The idyllic Eram garden in Shiraz is a striking location for visitors with a variety of plants as well as a historic mansion.The garden and the buildings within it are located at the northern shore of the Khoshk River in the Fars Province. Both the building and the garden were built during the middle of nineteenth century by the Ilkhanate or a paramount chief of the Qashqai tribes of Pars. The original lay out of the garden however, with its quadripartite Persian Paradise garden structure was most likely laid in eighteenth century by the Seljuqs,and was then referred to as the "Baq-e shah" ("the king's garden" in Persian) and was much less complicated or ornamental.
Over its 150 years the structure has been modified, restored or stylistically changed by various participants. During the late Zand Dynasty, the garden was owned by Qashqai tribal chiefs. A Qashqai tribal chief, Mohammad Qoli khan ordered the constructions of the original mansion in the eighteen century, planting the garden with different trees including cypress, pine, orange and persimmon trees. During the reign of King Nasser-ed din of the Qajar Dynasty, Mirza Hassan Ali khan nasir –al Mulk bought thegardens from the Qashqai tribes and constructed the present pavilion which was designed by a famous Shiraz architect, Mohammad Hasan. The decoration of the pavilion was completed by Hassan Ali Khan's son Abdol Qassem Khan who inherited the garden after his father.
The beautiful three-storey pavilion of the garden was constructed based on Safavid and Qajar style of architecture. The lower storey of the mansion has an impluvium especially designed for relaxation during the hot days of summer. The ceiling of this structure is beautifully adorned with colorful tiles. A small stream also passes through it, connecting to a large pool in front of the building. The middle storey has a large veranda erected on two pillars behind which stands a magnificent hall. On the two sides of the hall, there are two corridors each having 4 rooms and two small terraces. The front sides of the pillars are decorated with tiles showing the images of horsemen and flowers. The upper storey consists of a large hall whose windows open to the main veranda. It is also surrounded by two corridors leading to two terraces.
On the entablature of the building, there are three arched (semi-circular, crescent) pediments ornamented with tile work.The middle pediment, being larger than the other two, shows Nasser-ed din Shah (a famous Qajar king) on the back of a white horse. Around this picture, some scenes based on storied from the works of Ferdowsi and Nezami (two famous poets) can be seen. One of the small pediments represents an image of Darius the great (the founder of the Achaemanid Dynasty) as represented in Persepolis monuments. And finally the third pediment illustrates a deer being hunted by a panther.
The garden with its beautiful flowers, refreshing air, tall cypresses (a stately, beautiful cypress tree there known as Sarve-e naz which is said to go back to (3000 years ago) and fragrant myrtles is a major tourist destination especially in the spring. All in all, the building faces south along the long axis. The compound come under the protection of Pahlavi University during the Pahlavi era, and was used as the college of Law. The Asia institute today Eram Garden and building are within Shiraz Botanical Garden (established1983) of Shiraz university. They are open to the public as Heritage site, and protected by, Iran's cultural Heritage organization.
At the beginning we were scared to have a guide driving the two of us for two weeks. What if we don't like each other? It turned out that Ahmad is an excellent guide not because he possesses a lot of knowledge about his country...More
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The tour with Ahmad was part of a three week tour around ( part ) of the country. We have been in many places and met nice people. I have enjoyed my time. He knows the country and want to share it. Great ! I...More
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Thank you for the best trip of my life, Ahmad and Iran!! Iran was at once everything I had hoped and not at all what I expected. It is an exceptionally beautiful country with an equally warm and inviting population. The delicious food doesn't hurt...More
My wife and I spent two weeks in Iran on tour with Ahmad in May this year. We so enjoyed his knowledge and company and driving us around to suit our interests. We also went to places like Kerman, Yazd, Shiraz, Isfahan and Tehran. One...More