By: Mir M.Hosseini
Naseroddin Shah was the first Iranian king to visit Europe. Accompanied by Sepahsalar, the Prime Minister, some of princes, an English doctor, the photographer and royal servants, Naseroddin Shah left Rasht on boat on May, 12, 1873 for Saint Petersburg where he met Tsar Alexander 2. He left Russian territory on May, 30 to meet Wilhelm I and famous German chancellor Bismarck. Iran and Germany did not have diplomatic relationship until this time and the first commercial agreement between the two nations was signed in Saint Petersburg.
The Shah then went to Belgium where a group of British statesmen accompanied him to London. His majesty's entrance to London coincided with the Queen's 36th year coronation ceremonies. Naseroddin Shah then went to Paris before leaving for Switzerland and Italy. He then went to Austria and then travelled to Istanbul through Hungary. He met with Sultan Abdulhamid before returning to Iran. He arrived in Tehran on September 23d.
After his arrival, the king ordered some reforms to take place in state organizations such as employing a delegate of Austrians to organize Iran's postal services.