When we talk about Isfahan tourism attractions, first thing we’ll remind of is Naghsh-e Jahan Square, Shah mosque, Ali Qapu, Mollabashi house and Sheikh Lotfollah mosque. But that’s not all! Isfahan city originally had 1100 mansions and palaces in it! Some of them got disturbed during time; but some other survived, and Malek Vineyard was one of the survived house of Isfahan.
Malek or Malek-ol Tojjar vineyard, originally was a mansion in a beautiful grape yard; but during time the yard was destroyed for different purposes and now you can see a small yard and the mansion.
Haj Mohammad Ibrahim Khan, known as the Malek-ol Tojjar (translates as King of Merchants), was the son of the ruler of Isfahan and ordered the construction of Malek vineyard for mourning and condolence ceremonies. He lived during the reign of Nasser al-Din Shah Qajar and saw five Qajar kings during his lifetime. According to the evidence, they also used this place for holding wedding ceremonies for low-income families; and according to the will of the Malek-ol Tojjar, people had to continue this act after his death. But it stopped after Iran’s 1979 revolution.
This building consists of an outside courtyard which in Persian they call it Birooni, and an inside yard, which in Persian translates to Andarooni. In addition to Andarooni and Birooni, you can see Shahneshin (the royal room) for both Summer and Winter seasons, the pond room, basement and some rooms around the yard.
The architecture and interior decorations of this mansion are very beautiful, all done by Isfahan art masters. Also, the pillars and some roofs of the vineyard are covered with wood. This was only common in the homes of the rich. In fact, the high position and wealth of Malek-ol Tojar provided an opportunity to turn a simple vineyard into a spectacular mansion.
This room, is the largest and most beautiful part of the mansion and leads to the backyard with a sash. This sash consists of seven doors or seven openings, which connect the two spaces of the backyard and the inner space. The backyard, which they later roofed it by order of Haj Ibrahim Khan Malek, was added to the roofed space of the house. They used this space for taziyeh and religious ceremonies.
They richly decorated the indoor courtyard, dining room, tomb room and other rooms around the courtyard with bedding, mirror work and tiling. The pillars between the dining room and the courtyard are wooden, with decorated base and capitals. Underneath of this room there is the basement, illuminated by lattice skylights from the South courtyard.
This part of the Malek vineyard consists of a small courtyard that the shrine room, the royal room (Shahneshin) and several other rooms surrounds it. This yard originally had green space; but Male-ol Tojjar covered it with a wooden roof for use in religious ceremonies. They decorated the tops of the pillars of this covered courtyard with moqarnas. The pillars are actually a symbol of the si-o-se pol bridge of Isfahan; and for more effect, they used blue-green color as a symbol of Zayandehrood water. In addition to the decorations of the pillars you can see poems with religious content written on the walls of the courtyard to show the use of this section as a Hosseiniyah. An octagonal skylight provides the light of the courtyard; and if necessary, they used the lighting of old lantern lights to provide light.
There are still a number of these lights at regular intervals around the yard. Men and women should see apart of each other in gatherings, like ceremonies and mourning. So in turning this place into a hosseiniyah, they designed the roof top for women to sit. The presence of the sash of the royal room makes the the inner courtyard even more pleasant. So we can say that Malek-ol Tojjar completely designed the inner courtyard for ceremonies.
The shrine room is a five-door room in the Northern part of the inner courtyard. This room is in a good position for winter and is warmer than most other rooms of the mansion. It’s beautiful decorations show that it was a small royal room (Shahneshin) to entertain guests on cold days. Because Malek-ol Tojjar, due, hosted many people at different times of the year, due to his job; so he had to choose a room to make his guests comfortable in the cold season.
Among the very beautiful decorations of the shrine room, we can mention the harmonious combination of paintings and mirrors. Malek-ol Tojjar commands that they bury him in his own house; because he considered the vineyard as the house of Imam Hussein (the third Imam of Shiites). At present, the tomb of him is located in this section; and this is why the call it the shrine room. Also, they buried his wife in the same place, but there is no trace of her grave.
Due to the passage of light through the stained glass of the knotted windows, and the existence of a large and eye-catching sash in this room, the royal room has become an enchanting space. There are two sash with five and seven openings symmetrically in this room overlooking the inner and outer courtyards, respectively. Mirrors and plastering of this room also have a delicate design. And we can say that each of them is a small painting! These paintings are based on photographs taken by the merchant from other countries, and the painters have painted them all very artistically.
You can see very large chandeliers bought from Italy and wooden accessories from France in this room. Depending on the position of the guests, their seating was determined either on chairs or comfortable furniture. On the upper floor of the royal room, there are rooms that are suitable for Winter. And they used the downstairs rooms in the Summer. In the architecture of this house, special attention has been paid to air currents and the angle of sunlight in different seasons. And this is one of the interesting features of the mansion. The emperor has two parts based on the social class of the guest. I suggest you sit in a corner of the throne and relax for a moment. A very pleasant feeling that will give you unparalleled peace.
This section is at a lower level than other sections. The pond room is a place to receive strangers. It’s unique design prevents temperature changes at different times of the year. The small pond in the middle of the room and several living rooms with Qahveh khaneh (traditional Iranian tea house) elements have made this space very refreshing.
This space is imperial and very cool. They used the basement as a place to store food. In fact, this space was like a very large refrigerator that provided the conditions for entertaining guests in all seasons!
What do you think of the amazing Malek vineyard in Isfahan? Would you want to visit this place one day? Let us know by commenting your opinion for us.