If you are planning to visit Iran and going to stay in Tehran for a couple of days, we highly recommend you to spend a few hours visiting the Golestan Palace. The walled palace inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2013. Here, we are going to briefly introduce this magnificent complex.
The history of Golestan Palace
The Palace is the only remains of Tehran’s Historical Citadel (Arg), which was built at the time of Shah Tahmasb I during the Safavid period, about 500 years ago. The palace was reconstructed by Karim Khan Zand and later was chosen as the venue of the royal court and residence by the Qajar Kings.
When Agha Mohammad Khan, in 1779, came into power he selected the Golestan complex as his palace and administrative center. Naser al-Din Shah, in 1848, was crowned in the Imarat-i Takht-i Marmar. During the fifty years of his reign, he made many modifications to the palace during his reign.
During the Pahlavi era (1925-1979), the Golestan Palace was used for formal royal receptions. Coronation of Reza Khan in 1925 and the coronation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Farah Diba in 1941 took place at this palace.
Different Sites at Golestan Palace
The complex of Golestan Palace includes seventeen sites. Almost all of these sites were constructed during the governor of the Qajar dynasty. Here are the list and a brief introduction to each site.
Marble Throne (Takht e Marmar)
This spectacular terrace was built in 1806 by the order of Fath Ali Shah Qajar. The Marble Throne in the middle of the terrace (iwan), is made of the famous yellow marble from the city of Yazd. It is made of sixty-five pieces of marble and was designed by Mirza Baba Naqash Bashi.
Pond House (Howz Khaneh)
There are so many items of European painters exhibited in this place. The Pond House used to be the summer chamber as it was a cool place due to the pumped water from the subterranean system of streams into small ponds inside the chambers.
Brilliant Hall (Talar e Brelian)
The Hall name comes from the extraordinary mirror work of Iranian artisans and the chandeliers.
Containers Hall (Talar e Zoruf)
This hall exhibits all the chinaware that were dedicated to Qajar kings by the European kings.
Ivory Hall (Talar e Adj)
This hall is one of the largest rooms in the complex which used to be the dining room. It is decorated with gifts from European monarchs.
Karim Khani Nook (Khalvat e Karim Khani)
This site was part of the interior residence of Karim Khan Zand in Shiraz. It is a terrace with a small marble throne inside it. There used to be a small pond with a fountain in the middle of this terrace. Nasser ed-Din ShahQajar was the founder of this corner of the Palace. It is said that he spent much time here to rest.
Mirror Hall (Talar e Aineh)
The most famous hall in the complex is the Mirror Hall due to its extraordinary mirror work. The decoration was designed by Haj Abd ol Hossein Memar Bashi (Sanie ol Molk).
Salam Hall (Talar e Salam)
This is the only hall that originally designed to be a museum. However, its usage changed to a reception hall in the presence of the king. Ceiling and walls of the hall are decorated with plaster molding, and the floors are covered with mosaic.
Diamond Hall (Talar e Almas)
The Diamond Hall is situated in the southern wing of the complex, next to the building of Windcatchers. There is exceptional mirror work inside the building which shines like a diamond, which is why it is called Diamond Hall.
The building of Windcatchers (Emarat e Badgir)
The Building of Windcatchers was constructed during the governor of Fath Ali Shah, when the major renovations and structural changes were done to the building. The Windcatchers were built to allow the cooling wind to move through in the structure.
Museum of Gifts
The building is situated under the Salam Hall, which was used as a warehouse for the chinaware and silverware which was dedicated to Qajar kings. Currently, in addition to the gifts, some rare objects are kept at this museum, including:
The Abyaz Palace (The White Palace)
Some precious gifts were sent to Nasser ed-Din Shah by the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid, therefore the Qajar King decided to build a hall to exhibit these gifts, and so the Abyaz Palace was constructed.
The edifice of the Sun (Shams ol Emareh)
The most stunning structure of the Golestan Palace is the Edifice of the Sun. It was built since Nasser ed-Din Shah wanted a structure from which he could have a panoramic view of the city. Therefore, the construction started in 1865 and the last two years later. The architect of the building was Ali Mohammad Kashi.
During his trip to Europe, Nasser ed-Din Shah was very impressed by the exhibition of artifacts and valuable objects at European museums. When he came back to Tehran, he decided to build a museum hall to exhibit paintings, royal jewels, and other royal artifacts.
There is a collection of photos which mostly related to the time of the 19th-century. The photos were collected by the order of Naser ed-Din Shah.
The two-story building was constructed during the Qajar Dynasty and used for the administration purposes by the times’ chancellor and prime minister. Today, the first floor houses the administrative section, a library, and an exhibition hall. On the second floor, you will find women wearing rural clothing from different areas in Iran.
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