Sa’dabad cultural-historical complex is a 300-hectare complex in the north of Tehran. The complex was founded and expanded by kings in the Qajar and Pahlavi periods; and after the 1978 revolution, it changed into a museum. The current presidential palace is located next to this complex. At present, several palaces and buildings of this complex are in the possession of the Presidential Institution of Iran.
If you like visiting historical spaces, Sa’dabad historical and cultural complex is one of the most prominent places in the contemporary history of Iran. This historical complex has about 180 hectares of natural forest, along with several palaces, mansions, museums and numerous buildings, aqueducts, gardens, greenhouses and streets, which wandering in them is definitely not without grace! If you have not visited Saad Abad Palace complex or you want to visit this complex, join us in this article!
Sa’dabad complex has gone through four historical periods: 1. Qajar, 2. first Pahlavi and 3. second Pahlavi and 4. after the Iranian 1979 revolution. The complex was built during the Qajar period; and it was the summer residence of the kings of this dynasty. After the coup d’etat of 1299, and it’s occupation by the Pahlavi dynasty, they built several buildings in it, which could accommodate 18 palaces in different dimensions.
Each of the buildings was the residence of a member of the Pahlavi family. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi also settled in this place in the 1350s; and also the construction of it was completed early in his reign. The newest palace in this complex is Leila Pahlavi Palace, which belonged to the youngest daughter of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, and today is “The Abkar Museum“.
Sa’dabad historical complex is located on a land with an area of nearly 300 hectares. About 110 hectares of this area are mansions and palace; and about 180 hectares are gardens, aqueducts and greenhouses of Saad Abad complex. In the construction of the mansions and palaces of Saad Abad complex, you can see a combination of European architecture and original and traditional Iranian architecture; and the design of the palace buildings has been done by the most prominent domestic and foreign architects. The buildings of Sa’dabad Complex are the following:
We can boldly call the Green Museum Palace the most beautiful palace in Iran! This palace is very important due to it’s great historical and architectural importance; because it dates back to the Qajar period and has two styles of Iranian architecture. They called this palace “The Stone Palace” during the reign of Reza Khan and “The Shahvand palace” during the reign of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi; and later, they called it “The Green Palace” because of it’s green facade.
The stones of this palace were prepared from Khamseh mines of Zanjan; and they used lead in it’s material so that the climate change would not destroy the stones. Shahvand Palace was a half-story building belonging to Ali Khan, one of the governors of the Qajar era. And Reza Khan bought this palace of 1203 square meters in 1922; and made Mirza Jafar Khan made Memar Bashi responsible for building a palace in this building.
Memarbashi also used the utmost taste in the construction of this building and showed the power and elegance of Iranian architects in this building. Instead of destroying the original building and creating a new building, he preserved the original building, which belonged to the Qajar period; and the, built his new design on this building. The efforts of this Iranian architect to preserve the old building finally came to fruition after seven years; and today Shahvand Palace, shines like a green jewel in the heart of Sa’dabad Palace!
The Green Museum Palace consists of two parts: In the first part of which there is an entrance staircase, a waiting room, a work room, a mirror hall, a private dining room and a bedroom; and in the second part there is a living room with two bedrooms and a dining room. They built the second part of the Green Palace by order of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi during the years 1971-1973 with the aim of receiving foreign guests.
The hallmark of the Green Museum Palace is the presence of Iranian art such as mirror work, gilding and inlay. Some of these Iranian masterpieces include the mirror work of the palace by famous masters such as Sheikhan and Haj Ali Akhoondi, the gilding of the work of Master Hossein Taherzadeh Behzad and Khatam by the workshop of Master Sani Khatam of Shiraz. Of course, we shouldn’t forget about the wooden railings of the palace stairs, which were inlaid in the style of Persepolis carvings by Master Mokhtari, one of Kamal-ol-Molk’s students; and also the carvings on the outer walls of the palace by Master Hussein Khan Zanjani, known as the carpenter.
During the Pahlavi period, this palace was the place of the last years of Reza Shah’s life before his exile to Mauritius; and also, the place of residence of the king’s mother (Taj al-Muluk) until the time of the 1979 Revolution. This palace is currently in the possession of the Presidential Institution of Iran and is reserved for special guests of the Government of Iran; and for this reason it is also famous as “The Republic Building“. This palace is also currently inaccessible to the public.
The Palace of the Nation Museum with an area of 7,000 square meters is the largest palace in Sa’dabad complex; and was also famous as “The White House” due to its white facade. Other names of this palace during different years were: The King’s Palace, The Private Palace and The Private White House. Until after the 1979 revolution and the transfer of the complex to the Cultural Heritage Organization, it was renamed “The Palace of the Nation Museum” (Mellat museum in Persian). The construction of the Palace, began in the late Pahlavi period.
Architects and professors such as Leon Tatavousian and Boris Rossi played an important role in the construction of palaces of the Pahlavi era, especially the first Pahlavi; but in the palace of the National Museum, you can see the footprints and elegance of the beds of Iranian artists such as Abdolkarim Sheikhan, Reza Mullah Hossein Kashi and Gholamreza Pahlavan. And this combination of Iranian and European architecture gives Mellat Museum Palace a unique and beautiful architecture style.
Mellat Museum Palace has four floors, including: 1. Basement which is at the same level with green space, 2. first floor, 3. second floor and 4. the attic. This floors divide into 61 sections altogether:
Mellat Palace has a great importance due to it’s artistic and architectural masterpieces. You can see these masterpieces from the very beginning of the entrance and the exterior of the palace, which includes the art of stonework to various parts of the interior of the palace. Some of the masterpieces of the Palace are:
In 1940, Reza Shah ordered the construction of a building in the southernmost part of Sa’dabad Palace. The construction of the complex had not progressed much yet, that Reza Shah’s exile took place in 1941; so the construction of this building remained unfinished. After his deportation and the coronation of the Crown Prince, Mohammad Reza Pahlavi issued an order to continue the work, and finally built this beautiful building. If you look at the facade of this building, you will see black marble stones that have been extracted from the Valiabad Chalous mine; and for this reason it is also famous as “The Black Palace“. After the victory of the 1979 Revolution, the Black Palace changed it’s use, and in 1982 it was shown to the public as the Museum of Fine Arts.
In the northwestern part of Sa’dabad Complex, you will see a building with a red brick facade. This building dates back to the Qajar period and was the resting place of the coachmen at the time. After the 1979 revolution, this part was renovated in 2002, and in October of the following year, at the same time with the tourism week, it was opened as the first Iranian tourist as the Museum of the Omidvar Brothers.
Issa and Abdullah Omidvar are two Iranian tourist brothers, researchers and documentarians. The motto of the two brothers in their travels was: “Everyone is different, everyone is related”.
In May 2015, Yangon Kwak, Secretary General of the World Citizen Organization, praised Issa Omidvar as “the first contemporary Iranian tourist” to bring the message of world peace to the world by creating global villages, and was awarded the fourth World Citizenship Medal. Kwak also chose Issa Omidvar as his advisor in Iran.
In a part of Sa’dabad palace complex, there is a building that dates back to the late Qajar period. In the first Pahlavi era, the name of this building was “Karbasi Palace“, which was the resting place and office of Reza Khan. Also, Reza Pahlavi spent his childhood and adolescence in this palace during the summer; and for this reason it was also famous as “The Crown Prince’s Palace“.
After the 1979 revolution, they used this palace as a warehouse for some of the tools of other palaces; until in 1994, it changed it’s use and became the Behzad Museum. The Cultural Heritage Organization exhibited 289 works of Master Hossein Behzad in Karbasi Palace, entitled “Museum of Master Hossein Behzad”. The museum has five different sections, including works of pencil and ink designs and color paintings of Hossein Behzad.
In a part of Sa’dabad palace, you will see a relatively new building that is different from other palaces in the complex; because it’s architecture is reminiscent of the Qajar era and at the same time has a relatively new style. The building probably dates back to the late 19th and early 20th centuries; because it’s architectural style is similar to the transition period that was formed in the late Qajar period and early Pahlavi rule. This two-story building was once the residence of the children of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, Farahnaz and Alireza. And after the 1979 revolution, it was unused for a long time; until the Cultural Heritage Organization decided to use it as a museum. As a result, after making changes, this building started it’s activity as Mir Emad Calligraphy Museum and exhibited one of the ancient Iranian arts in different styles.
As we mentioned, Sa’dabad Complex is one the most important and most beautiful palaces of Tehran that changed in to a perfect museum garden after 1979 revolution. What is your opinion about this great place? Are you planning to visit the complex or not?