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Gholhak (also Qolhak) is a neighbourhood in Northern Tehran,a part of Shemiran, located between Zargandeh/Elahiyeh to the west and Ekhtiarieh/Dolat to the east and is served by Shariati St., which in the old times was known as "Shemiran Road" and later with the construction of highways, "Old Shemiran Road".Previously during the Qajar era,it had a rural structure and was considered as a suburb of Tehran. This area are also houses the Gholhak Metro Station which opened on May 19, 2009.
Its ownership was granted by Mohammad Shah Qajar to the British government, while the neighbouring Zargandeh was given to the Russian empire, and the rural people of the area were considered British subjects, exempt from the Iranian rule.
The British built an extensive 200,000 square meter complex, Gholhak Garden, comprising an ambassadorial residence, office space and a chapel, to be used during the summer, when the court moved to Shemiran.
The ownership by the British came to an end during the reign of Reza Shah Pahlavi and later on Shemiran was incorporated into the city of Tehran, however the complex continued to serve as a summer residence and currently is the year round residence of the British ambassador. A war memorial in the honor of British soldiers and those of the British empire is built inside the campus and the British Council, together with the British School of Tehran are also located there.
Gholhak particularly known for its "Sajjad Alley" which was previously known as "Village Alley" referring to the old village of Gholhak in this area which was considered one of the outskirts of Shemiran.
In 1251 AH, Mohammad Shah Qajar gave these lands (Gholhak and Zargandeh) to the governments of Great Britain and Russia. Shortly afterwards Sir John Campbell, the British envoy to Persia, made various changes in this area and established the British Embassy’s summer garden (which is now known as the Gholhak Garden) and ambassadorial residences. The ownership of Gholhak remained in the hands of Great Britain until Reza Shah’s reign, under his orders the ownership of these lands were given to the city of Tehran with the exception of the British summer garden in this region.
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