Persian Gardens: Earthly Heavens
Paradise on earth: that is how Iranians perceive the garden. They have a point! Many of the Persian gardens are hosted in glorious mansions and royal palaces with centuries of history. Exquisite combinations of lofty trees, sweet-scented flowers, and relaxing music of water flowing through the yard can make any visitor feel right in the heavens even if it is located in the middle of a desert. The Persian garden has some unique features which have made it world-famous. Taking a trip to one of these earthly heavens does not make visiting the next one unnecessary. It just makes you want more of them. To help you pick the first Persian garden to visit, here are some of the most amazing ones to visit any time you wish. It’s noteworthy that nine of these outstanding gardens are granted the title of World Heritage by UNESCO.
The Garden of Pasargad (Pardis-e-Korosh) – Shiraz, Fars Province
Allegedly designed by Cyrus, the Great, Pasargad Garden was once a great representation of beauty and majesty. It is located in the ancient debris of the Pasargadae region. A considerable part of this garden has been ruined over the years, and there are no trees and flowers left. Yet it is worth visiting mainly because of its unique and extensive structure, which has influenced the design of many other gardens inside and outside the border. If you are going to visit Shiraz, do not hesitate to take a stroll in this ancient garden.
Fin Garden – Kashan, Isfahan
As the oldest existing Persian garden, Fin Garden has a significant yet dramatic history. There is no information about the earliest designers of the garden, but Safavid kings constructed most of the buildings in the complex and used it as a vacation spot. Most of the Iranians have remembered this place as the setting of a dramatic story during the Qajarid era. In 1852, during his stay in the complex, one of the most popular political figures, Amir Kabir, was murdered by his rivals.
When you enter Fin Garden, you are mesmerized by the great union of harmony and impeccability, which has inspired many art lovers, including Iranian carpet designers. The breathtaking view of the buildings, the sound of the water bodies and fountains, and the shade of the old trees in the pathway call on every tourist to pay a visit.
Chehel-Sotoun – Isfahan, Isfahan Province
This architectural masterpiece was built by Shah Abbas, the Great, who decided to create an avenue, called Chahar-Baq in Isfahan. Chehe-Sotoun Palace and Hasht-Behesht Garden are two of the most notable sites in Chahar-Baq Avenue. Designed by Sheikh Bahaei’e, a renowned scholar and architect, the garden mirrors Islamic art mixed with traditional Persian garden styles. When you get into the garden, you can see why this garden is called Chehel-Sotoun – roughly translated as forty pillars. The bright reflection of the twenty pillars of the palace in the serene pool located in the middle of the garden brings the image of forty pillars. When you manage to leave the beauty of the clear pond and lush greenery in the yard behind and step into the building, the dazzling glow of the mirror works, miniatures, and wall paintings take you to an exotic land. As it is close to Imam Square and Aliqapou building, try not to lose a short walk to this beautiful garden.
Eram Garden – Shiraz, Fars Province
Many Iranians believe that wherever there are water and opulence, there is a garden. The city of Shiraz is the host to some of these magnificent gardens, one of which is Eram Garden. A fantastic mix of history and style, this is how this garden can be described. It has been renovated several times and every owner changed it based on his own thoughts and viewpoints. Embraced by beautiful roses and cedar and orange trees, this garden is now under the supervision of the University of Shiraz. You will be lucky if you visit this garden when spring is in the air because you can experience the pleasant return of the sun and the scent of orange blossoms on the trees.
Shazdeh Mahan Garden – Kerman Province
Just like many other Persian gardens, it is rectangular and surrounded by high walls. Its unique feature is the rare glow of greenery in the heart of a desert. Located in the mountainous area of Kerman, this stepped garden has used the traditional watering system of Qanat, which waters the trees and fills the terraced pools along with the garden. The main building, which was the residential place of the owner, is in the upper end of the garden, whereas the entrance gate is located in the lower end. It was designed and built during the Qajarid era but remained unfinished due to the death of his owner. Despite several remodeling of the buildings, the glorious reflection of Persian art and culture catches your eyes as soon as you enter the garden.
Dowlat Abad Garden – Yazd, Yazd Province
This architectural masterpiece was built in the 18th century and was first the residence of Mohammad Taqi Khan, the governor of Yazd in the Qajarid era. The most prominent feature of this garden is the highest wind catcher in the country, which is located in the middle of the garden. So you can enjoy fresh air inside and outside the pavilion. When you stroll in the garden, various trees like pomegranate and grape, as well as different kinds of flowers along the waterways, create such a beautiful image you can’t resist. There is another specific characteristic that has made the buildings in this garden unique in architecture: traditional woodwork mixed with colorful lattice windows that make the sunlight less blazing inside the mansion. So if you want to make your visit to Yazd more relaxing, do not miss this place.
Abbasabad Garden – Behshahr, Mazandaran province
If you want to enjoy the spectacular scenery and fresh air, take beautiful pictures and learn more about Persian art, do not hesitate to pack your bag and head for the northern city of Behshahr. Just outside the city, this 500-acre botanical garden has created a spectacular view with a breathtaking lake and waterfalls surrounded by lofty trees. The historical complex of Abbasabad was constructed by Shah Abbas the great and reflected the grandeur of Persian architecture. One of the wonders of this garden is its rare location. Most of the Persian Gardens are located in the desert, but this one is in the middle of the jungle. It is on top of the slope next to Abbasabad Dam with terraced floors. There is also a stone tower in the middle of the lake, which allows you to enjoy swimming and to take a boat.
The following are some other beautiful Persian Gardens you can put on your list:
- Ghavam Garden, Shiraz
- Niavaran Garden, Tehran
- Afifabad Garden, Shiraz
- Akbariyeh Garden, Birjand
- El-Gölü Garden, Tabriz