Persian Gardens Introduction
Persian gardens portray Iranian art and taste for the world, and became the model of gardening in modern Europe. Although Persian gardens fenced in sense of space, these gardens are full of Iranian nature and art and, unlike European and East Asian parks, offer a sense of security and tranquility to their audiences. In this article of Chiyakotravel, we will introduce the best Persian gardens you should visit in your trip to Iran.
In Iranian architecture, we have two types of gardens. Koshk (garden and palace), and garden all of which well used in Iranian towns and homes to let the spirit of nature flow into the place of residence. In ancient Persia, the word garden derived from the word Paridaiza (fence). This word has been spoken in other common languages in Iran and has changed over time. For example, in Ilam (Parttesh), Hebrew (Pardes), Persian (Pardis), Greek (Paradeios), English (Paradise).
Until the last few years, the words Boostan, Golestan, Golshan and Bostan have been used in the daily literature and conversations of Iranian people until the modernization of Iran. just by arrival of tourists and western courtiers to Iran, the essence of our traditional architecture and style had been lost. The name of Western architecture replaced with years of civilization and culture. Here’s we take a look at some of magnificent Persian gardens whose names appear on UNESCO World Heritage List, creatures that may have been never repeat.
Although there is no specific picture or map of Pasargadae Persian Garden today, but based on excavations in current Pasargadae area, there was a beautiful garden in Shiraz designed by Cyrus the Great. The oldest document from Persian gardens is “Metal Shahdad flag”, dated between 3500 or 3200 BC. In this metal flag, there is an image of an ancient goddess and three other women sitting in a lush garden in the shape of a chessboard, depicting the same pattern of five or four Iranian gardens. After Cyrus, other Achaemenid kings, such as Darius, Ardashir II, and Khashayar Shah began gardening in Shush and other cities.
Chehel sotoun Garden
Shah Abbas of Safavid helped build and justify his power from civil activities. He was very active in construction of inn and Persian gardens so that he could gain people satisfaction. Listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, the Chehel sotoun Palace features a unique and exquisite example of Iranian art designed by Sheikh Bahai’s genius. This garden built on the southwest side of Isfahan Naghsh-e Jahan Square by the order of Shah Abbas I to be a link between Naghsh-e Jahan Square and Chahar Bagh Street. According to historical documents, the second Safavid king built the interior section of garden for the first time to prepare the building that his great-grandfather had begun, and celebrate his coronation.
During royal feast, one of the pillars of the garden was on fire and King Abbas II, a superstitious person, did not allow others to put out the fire, so one of the pillars of the garden damaged badly. A few days later, the work of restoring garden resumed. At the time of Afghan invasion of Isfahan, most of city’s monuments, especially Chehel sotoun palace, damaged heavily. It is interesting to know that during the time of Qajar and the reign of Zul al-Sultan (son of Nasser al-Din Shah), many exquisite objects of the palace and its mirrors moved to Tehran for the construction of Masoudieh garden!!
Persian gardens: Eram Garden
Although the exact date of construction of Eram Garden in Shiraz not known, according to travelogues written in the 10th and 11th century AH, many stories have quoted about Eram garden, and the reason for its construction. According to authentic historical documents, the garden built during Seljuk era and ordered by Sultan Sanjar, but this was not the end, and in later centuries the rulers of Shiraz repaired various parts of it.
We move forward in history to reach Qajar era. During the reign of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar, this garden became part of royal estate; and given to rulers of Shiraz and another mansion laid down by Hussein Ali Khan Nasir al-Molk. Two unique features of the Eram Garden in Shiraz are the variety of vegetation, and its architectural type. In the architecture of this Persian garden they used Persepolis pillars, Zandieh’s style of architecture in the mansion building, and inspired by Ferdowsi’s Shahnameh paintings and colorful tiles in decoration of building.
Fin garden is one of the most story-tellers gardens among Persian gardens. Perhaps if the story of Amir Kabir’s assassination of Nasser al-Din Shah in 1852 had not happen at Finn Garden, we would rarely have known Fin garden and bath. History books have quoted that prior to the current bath and garden at this site, There was an old garden in time of Buyid dynasty which originally designed by Ghiasuddin Jamshid Kashani. Later this persian garden completely destroyed by earthquake and once again by Mongol invasion. It was restored in Safavid era by Sheikh Bahai design and became current bath and garden of Fin in Kashan.
Garden of Dowlatabad Yazd in Persian Gardens
To illustrate one of the most unique Iranian gardens, we should point to the Dowlatabad Garden of Yazd. In addition to being registered in UNESCO Heritage, there is also a windmill in this Persian garden which known as the tallest windmill in the world. The mausoleum with a height of 33.8 meters is the world’s tallest mud brick, built in late Afsharid dynasty by Mohammad Taqi Khan Bafqi (known as Bozorg Khan).
Mohammad Taqi Khan Bafqi is one of the prominent figures in the city of Dowlatabad and Mehriz in Yazd. In addition to building wind farm and construction of the Dowlatabad Garden, he also built Dowlatabad 5-string aqueduct (which runs from Mehriz ancient aqueduct).
Dowlatabad mansion and garden have various parts. The inner part includes octagonal building, summer paradise, waterfall and harbor, and the outer part contains watch tower, caravan, tower and barn surrounding the mansion.
The Prince’s Garden or Shazdeh Garden located near the tomb of King Nematollah Wali in city of Mahan in Kerman. One of the most prominent features of Mahan Garden is its location as it located in the heart of desert. This persian garden is very popular because of its design which is like garden-bed. In the story of building this garden it stated that during Qajar era, famous architect from Yazd with the name of Nasser al-Dowleh made a garden in Mahan. Nasser al-Dowleh was asked to build this Persian garden in a sloping manner, or flat bed, next to the central mansion.
Pahlavi Pour Garden
Pahlavi Pour Garden is one of the most lush gardens of Yazd located in Mehriz city. This Persian garden dates back to the reign of Qajar kings. It is interesting to know that three important aqueducts of Mehriz city including Hassanabad, Shah Hosseini aqueduct and Mazvir Abad aqueduct pass through Pahlavi Pour Garden which belongs to a famous merchant of Yazd. One of the most important features of Pahlavi Garden is its trees like many of Persian gardens. Despite the dry and warm climate of Yazd, pomegranate, persimmon and almond grow in this garden, and this is only due to the high water content of the garden. Pahlavi Pour Garden Complex includes an old or main house, stables, a fountain, a central courtyard, a bathroom and a dormitory, a caretaker’s house, a winter house and a pantry. In the past, other Persian gardens of Mehriz got their water portion from this garden.
Another beautiful Iranian gardens named in UNESCO list is Akbarieh garden in Birjand, which is 3 and a half acres in size. Experts divide the time took building this garden into four periods: Zandiyeh, Qajariyah, Pahlavi and after Iran revolution. Due to the importance of this building in Birjand in each period, many changes made to the face and body of Koshk and garden buildings. The city of Birjand known as the first Iranian city to have an old and extensive drainage system. During the reign of Zandieh, Birjand recognized as one of strategic cities of Greater Khorasan Province. After Baharestan citadel used by government and military, the local ruler (Ali Akbar Khan Khazimeh) ordered the construction of a beautiful and magnificent building beside the aqueducts of the city and on the slopes of Mount Bagheran. So that it could both exert its power and exterminate others as well as protecting important aqueduct of city. A two-storey mansion built at that time with first floor reserved for public servants and guests and the second floor reserved for private life and visits. During Qajar and Pahlavi periods, various buildings added to the Akbarieh garden complex. The building abandoned in the early years of the revolution until the end of 1996, but in the same year, efforts made to register this Persian gardens into the national heritage of Iran and UNESCO. Various parts of the garden include the Mogharnas Entrance, the main mansion, the service spaces, the three entrances to the mansion, the stables and the garden area.
Abbas Abad Garden
Abbas Abad Garden, Lake, and Forest Park complex is one of the most beautiful and important tourist attractions in the city of Mazandaran, but why is Abbas Abad Garden so important?
Due to the appropriate vegetation and forest in north of Iran, there was less attention to gardening but Abbas Abad Garden is the most important Persian gardens in north and in non-desert climate of Iran. Generally, the time of construction of Abbas Abad complex in Behshahr dates back to Safavid and Shah Abbas periods. To construct Abbas Abad garden, Safavid engineers created a flat bed for gardening using Achaemenid period techniques by digging a distance between Mount Abbas Abad. All the components used in this Persian garden from trees and ornaments to decorations are symmetrically. The most notable feature of the garden is its clay pipes. In this garden like Taj Mahal and Al-Hamra Palace, they used pipes to direct water flow and create water movement music.