martyrs are exhibited in the Holy Defense Hall. Then one can visit the hall of contemporary arts, calligraphy and print. On return from the museum, you can see the old cars, including the first fire truck, in the yard of the complex.
Tabriz Municipality Building and Watch Tower are close to other attractions of Tabriz and you can reach them on foot. Apart from Kaboud Mosque and historical houses like Nikdel House, Sanjesh Museum and Azerbaijan Museum are other attractions of this place.