EDIFICE OF THE SUN AT GOLESTAN PALACE
In the beginning of the novel, the crowds in Tehran are celebrating the appointment of their new Ayatollah, Marzban Shir-Del, who stands on the balcony of Golestan Palace with President Avesta and Major General Lajani. During the years of the last Shah of Iran, the Palace was used was for formal receptions, but during the course of my research of sites in Iran, I became captivated by the sheer number of rooms that the palace has, each with a different theme. I was especially drawn to Mirror Hall because I liked the visual of the mirrors displaying all of the movements in the room as it seemed like good symbolism for the idea of the new Ayatollah keeping a watchful eye on the people in his inner circle. From a literary standpoint, it seemed like the perfect location to have celebrate the beginning of a new era in the Ayatollah regime. If you get a chance, check out the multiple YouTube videos of tourists capturing their strolls through each room in palace. It is truly a breathtaking location!
Built in the early 17th century, its technical name is the Allahverdi Kahn Bridge, named after the commander-in-chief of the Persian Army at the time. It is the largest of the eleven bridges along the Zayeanderud River in Isfahan. Due to its magnificent thirty-three arches made of yellow bricks and limestone, it has taken the same Si-o-se-pol, which means arches. Its original purpose was to service as a connection between the mansions belonging to the elite class, but today serves as more of an attraction and nightlife gathering place for both western tourists and Iranians alike. My characters Farhad and Donya are frequent visitors to the bridge so that they can make money distributing illegal alcohol. But beware, the Revolutionary Guard is known to raid the gatherings at the bridge from time to time. Due to low pay, the soldiers’ intent is to hassle anyone there defying Iranian law for payments to look the other way, but they will not hesitate to make arrests and break up a party if they are forced to.