On the coast of Iran’s Caspian Sea there is a museum that can’t decide what it is. It’s a museum of weapons, lots and lots of weapons, from 500-year-old daggers to Soviet tanks – enough weapons for one to question mankind’s sanity.
But then step upstairs and there’s a vivid glimpse of the lifestyle of long-exiled royalty, their dinner plates set out, even their clothes and bathrooms on display.
Anzali Palace Museum (a.k.a. Mian-Poshte Palace and Anzali Naval Museum
کاخ میانپشته) in Bandar-e Anzali, Gilan Province, is at a century-old palace the late Mohammed Reza Shah inherited from his father and used as his occasional summer residence until his 1979 ouster.
Seeing all that antiquity, I felt nostalgic for the Iran of my childhood. And pondered the fragility of political power.
Saeideh was taken by the size of the tanks and military personnel carriers on display outside – war booty from the Iran-Iraq war – and the myriads of guns and miniature war ships.
“All this to kill this body? Look at my little body and they need all this equipment to destroy it.”