About Hasht Behesht Palace
Among all the beauties of Isfahan, this time we are going to visit the Palace of Eight Heavens. The palace has signs of glorious and prosperous Safavid era, and invites you to an interesting tour of the art and architecture of that era. If you want to know more about the architecture of Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan or get interesting information from the beautiful decorations that are engraved on the walls of Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan, join this article of Chiyakotravel on this virtual trip.
Hasht Behesht Palace which means “the Eight Heavens” in Persian language, and is a real piece of heaven left on the Earth. In Safavid era, King Suleiman ordered his architects to build this amazing palace in 17th century. The location of this construction is in Chaharbagh Street which is also a great place to visit.
This building has an octagonal shape with two main entrances. There are four different facades which are visible from a specific angle where you can see balconies or Ivans with wooden columns under them. Inside the Hasht Behesht Palace is extremely beautiful with hand paintings tiles, plaster and wooden designs and prismatic mirrors. In the past, there was a garden all around the structure, but no remnant is left. Nowadays a breathtaking park surrounds the palace.
Why Isfahan Hasht Behesht Palace?__________________________________________
- In the Safavid period, it was known as the most beautiful palace in the world.
- It is located in the middle of a beautiful park and has a fresh outdoor space.
- The only remaining pavilion left from pavilions and palaces of Chaharbagh region of Isfahan of Safavid period.
- Different and nested architecture and its spectacular and unique decorations have taken the minds of visitors over the years and centuries.
- It has good access to recreational, historical centers and main streets of Isfahan.
Introduction to Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan
Isfahan has no shortage of sights and you can walk in this city for days and weeks and find a sign of attraction with excellent and attractive features in every street. Now, among all these sights, today we have gone to Hasht Behesht Palace in Isfahan to review the features of this building together in a complete review.
Hasht Behesht Palace is a historical palace in the heart of Isfahan which is located in the middle of a large park and its construction dates back to the Safavid era and more precisely to 1080 AH (1048 SH) during the reign of Shah Suleiman Safavid. The palace has an Isfahani style of architecture and is also called “Hasht Behesht Mansion”, “Hasht Be Hasht” and “Hasht Dar Behesht”. In order to understand the importance of Hasht Behesht Palace, you should know that in Safavid period, there were several palaces and pergolas in the Chaharbagh area of Isfahan of which only this palace remains as a monument after centuries. The palace whose special decorations and architecture, astonished the visitors to the point that it was called the most beautiful palace in the world. Tourists who were allowed to visit this palace during the Safavid period considered it the best building in the world and called it “… more joyful than the most luxurious palaces of European countries”.
It is good to know that Hasht Behesht Palace is one of the nationally registered buildings in Iran and is numbered 227 in this list.
History of the Palace of Eight Heavens
As we mentioned in the introduction section, Hasht Behesht Palace was built during the reign of Shah Suleiman the Safavid in 1080 AH. The building was located in the middle of a large garden called the Nightingale Garden or the Garden of Eight Heavens and was itself part of a larger garden called the Naghsh-e Jahan Garden. King Suleiman, after ordering the construction of this palace, exploited it in the third year of his reign (the same year 1080). Some historians and scholars have written in their writings about the reason for the construction of this building that Shah Suleiman built eight paradises to accommodate the eight minions of king’s shrine and placed 4 of them on the ground floor and 4 others on the first floor. .
If we want to get accurate information about the mansion of Hasht Behesht in the time of Shah Suleiman, we have to look at the travelogues of tourists at that time. One of the most famous of these tourists is the Frenchman Jean Chardin who traveled to Isfahan during the reign of Shah Abbas II and Shah Suleiman and visited various attractions of the city. In his writings, Chardin describes the Palace of the Eight Heavens and the surrounding garden as follows:
I have promised to describe one of the halls of one of the gardens called Nightingale Garden while describing the gardens around the beautiful street of Isfahan. This hall is called the mansion of heaven and heaven is called the tenth floor of sky. For this reason, it can be called Ferdows Hall. The hall is sixty feet long and irregular. It has seven angles or sides, the last of which is the widest and the middle is dome-shaped. Its height is thirty or thirty-five meters and its dome is located on arches whose size is equal to the size of the corners and sides of the hall. All the floors are made of fine mosaic, the walls and rafters are two-story, and there are corridors and circular slabs around it. There are hundreds of places in these corridors that are considered the most charming and joyful place in the world. This lighting is suitable for the entertainment for which this building is specially built. None of these points are similar in shape, structure, decoration and arrangement; You can see something new and different everywhere, as they were seen in some heaters and in some ponds and fountains. Fountains that draw water from pipes inside the walls.
This strange hall (eight heavens) is in fact a labyrinthine structure because everyone gets lost everywhere in its upper part and the stairs are so hidden that you can not find it so easily. The lower part up to ten feet above the ground is made of jade, and the fences are made of gold wood, the frames are made of silver, the cups are made of crystal and the tools are made of delicate colored glass. But when it comes to decorations, one can not imagine so much splendor, grandeur, and charm that is intertwined. Crystal mirrors are used on the walls everywhere, perfect mirrors that are of the most magnificent kind in the world. There are also small rooms that can only accommodate one bed. In the eastern part of the ground, the bed has no curtains and is spread out on the ground. I saw an interesting bed that only had a quilt worth two thousand echoes (currency), which was made of sable skin for warmth and lightness. I was told that Shah has many mattresses of this kind. I will compose a book of decorations, pictures, shapes, miniatures, utensils and inscriptions of this hall.
Architecture and decorations of Hasht Behesht Palace
The architecture of Hasht Behesht Palace is built in the Isfahani style in the form of an octagon (octagonal). Numerous and nested rooms and its very spectacular decorations are the features of this mansion. The Palace of Eight Heavens, as we have said, was built in the past in the middle of a large garden, which is now a park.
Inside the Hasht Behesht Palace, you will enjoy spectacular tiling consisting of various kinds of birds, reptiles, and predators’ paintings on. Although four facades in the mansion are similar, each is unique in design. Some argue that the view in north of the palace is the main façade, the indicator of pool in the garden offers that the eastern façade is the main. The building is 700 sq. m and rises 14 m high where the first floor is consisted of paintings and the second one comprising rooms, windows, and doors. There is also a hallway in which a marble pool is visible. Its name is “The Pearl Pool” as the water seeps through the holes like pearl in this pool. This palace had many safety precautions. Eunuchs guarded the rooms on the upper floor. They walked through the corridors connecting the rooms.
Exterior design of the building
The first thing that catches your eye in the face of the Hasht Behesht mansion is its multifaceted nature and the numerous halls that surround the building. Hasht Behesht Palace is built two meters above the ground level and its stairs are designed so that you can travel to the upper and lower parts of the mansion from all sides. This building has four main views and there is a porch in each view . The main porch of the building is located on the north side; but the pool that exists today on the east side of Hasht Behesht Palace has made this side the main view. These porches, the middle spaces of the palace with two floors, as well as the pond and the semi-open space of the mansion, indicate that the architecture of the palace is extroverted and summery.
Interior design of the palace
Depending on which part of the palace you enter, different parts and views of the building will be in front of you. The whole building, as we said, is octagonal and is located on four pedestals that have an octagonal shape. The central part of the mansion is built in the form of 4 rows (4 platforms, 4 porches) and the porch is located to the north. In the middle of this part, there is an octagonal pool and eight rooms on four sides of it on two floors surround this part. The ceiling that covers this part is decorated with colorful and well-designed gypsum Moqarnas and delicate mirrors among the wooden works. The rooms of the building are located on the first floor in the 4 corners of the mansion and are covered with bedding and paintings.
On the second floor, there is a collection of porches, rooms, arches and latticed windows, which add to the nesting and complexity of the building. The second floor is divided into different sections by several corridors and rooms, each of which has its own decorations. In some of them there are water basins and there are wall heaters in others. Numerous mirrors cover the walls of these sections and their ceilings are decorated with excellent and beautiful mosaics. In each of these sections, there are doors and windows with inlaid wood which have elevated the art used in the construction of the Eight Heavens Palace. Finally, very beautiful and harmonious corridors and slaves surround the palace rooms and add to the beauty of the building
Location of the Palace
If you want to visit Hasht Behesht Palace, it is in the western side of Chaharbagh Street, across Sheykh Bahaei Street in middle of Hasht Behesht park. It is easily accessible by public transport such as bus. The palace is in city center near other main tourist destinations.
History of Hasht Behesht Palace
During eighth Safavid king, Shah Suleiman or king Suleiman architectures built Hasht Behesht Palace in 1670. In that
time the palace was inside a bigger garden with the name of “Naqshe-e-Jahan garden” which King Ismail had offered to build it. Then they divide this garden into various sections. The two other Safavid kings, Shah Abbas II and Shah Suleiman then added a lot of trees to this garden. Based on some evidence, one of the reasons for calling the palace as Hasht Behesht Palace is due to the fact that King dedicated this residential palace to his eight favorite wives. As you might know Hasht means eight in Persian language.
Structure of the Palace
Actually, Hasht Behesht Palace is a double story summerhouse which is an architectural masterpiece from Safavid era. In the Qajar era, Naser e-Din Shah dedicated this residential palace to Lady “Iftikhar ol-Dole” with one condition that she does not apply any change neither in appearance of the structure nor its boundary. Otherwise many changes happened after her death and her inheritors divide the garden. ministry of Art and Culture started to maintain the remnant of the garden and mansion in 1964 and Cultural Heritage Organization protects it up to now.
How to visit this palace?
Visiting Hasht Behesht Palace is a great experience for everyone especially those who like architecture and history. This is only one of the many amazing places you should visit while traveling to Iran. The other similar structures like Fin Garden was introduced before. Chiyakotravel executes various kinds of city tours for travelers from all around the globe to facilitate visiting this place as far as possible. As the place is in the heart of the city center, we recommend you to let us provide you a local guide in order to have an unforgettable visit. For more Information, please contact us.