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Gonbad Qabus Tower

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Gonbad Qabus Tower

Gonbad-e Qābus Ibn Voshmgir is located in Golestan Province (northeast of Iran), Gonbad-e Kāvus town. And to the north of the town and the northwest corner of the National Park, on top of a mound of 10 meters height. Also known as Mil-e Qābus, Borj-e Qābus (Tower of Qābus), and Maghbar-e Qābus (the Mausoleum of Qābus).

It is located 3km from the southwest of the ruins of the ancient town of Jorjan or Gorgan. One of the most magnificent structures of the early Islamic centuries, this structure is still standing out amongst the chaos of urban life and constructions, catching the eyes of beholders even from kilometer distances.

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Description of the property

One of the most noteworthy, most magnificent tomb towers in the north of Iran is Gonbad-e Qābus, with its outstanding proportions and significance. Built-in Gorgan in the 4th century AH (1006 AD), it is considered to be a milestone both as a landmark of the city and also the grave of its founder, Qābus.

The structure well plays the role of a prototype in the whole area. The inscriptions along the top and bottom of the tower show that the structure was constructed under the rule of Qābus himself. The interesting point is that inscriptions record the years of its construction both in Hijri and Yazdgerdi calendars.

The structure is 52.8m high on an artificial hillock of 15m height. 10 buttresses surround the cylindrical body of the tower. Owing to its uniquely ordered design, the structure is the first of its type is of great rigidity, in a way that none of the tomb towers built afterward, could match its proportions and scales.

Geographical Context

Gonbad-e Qābus is located in the northeast of Iran, Golestan province, Gonbad-e Kāvus town. Based on the environmental division of Iran this province is within the temperate area of the north of the country.

Golestan province shares borders with Turkmenistan to the north, Semnan province to the South, Khorassan to the east, and the Caspian Sea and Mazandaran to the west.

The south and east borders of the province are lined by mountains, which are the extensions of Alborz stretching east-west. They begin at the border between Mazandaran and Golestan (Galugah) and stretch in a crescent to reach Ala Dagh, Binalud, and Hezar Masjed mountains in Khorassan in the southeast of the province.

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Gonbad‐e Kāvus information

Covering an area of 5071 km2, Gonbad-e Kāvus is located in the east of Golestan. Bordered by the Republic of Turkmenistan to the north, towns of Ali Abad, Aq Qala, and Gorgan to the west, towns of Kolale and Minudasht to the east, and towns of Azad Shahrand Ramian to the south.

Topographic morphology of Gonbad-e Kāvus mainly includes mountains and plains. Steppes cover the lands between Gorgan Rud [river] and the borderline of Turkmenistan located inDashli-Boroon district.

These lands are the most important winter ranges in the area. The climate is temperate and mountainous across the heights of Azad Shahr and Ramian. But as one draws closer to the borders of Turkmenistan along the north of Gorgan River, the climate change for plain temperate to semi-arid. The rainfall also decreases northwards and westwards.

Geographical history

The present town of Gonbad-e Kāvus is a rather young one since the well known historic city of Jorjan, demolished during the Mongols’ invasion. Once existed 3 km from the center of the new town, nearImamzadeh Zeid [the shrine of Zeid] during the 5th and 6th century AH.

In fact, until the early years of this century, there existed no towns within the site of the destroyed one. Thus, there was an interval of about 5 centuries between the demolition of the old Jorjan and the birth of the present-day Gonbad-e Kāvus, which began to emerge somewhere around the 1300s AHS8.

The only remaining evidence of the glory of the ancient city of Jorjan in today’s Gonbad-e Kāvus is the tomb of Qābus Ibn Voshmgir. Which in fact was the main reason for the new town to be founded. In older days, the town had seen times of being known as Hyrcania (Hyrcana), Varkâna, Jorjan, and Gorgan among other names.

The present-day town was established in the year 1305 AHS/ 1926 AD, under the rule of the Pahlavis. Following the orders of Reza Shah the city was planned and built and was named Gonbad-e Kāvus. Kāvus being the name of a mythical Persian King and Qābus from Gonbad-e Qābus, to render homage to Qābus Ibn Voshmgir.

The original plan of the town was developed by German experts based on the principles of urban design. The town thus enjoys well-designed intersections, and there is no trace of the old narrow streets. The historical town of Jorjan or Gorgan has located 3 km of the southwest of the present-day Gonbad-e Kāvus.

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Climate

Gonbad-e Kāvus is located in the east of the basin of the Caspian Sea and is among the most distant areas influenced by the Caspian climate with the characteristics of maritime air masses. The general altitude of the area where Gonbad-e Kāvus is located is 50 meters. While in some parts it is over 2000 meters where the dominant climate is more of maritime and mountainous systems.

Thanks to the dominance of the west winds, the moisture from the sea are distributed across the area, and as Alborz mountain chains along the south of the basin capture it, the moisture cannot move southwards toward the inner plateau of Iran. However, as one moves eastwards along the Caspian shore, the weather turns less moist and arider. The air masses that influence the area under consideration are as follows:

1. In winter: continental polar air mass; Source region: Siberia. Maritime polar air mass, from the west and northwest; the Mediterranean from the west; scarce instances of continental tropical from the south, source region: Arabia to Sahara

2. In summer: continental tropical from the central Iran or southwest; maritime tropical from the Atlantic and the Mediterranean; maritime polar from the Black Sea and the Caspian; continental polar from the North

Features of the mausoleums and tomb towers

Burial structures are undoubtedly among the most prominent creations of Islamic architecture. Thousands of tourists visit the Taj Mahal or the Mamluk rulers’ tombs in Cairo. Whoever traveling in the north of Africa or Near East can easily spot hundreds of small worship places. Which are in fact the burial site of a saint or a hero along the roads, on hilltops, in the cemeteries of towns and villages, or even on farms.

Such structures are given a variety of names based on the builders. That is, whether they constructed by the untrained hands of the villagers or are the exquisite outcome of some masters’ sweating. The same tradition has been followed across the territory of Iran for centuries. From the great Tomb of Cyrus the Great in Pasargadae to the present day mausoleums and tombs built for the prominent and influential individuals.

Tomb towers, of which Gonbad-e Qābus can be considered the origin and the most outstanding, are also regarded as a type of mausoleums.

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Gonbad Aali Tower and Its Similar Architectures

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Gonbad Aali Tower

Gonbad-i- Ali Tower at Abarquh is in central Iran. This octagonal tomb consists of a tower of rubble masonry, rather than the traditional brick. And features a bold three-tiered muqarnas cornices, also of rubble, that once probably supported a pyramid roof.

gonbad aali tower

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Further use of advanced mathematics in medieval Islamic architecture of Iran, especially the period between the Seljuk and the Timur dynasties. It is evident in the height of the towers and entrances, and the two shelled domes, used in the mosques of various cities.

gonbad aali tower

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The Architecture

The lofty minarets, with their ambitious construction and rich geometric and epigraphic decorations, were designed and constructed with immense skill. Construction techniques have not been studied thoroughly. But the continued ability of these slender towers to resist earthquakes suggests that their builders employed some sophisticated method. Perhaps wooden tie beams, to give tensile strength to the structure.

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Other Architectures Similar to Gonbad Aali

Other examples are the Masjid-i-Jameh at Tabriz and Masjid-i-Jameh at Varamine. The first one “consisted of a single immense Iwan of brick 99 feet wide, about 213 feet deep, to the springing of now collapsed vault. About 82 feet tall, shows an immense sahn5 with center pool and single-aisled porticoes.

While the latter had a small dome behind the main portal completes the portal iwan, the dome chamber is articulated, as is all else. By squinch filled with muqarnas in brick, which signals the transition from the square to the octagon.

tabriz jameh mosque

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Jameh Mosque of Yazd

Among a large number of examples of the close relationship between Iranian medieval architecture and geometry, there is the entrance of the Friday mosque, Masjid-I-Jame, at Yazd, situated near the center of this large city.

This Friday Mosque is notable for its exceptionally narrow pishtaq surmounted by twin minarets. The interior of the dome has an almost complete tile revetment. And the elimination of the rear wall of the iwan in the qibla side ensured, for the first time, that congregation in the court yard could see it.

Jame-mosque-Yazd

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The upper galleries produce a considerable lightening of the dome chamber, both visually and structurally. And a more complex succession of solids and voids. The same considerations are found in the transverse vaulting of the prayer hall.

The principal entrance to the mosque, which is composed of an iwan and the minarets from the 14th century, is exceptional in that it is the tallest entrance in Islamic architecture of Iran. The height achieved in this part of the structure would not have been possible without structural mathematical analyses. The height is stresses further by the ascending line molding of the minarets.

yazd jameh mosque

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The purpose of the tall towers or minarets was to create the sense of reaching to God. This sense could be embodied in the structure by narrowing the entrance as much as possible, and by making it as tall as possible, with the help of mathematical calculations.

Conclusion

By reviewing examples of medieval Iranian architecture, one becomes aware of its close relationship to scientific fields such as mathematics, geometry, cosmology, and astrology. This relationship made it possible to achieve perfection, monumentality and poetic beauty. It is wisdom within the art.

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Islamic Architecture in Iran

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Islamic Architecture in Iran

Architecture through the ages, has embraced a wide variety of arts and sciences. By using mathematics, Iranian architecture has achieved a high level of beauty and perfection. This is especially evident in the Islamic Iranian architecture of the Middle Ages (10th to 14th century). During this period there were astonishing and glorious achievements of this endeavor – that is – the application of mathematics in architecture.

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The specifics of Iranian Islamic Architecture

The transition of a square into a circle by using triangles is one of the characteristics of Iranian architecture from the pre-Islamic period. Later, Iranian architects used this process to create a more complicated and elaborate form in the design of their buildings. The center point of the square, marked by the intersection of two diagonals, is the most important point of in its transition to a circle process.

iranian architecture

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This called for a further geometrical solution in the corners in order to create the desired forms and volumes. In order to create vast varieties of forms. Which achieved by the turning, rotating, and twisting of a simple square, use of circles and triangles was common and widely used in much of the medieval Islamic Iranian architecture.

iranian architecture

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Towers architecture in Iran’s Islamic Architecture

It is evident that advance Geometry used by the prominent architects at that time. “The techniques of tower construction established in earlier centuries continued and spread under the Seljuq Sultan. Which were their governors, and their neighbors. The cylindrical brick shaft of a variable taper decorated with brick patterns and inscriptions of varied quality and complexity.”

iranian architecture

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Usage of advanced mathematics continued into the Khanids period. “Its apparent feature was a more immense scale. The structural load-bearing components of monuments were concentrated. A large ratio of height to the interior width of the chamber was displayed.”

For example: “ the weight of the double-shelled dome of the mausoleum of Uljayto in Sultanieya central Iran (45 meters high with a diameter of 24.5 meters). It is concentrated on a small number of supporters. Without the use of any shoulder or buttress.” So it needed to be calculated prior to its construction.

 

Islamic architecture in Iran

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Geometry Specifics in Iran’s Islamic Architecture

Geometry used not only to solve structural problems but also in the details of the designs of various structures. These range from the immense high entrances of Friday Mosques in important cities, to entrances of ordinary homes.

The more modest residential architecture conceals private and common-use areas of the houses. The layout of such houses varied according to climate, culture, tradition, and aesthetic tastes.

In order to satisfy these demands, and the placement of these structures within an urban setting, the architects had to rely on mathematics in order to achieve the best results.

Islamic Architecture in Iran

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Mathematics in Iran’s Islamic Architecture

The mastery of advanced mathematics among the architects and the application of this knowledge in the various aspects of design led to the creation of amazing and admirable architecture.

There is no doubt that only those architects who acquainted with advanced knowledge of geometry, algebra, and astrology, as well as, poetry and philosophy. Could design such architectural elements that protected the structural stability while achieving perfection of beauty. Characteristic of medieval Iranian architecture in Iran. This level of balance and elegance would not have been attained without the mastery of mathematics by the creators of the work.

The ratio of height to the diameter of the towers or minarets in medieval Iranian architecture shows another aspect of the use of mathematics in architecture.

The Tower of Gonbad-I-Qabus near Gorgan (in northern Iran), is a unique example of such a case. While this tower “reaches the amazing height of sixty-one meters, its diameter is only seventeen meters.”

This mathematical relationship helped the architect to create the sense of “the ascension from earth toward heaven.” This effect achieved by narrowing the diameter of the tower where the entrance is placed, in comparison to the height of the structure.

 

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Jame Mosque of Yazd

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Jame Mosque of Yazd

Jame mosque of Yazd is one of the most precious historical heritages of art and a treasure of Islamic architecture located in the city of Yazd. This mosque consists of a rectangular courtyard of 99*104 meters with a dome and Iwan at the Mecca side. Which there are high Shabestans at its two sides.

Jame-mosque-Yazd

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The southern Shabestan link to an embowed catacomb which is located at the back of the main door. This door head which repaired many times in recent years. It has modified proportions which are from the characteristics of the late fourteenth century and a pair of minarets is located at the upper part of it (Golombek, 1995, 495).

Islamic architecture of Iran is the result of the natural continuation of the architecture of different periods. Timurid architecture is, in fact, the continuation and development of Seljuk architecture.

The architectural focus on building mosques and other buildings, alongside a wide variety of buildings with different functions. Using maps with the dominant element of the Iwan (porch), domes and apron, great ability in establishing the structures of arches and domes. Use of available materials, and artistic and extensive use of decorative plaster. The like, are among the features of Iranian architecture in the Timurid period.

Timurid architecture

Timurid architecture, benefiting from Ilkhani and Seljuk and using Iranian architects and artists, gained strong and complete structure and principles. Which the buildings remained from this period show these features very well. That features such as orientation toward greatness, progress in a variety of decorations, growth, and excellence in vaulting techniques and crisscross vaults and geometry application.

 Jame-mosque-Yazd

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Examples built in the Timurid period welcomed by many architects and artists and used as a perfect model for the architects of the next periods. Among the famous and important mosques in this period we can refer to Jame Mosque of Yazd.

Due to common physical characteristics of the architecture of mosques in Timurid style, results indicate that the
architecture of the mosques in this period have similarities with the mosques of Seljuk and Ilkhani periods. In terms of function, structure, and decorations.
The details of each period differ from the others, but they have many similarities in terms of general principles.

Architectural Space Features

Jame Mosque of Yazd is the oldest example of that design consisting of a summery vault Maghsoore, and a high rectangular Shabestan or mostly called wintery mosque.

Jame-mosque-Yazd

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The second important feature is the extensive application of all-around vaults (vault and rib) in the rectangular Shabestans.

The third feature is the eye-catching glazed tile decoration (Golombek, 1995, 594).

Furthermore, The main square-shaped tholos has one open central spout towards the Iwan and two pass ways towards iwan’s screws that some loges were built on them later.

And the main side walls of the tholos have also central wide spouts which there are smaller spouts aside them, but the size of the central spouts have been reduced (Golombek, 1995, 595).

Vault, Dome, and Iwan

Jame Mosque of Yazd was built in Khorasani style with a tint of columned Shabestan. Which today nothing is left from that and instead, a columned Shabestan have been built at the east of its Miansara.

Jame-mosque-Yazd

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The tholos and the Shabestans of south Miansara were built in Azerbaijani style. The tholos has a discrete double-shell dome. The parietal is a Nari dome and itself is a dome with light Shabdari hasp (Chefd). Which for some reasons at the time of working, has been used as harsh Shabdari. The inside of ribs is filled with KhanchePoosh style (Pirnia, 2001, 233-234).

The Building Methods and Decorations

The dome is decorated with a beautiful geometric thousand weaves design. The Mihrab has Moarragh tiles and has a Mogharnas vault at the top. Which is inside a rectangular frame.

Jame-mosque-Yazd

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The walls of tholos have a surbase of light blue hexagonal tiles. Which is located inside a narrow strip of Moarragh tiles. Various drawings of Moarragh tiles and can be seen in the courtyard that probably most of them are new repairs.

These decorations with floor bricks and the drawings of Moallaghi and inscriptions of Moarragh tiles and Kufic ones have created an innovative and breathtaking collection that provokes admiration of the beholder (Golombek, 1995, 596).

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Golestan Palace Sections

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Golestan Palace Sections

At present, Golestan Palace complex in Tehran consists of eight key palace structures. Mostly used as museums and the eponymous gardens, a green shared the center of the complex, surrounded by an outer wall with gates.

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Ayvan Takht Marmar

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The spectacular terrace known as Ayvan Takht Marmar (The Marble Throne Terrace) is one of the most important parts of Golestan Palace. Regarding its historical, political and social significance.

It was built in 1806 to the order of Fatḥ ʿAlī ShāhQājār (r.1797-1834). Adorned by paintings, marble-carvings, tile-work, stucco, mirrors, enamel, woodcarvings, and lattice windows. The throne embodies the finest of Iranian architecture.

The renowned Takht Marmar (Marmar Throne) is located in the center of this Ayvan. It is shaped as a walled platform. Made of 65 large and small size famous, yellow marbles of Yazd province.

It was designed by Mirza Baba Naghash Bashi (head painter) of the Qājār court. Modeled after Persepolis where the legs are made in human shapes.

The architectural details and other ornaments of the terrace were completed during the reigns of Fatḥ ʿAlī Shāh and Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh(r.1848-1896).

Coronations of Qājār kings, and formal court ceremonies were held on this terrace (ayvan). The last coronation to be held at Takht Marmar was the coronation of, Reza Khan Pahlavi in 1925.

Khalvat Karim Khani

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It is located after in the east part of Ayvan Takht Marmar and its attachments and dating back to 1759. It is a semi-open structure. Which is, in fact, a small remaining fraction of the interior residence of Karim Khan Zand.

It is a terrace with four entrances of which one faces the south and three the east. There are vaults with stone columns around this space. With a sitting lion engraved to the side of each column. Each of the vaults has three arches. And the one in middle is wider and higher than the side arches.

There is an octagonal pond in the center of this space through which the water from Qanat used to flow into a smaller octagonal pond. There is also a ditch in the west of the pond which takes water to the lower pond.

Ornamentations of this structure include stone reliefs and tile work. With a variety of arabesque, geometrical patterns, floral patterns, animal patterns, and scenery.

In some parts, the animals are demonstrated defeating other animals, for example, there is a scene from a lion defeating a deer above the Sultan’s portrait. Which is probably a simile of the Sultan’s victory over his enemies.

Today, Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh’s marble gravestone and Fat′h-Ali Shah’s marble summer throne, are kept in this building. Which, according to the documents, was once located in different areas including the front of the exit structure and the ponds.

Talar Salam

Golestan Palace

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Covering an area of 877 m2, Talar Salam (Reception Hall) is to the west of the edifice. It is considered to be one of the most magnificent halls of the ensemble.

Talar Salam was originally designed to be a museum. After the Takht Tavoos (Iranian’s famous Jeweled Peacock Throne) was moved to the Royal jewels collection at the Central Bank. This hall was designated to hold special receptions in the presence of the king. Hence the name Talar Salam.

Tourists and envoys from European courts received in the Arg during the reign of Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh, spoke of this outstanding hall comparing it to its European counterparts.

The ornaments include exquisite mirror works and Stucco work in sky blue and white. There are floor-to-ceiling windows along the south side. Which let the daylight in with the ceiling made of groined vaults.

Both the ceiling and walls are decorated with plaster molding with the western wall fully covered with mirror work of arabesque and geometrical patterns. The floors are covered with multi-color tiles and large-scale carpets of magnificent patterns.

During the reign of Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh, this hall was used to exhibit Iranian and European paintings alongside gifts presented to the Iranian court. Royal jewels were also exhibited inside glass cases. These jewels are now housed at theRoyal Jewels Museum of the Central Bank.

Having functioned as a venue for ceremonies, it is also referred to as the Coronation hall (Talar Taj Gozaari). Where five Qājār kings plus Pahlavi II were crowned.

Talar Aaj

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Believed to be the oldest structure of the edifice, Talar Aaj (Hall of Ivory) is located along the eastern wing, opposite of Talar Salam.

Covering an area of 325 m, this Talar was mainly used for dinner or lunch feasts. Thus it is also called Sofreh Khaneh.

It has four entrances: the main entrance is in the west, two entrances are along the east side. That led to Sharbat Khaneh (the Butlery), a staircase to Emarat Berelian (Brilliant Building) and Hoz Khaneh. Two other entrances along the north side and to Talar Zoruf.

Changes have been made to this hall, and now there is Talar Chahar Sotun to its south with white and blue Stucco works. Which was once a part of the terrace.

Along the south wing, this space has large windows towards Golestan Palace. This room is also decorated with mirror and Stucco works. Stucco works of geometric and arabesque patterns, paintings of Qājār kings, two large tapestries depicting the coronation of the goddess of agriculture and the goddess of Venus (goddess of love).

The fireplaces along the north side which are in turn decorated with vases, bowls, and other precious objects. It was once decorated with the gifts presented to Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh by the European monarchs.

Among the Golestan Palace collection, a watercolor by Mahmoud Khan Malek-olShoara, shows the exterior view of this hall during the Qājār period.

Talar Ayineh

Located to the west of the Talar Salam, Talar Ayineh (Hall of Mirrors) is the most famous of the Palace halls. It was built simultaneously with Talar Salam between 1874 and 1877.

This relatively small hall is famous for its extraordinary mirror work designed by Haj Abdoul Hossein Memar bashi (Sanie-ol-Molk) with Yahaya Khan Moetamed-ol-Molk, the Minister of Architecture, acting as consultant to the designer.

It has two entrances along the north side and a window in the center. Once home to Takht Tavoos (the Peacock Throne) and Taj Kaviani (the Kavianid Crown), the hall has tall windows enjoying a particular splendor due to the reflection of sunshine in the mirrors and magnificent ornamentation.

Owing much of its reputation to its ornamentation, yet another reason for the hall’s fame is Mirza Mohammad Khan Kamal-ol Molk’s depiction of the place in his painting created in 1891. The painting is now on display the Golestan Palace.

Talar Zoruf

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Located to the north, Talar Zoruf is among the changes and additions made to Golestan Palace during the Pahlavids.

The hall was then used as a showroom to display all chinaware presented to Qājār s as gifts by the European kings.

Among the rare, exquisite chinaware put on display here, some are the most exceptional:

    • China set depicting Napoleonic wars, gift of Napoleon I;
    • China set presented by King Nicolas I;
    • China set decorated with precious gems and jewels presented by Queen Victoria
    • China set presented by King Wilhelm to the Iranian crown prince;
    • China set made of Malachite stone presented by Alexander III.

There are two staircases in the west end of this hall. One leading to the upper level of Berelian Building and the other, which has 14 steps and has an elevation of about two meters, leads to the eastern chamber of Berelian Building.

Emarat Berelian

Located to the east of Talar-e Aaj, it covers an area of 650 m 2 and is stretched along east-west direction. It was used for formal meetings with delegates and heads of foreign countries and formal ceremonies from the rule of Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh to the time of the Pahlavids’.

Emarat Brelian has five rooms or halls separated from one another by door-windows.

Now covered with mirror and glass, the doors were originally sash windows with colored glass, and have preserved their original frames and overall shapes.

The most outstanding decorative elements of this building the unique mirror works with geometric and floral patterns. It is also decorated with Stucco work on the ceiling, stone engravings around fireplace, and relief tiles.

Kakh Elizabeth

Covering an approximate area of 570 m2, the three-story building of Kakh-e Elizabeth (Elizabeth’s Palace) also called Khabgah (bedroom), is the most recent addition to the Palace. Which replaced Narenjestan building on the occasion of Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Iran in the early years of Reza Shah’s rule.

It once served as the residence for heads of states and officials including Queen Elizabeth and Charles André Joseph Marie de Gaulle before the Islamic revolution.

Currently, the management, the manuscript library, the documents library and the album library of Golestan Palace are located in this building.

Shams-ol-Emareh

Covering an area of nearly 664 m2 in five floors, now serving as a museum, Shams-ol-Emareh (Edifce of the Sun) is the most outstanding and the tallest edifice built in the government citadel.

It is also the first entertainment tower in Tehran and is considered to be the first building here where modern materials such as cast iron are used in the columns and handrails.

The idea of building a tall structure came to Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh before his first European travle and from pictorial images of European buildings.

The Monarch wanted a structure from which he could have panoramic views of the city. Shams-ol Emareh has 96 steps from the ground to the top, and its height is 25 m, which comes to a total of 30 considering the height of pavilions.

The high ceilings and the symmetry of the structure are remarkable. The structural system is comprised of bearing walls with brick arches, trusses, and wooden and cast iron columns.

The plinths and steps are made of marble. The roof is a gable. And the banisters and some of the columns are made of cast iron.

Wooden capitals follow the Safavid style, while the cast iron ones are decorated with Corinthian capitals. This is the first extrovert structure in Tehran with the view of the outer space and the enclosure of the palace. Which is at the same time open to the sight of the observers from the outside.

The facade is completely covered with multi-colored tiles of arabesques, floral patterns and lion and sun motif. The materials used in this building mainly include adobe, thatch, brick, and lime mortar.

Decorative elements are created using Stucco works, mirror works, tile works, stone engravings, and painting on stones. Motifs employed are arabesque, latticeworks, and Muqarnas.

Shams-ol Emareh is unique in the Iranian architecture regarding its plan, facade, interior arrangement, mirror works, paintings, and the Stucco work of its plinths, walls and ceilings.

Designed by Moayer-ol-Mamalek, construction on the Shams-ol-Emareh began in 1865 and was completed two years later. The architect was Master Ali Mohammad Kashi.

The building has two identical towers. The exterior views have multiple arches, intricate tile work, and ornate windows. This building is a fusion of Persian and European architecture.

Emarat Badgir

Located to the south of Golestan Palace and spreading over an area of 786 m2, Emarat Badgir (Wind Catchers
Building) was constructed during the reign of Fatḥ ʿAlī Shāhin 1813.

The building underwent major renovations, including structural changes, during the reign of Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh. A watercolor rendering by Mahmood Khan Malekol-Shoara depicts the original structure prior to renovations.

The building is comprised of Talar Shahneshin (King’s Hall), two lateral chambers, two vestibules, the Hoz Khaneh and four Badgirs (wind catchers). All decorated with multi-color tiles (blue, yellow, black with golden knobs).

Building’s facade is mainly decorated with tile work, fresco, and a combination of mirror work, stucco work and stone engraving.

The banisters of the central terrace and roof lights of the Hoz Khaneh in the lower level are made of engraved solid marble enjoying floral motifs.

Small terraces on the side of the main terrace which serve as the entrance to the chambers are all decorated with painted arabesques, for the major part in golden color on a background of bright or red.

In the center of chamber walls, there is a painting of a flower vase inside an oval-shaped frame. The central room boasts the finest stained glass window in Golestan Palace.

The building is named after the wind catchers or Badgirs which are remarkable structures serving as the building’s cooling system during hot days.

Talar Almas

Covering an area of 200 m, the 200-year-old Talar Almas (Hall of Diamonds) is located in the southern wing of Golestan Palace next to Emarat Badgir and Chador Khaneh.

It is called Hall of Diamonds because of the exceptional mirror work inside the building. The construction of this hall dates to the time of Fatḥ ʿAlī Shāh (circa1806).
Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh renovated this hall 
changing its appearance and replacing the hall’s Oval arches with Roman ones. He also ordered the walls covered with wallpapers imported from Europe.

Chador Khaneh

Located between the Emarat Badgir and Almas Hall, the Chador Khaneh (House of Tents) was used as a warehouse for royal tents.

The Qājār tribe loved the great outdoors and made several royal camping trips each year. These trips were grand affairs with multitudes of servants and attendants – in addition to all royal necessities.

Many tents were needed to accommodate the entourage. Thus, a need for a House of Tents. The Chador Khaneh has undergone major renovations and is now used as a meeting and lecture hall.

Kakh Abyaz

Golestan Palace

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Completed in 1883, the Abyaz (White) Palace covers an area of about 1191m in the south of Golestan Palace. Made of white stones, the edifice enjoys a gable roof and European- style decoration.

The façade is decorated with Stucco works shaped like the human head, arabesques and floral patterns inspired by the European neoclassical school. The entrance is in the east, below a terrace with two pairs of double columns.

Unlike other palaces of the ensemble and unlike the tradition of Iranian architecture, Kakh Abyaz does not have a symmetric design. And the larger part of the spaces and rooms are along the south side. The Palace now houses one of the most interesting ethnological museums in Iran with a colorful exhibition of traditional Iranian costumes and folk arts.

Hoz Khaneh

Works of European painters presented to the Qājār court are housed in the Hoz Khaneh (Hoz means pond, thus the name Hoz Khaneh) was used as a summer chamber during the Qājār era.

A special cooling system pumped water from a subterranean system of streams (qanats) – in this case, the king’s qanat – into small ponds inside the chambers. 

The system was designed to pass through as many summer rooms as was necessary. The water was then channeled outside to irrigate the royal gardens. Due to the harmful effects of humidity, this system is no longer in use.

Aks Khaneh

Golestan Palace

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The Aks Khaneh (House of Photographs) is a large summer chamber under the Badgir. As with the Hoz Khaneh, this room was cooled using a cooling system that pumped water from a subterranean stream (qanat) into a small pond. Due to the harmful effects of humidity, this system is no longer in use.

This room has undergone major renovations and is now used as an exhibition space for photographs of the Qājār period.

Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh took an interest in photography not long after the invention of the camera. In fact, he was an avid photographer. Aks Khaneh houses some photographs taken by Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh and some photographs captioned by him.

Negar Khaneh

Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh was very impressed by the exhibition of artifacts and valuable objects at European museums during his second European tour around 1872.

He arrived back in Tehran and intended to build a museum to exhibit paintings, royal jewels, and other royal artifacts. The original collection of the museum is now scattered among Tehran’s many museums. However, the paintings of the royal court are now kept at the Golestan Palace. With the European paintings housed in the Hoz Khaneh and the works of Iranian painters housed in the Negar Khaneh (the Gallery).

Meant to show the evolution of painting in Iran during the Qājār era, the works of Iranian painters are exhibited in two sections. Located in the southern part of the Negar Khaneh are the works of early Qājār masters such as Mirza Baba, Mehr Ali Afshar, Ali Akbar Khan Mozaien-olDouleh, Aboul Hassan Sani (Sanie-olMolk) who was Kamal-ol-Molk’s uncle.

The northern Negar Khaneh, was the seat of the Royal Guard during the time of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi. The northern hall underwent substantial renovations in 1995. And now houses the works of later masters of the Qājār era such as Mahmoud Khan Saba (Malek-ol-Shoara), Mohammad Gafari Kashani (Kamal-ol-Molk), Mehri, Mosa Momayez.

Mouze Makhsous

Being under Talar Salam, the Mouze Makhsus (special museum) was built by Mohamad Ebrahim Khan Memar Bashi.

In Nasser-ed-Din shah’s period, this building was used as a warehouse to store the china and silverware presented to Qājār kings as gifts and was then turned into a museum during the Pahlavi period to display such rare gifts.

Among the precious treasures of the museum are Shah Esmail Safavid’s Helmet, Nader Shah’s bow, and arrows, Armband of Fath Ali Shah, the collection of Qājār seals and Aga Mohamad khan’s crown.

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Golestan Palace

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Golestan Palace

The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace (Palace of Flowers). It belongs to a group of royal – buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg (citadel).

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Golestan Palace Usage During Time

The Arg built during the reign of Tahmasb I (r. 1524- 1576) of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736). And was later renovated by Karm Khān Zand(r. 1750-1779). With coming of the Qājār s to power in 1779, the Arg became the seat of their government of the Qājār. Who made Teheran the capital of the country and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal family.

Golestan Palace

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During the Pahlavi era (1925-1979) Golestan Palace was used for formal royal receptions. The most important ceremonies to be held in the Palace during the Pahlavi era were the coronation of Reza Khan (r. 1925-1941) in Takht Marmar and the coronation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (r. 1941-deposed 1979) in the Museum Hall.

Golestan Palace

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Golestan Palace Architecture

The lavish Golestan Palace is a masterpiece of the Qājār era. It embodies the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace is one of the oldest groups of buildings in Teheran.

It built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas. The Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date from the 19th century. It became a center of Qājār arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example. And it has remained a source of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to this day.

It represents a new style incorporating traditional Persian arts and crafts and elements of 18th-century architecture and technology. In its present state, Golestan Palace is the result of roughly 400 years of construction and renovations.

Golestan Palace

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The buildings at the contemporary location each have a unique history. On October 11, 2005, the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran submitted the palace to the UNESCO for inclusion into the World Heritage List in 2007. On June 23, 2013, it was proclaimed as world heritage site during the UNESCO meeting in Phnom Penh.

Golestan Palace Characteristics

It is located in the heart and historic core of Tehran. This Palace complex originally built during the Safavid dynasty in the historic walled city. Following extensions and additions, it received its most characteristic features in the 19thcentury. When the palace complex selected as the royal residence and seat of power by the Qājār ruling family.

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The complex exemplifies architectural and artistic achievements of the Qājār era. Including the introduction of European motifs and styles into Persian arts.

It not only used as the governing base of the Qājār Kings but also it functioned as a recreational and residential compound. And it was a center of artistic production in the 19th century. Through the latter activity, it became the source and center of Qājār arts and architecture.

Golestan Palace Wonders

Golestan Palace represents a unique and rich testimony of the architectural language and decorative art during the Qājār era. Which they represented mostly in the legacy of Nāṣer al-Dīn Shāh. It reflects artistic inspirations of European origin as the earliest representations of synthesized European and Persian style. Which it then became so characteristic of Iranian art and architecture in the late 19th and 20th centuries.

Golestan Palace

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As such, parts of the palace complex is as the origins of the modern Iranian artistic movement. The complex of Golestan Palace represents an important example of the merging of Persian arts and architecture. That, with European styles and motifs and the adaptation of European building technologies. Such as the use of cast iron for load bearing, in Persia.

As such Golestan Palace is considered an exceptional example of an east-west synthesis in monumental arts, architectural layout, and building technology. Which it has become a source of inspiration for modern Iranian artists and architects.

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Persian Gardens

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Persian Gardens

Culture and identity in a society can be represented in the architecture and the meanings that comes with it.

In this sense, the architecture and design are the interfaces for transferring meaning and identity to the nation
and future generations.

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Persian gardens have been evolved through the history of the Persian Empire in regard to the culture and beliefs of the society.

Persian gardens are not only about geometries and shapes; but also manifest different design elements, each representing a specific symbol and its significance among the society.

The earliest evidence of Persian gardens was recorded in 600 B.C. at the Palace area in Pasargadae and dates back to the final years of the reign of Cyrus the Great (559-30 B.C.).

The garden was based on the Zoroastrian division of the universe into four parts, four seasons or the four elements; water, wind, soil, and fire (Karimi-Hakkak 1998).

A mystical feeling for flowers and a love of gardens are integral parts of ancient Persian gardens. The Persian garden is a manifestation of supreme values and concepts and is well-known as a bridge connecting the two worlds of matter and meaning.

The philosophical design concept of Persian gardens is believed to be rooted in the four sacred elements of water, wind, fire, and soil.

The geometrical design of Persian gardens has been reflected in Persian carpets, potteries, and visual arts. The other distinctive feature of Persian gardens.

Which contributes to the introspective characteristics of ancient Persian people, is the wide application of thick brick walls, which surround the entire rectangular plan of the garden.

Other traits of Persian gardens include the application of perpendicular angles and straight lines, ponds and pools to supply the water and highlight the scenic landscape view.

Simultaneous use of evergreen and deciduous trees, planting of various types of plants and consideration of focal a pavilion known as Kooshk.

The purpose of designing gardens in Persia was not only limited to providing green spaces for the inhabitants, but also creating the opportunity for further interaction between the human and nature.

As well as creating various ranges of functions (Gharipour 2011) and promoting Persian culture via various design elements (Müller-Wille 2001).

In fact, Persian gardens are not only about beautiful geometries and shapes; but they manifest different design elements, each representing a specific symbol.

For instance, Shahzadeh-Mahan Garden, Fin Garden, and Chehel Sotun Garden, all of which are located in semi-desert and desert lowland zones near to the vast deserts of Iran: the Dasht-e Kavir and the Dasht-e Lut.

Persian gardens were designed with a sacred geometry representing and illustrating a union of the mortal/material world and the eternal universe (Khansari et al. 1998).

Therefore, the geometric structure can be considered as one of the most prominent features of Persian gardens.

The initial structure of Persian gardens was based on a geometrical quadripartite division with a pavilion in its intersection.

The general idea of this formation was based on the pre-Islamic Iranian division of the earth into four quarters, which may have been inspired by the geometrical motifs of Mesopotamia and Sindh Valley civilizations (Massoudi 2009).

During the Islamic period, the geometric quartered pattern of Persian gardens became more reinforced by the belief of four heavenly streams; as it was similar to the image of the heaven in the Quran (Mansouri 2011).

Therefore, the general pattern of most Persian gardens consisted of a rectangular space which is quartered by intersecting streams and pathways.

The common irrigation system of the time has been known as another effective factor in the formation of geometric garden structure besides the impact of Persian beliefs and morals (Naghizadeh 2013).

The structure and spirit of Persian gardens have been registered in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List.

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