Iran travel advice about palaces of Tehran
please read Iran travel advice before travelingGolestan Palace pronounced “Kakheh Golestan” is the former royal Qajar complex in Iran’s capital city. The lavish Golestan Palace is a masterpiece of the Qajar era. embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences.
Golestan Palace in Tehran is one of the most spectacular places you will visit on your travel to Iran. This great palace is a fine example of Persian art, history, and architecture. It is the valuable gem sitting in the heart of Tehran carrying memories from Safavid era to Pahlavi kings.
The complex exemplifies architectural and artistic achievements of the Qajar era including the introduction of European motifs and styles into Persian arts.
The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Teheran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Teheran the capital of the country. 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 centre of Qajari arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example and has remained a source of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to this day.
It is the highlight of capital and it receives many Iranian and foreign visitors on a daily basis. It represents a new style incorporating traditional Persian arts and crafts and elements of 18th century architecture and technology.
The Palace is all that remains of Tehran’s Historical Citadel (Arg) which once glittered like a jewel.
This historical Arg was built at the time of Shah Tahmasb I in Safavid period. It was reconstructed at the time of Karim Khan Zand and was chosen as the venue of the royal court and residence at the time of Qajar Kings. Nassereddin Shah introduced many modifications in Golestan Palace buildings during his reign.
The Royal Court and Residence occupied more than one third of Arg, like traditional Iranian houses, had two interior and exterior quarters. The exterior quarters consisted of the administrative section of the royal court and a square shaped garden known as Golestan (rose garden). These two parts were separated by several buildings, that were destroyed in Pahlavi period.
It was not only used as the governing base of the Qajari Kings but also functioned as a recreational and residential compound and a centre of artistic production in the 19th century. Through the latter activity, it became the source and centre of Qajari arts and architecture.
Golestan Palace has witnessed some important moments in Iran’s history such as constitutional revolution, the coronation of first and second Pahlavi dynasties.
Takht-e Marmar Terrace (Marble Throne Verandah) is the first fascinating structure you’ll see as you walk in the courtyard. The terrace is decorated with Iranian elements such as tile work, mirror, stucco, lattice windows, and paintings. The fine marble throne in the terrace is made of the famous yellow marble of Yazd Province.
Sadabad Complex is a cultural and historical complex that covers an area of 110 hectares and is located at the northernmost part of Tehran. There is perhaps no better place to see the lifestyle of the ‘Last Shah’ than the Sa’dabad Palace Complex. Perched on approximately 110 hectares of spectacular mountainside parkland above Tehran Iran, the complex was a royal summer residence during the Pahlavi period.
Sa’dabad Palace Complex Tehran was originally established under the Qajar rule in the 19th century as their summer retreat. But during the Pahlavi era, northern Tehran transformed with it’s largest period of growth turning pastures and hilltops into wealthy suburbs. The palace complex has since been converted into many museums after the Iranian Revolution, housing diverse royal treasures and their related stories, making for a pleasant half day around the extensive park.
After the Islamic Revolution, palaces were changed into museums in a suitable way to represent the finest works of art from Iranian and non-Iranian artists to the large number of visitors.
Today, there are 10 museums open to the public as follow:
1. Green palace: It is the first palace built in the complex during Pahlavi dynasty by Reza Shah’s order. The building is called green palace because of the color of its facade. The palace is a very nice museum of Persian arts like mirror marquetry, carpets, and illumination and plaster work. It was served as Mohammad Reza’s private palace where some private meetings were held before the Islamic Revolution.
2. Nation’s palace: In two stories, different small and large rooms were served as residence and office of Reza Shah Pahlavi and his son. Rooms were used as sitting room, waiting room, reception hall, dinning hall and bedroom. There are some works of art like figurines and chinaware are kept in showcases. Furniture, chandeliers and paintings are European made. There are four big mural painting the subjects of which are Iranian myths.
3. Nations’ museum: This collection consists of various works of art purchased from other countries and represents the civilizations of pre-Islam Iranian, African, Indian, far east, Eskimos, Mayas and contemporary arts of Iranian as well as non-Iranian artists.
4. Fine arts museum: The major part of the paintings in this collection are the oil paintings of Safavid, Afshar, Zand and Qajar periods collected by Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s last wife, Farah, from an English collectioner called Harold Emmer. The paintings have been arranged on 3 floors: 1) First floor, teahouse painting by contemporary Iranian artists, 2) second floor, various historical periods paintings mentioned above, and 3) Third floor, European works presented to Farah or bought by her.
5. Behzad museum: This museum is devoted to the miniatures painted by Hossein Behzad (1895-1968) who made a revolution in Iranian painting. Studying European art and being inspired by Kamal-ed-din Behzad and Reza Abbasy, he introduced a new style of miniature on paper, hard paper or fiberboard. This style is purely Iranian, but it has kept on with its contemporary paces and changes of art in universal art schools.
6. Abkar museum: The miniatures in this museum are works of a 20th century artist called Klara Abkar who had her particular style in painting. Her source of inspiration was the rich Iranian literature and mysticism. Her works take the visitors to a world of spirituality and a poem-like or light-music-like harmony that give everyone’s eyes peace and tranquility.
7. Mir Emad museum: The main subject of this museum is the most prominent post-Islam Iranian art namely calligraphy. On paper and parchment, there are plenty of various calligraphic styles of writing belonging to 10th to 19th centuries. Mir Emad, himself, the most well known 18th century’s calligrapher, has been introduced by his works. In some cases, some calligraphy-related arts like illumination, painting, etc are exhibited.
8. Museum of anthropology: The lifestyle and customs of Iranians through the history are displayed from cultural perspective. In a vast area and of two floors, various objects are exhibited like tools for irrigation, agriculture, husbandry, fishing and hunting as well as agricultural documents, clothes, lighting tools and handicrafts.
9. Water museum: This museum in an exhibition of ancient and traditional techniques and instruments for water supplement and distribution. Various water-related vernacular structures are introduced like water reservoirs and traditional icehouses. Some ancient water dams and royal orders concerning them are presented as well.
10. Military museum: the objects of the museum are displayed on two floors. The military uniforms of Achaemenians up to the present time are exhibited. The weaponry on display consists of some unsophisticated ones used in the ancient times until the firearms period’s. Part of the history of Iraqi-imposed war against Iran (1980-1988) is also exposed to visitors.