Persian Garden: Iranian invention of Chahar Bagh
The Persian Garden truly resembles paradise on Earth. The general pattern of Persian gardens has a rectangular form consisting of four quarters abundant in trees and flowers, streams and pathways, ponds and fountains, usually a central pavilion, and walls that surround the garden.
Persian gardens are so remarkable that nine gardens out of a wide variety are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Located in different climatic parts of Iran, Persian gardens have their unique features but are still similar in overall structure.
In the first two parts of the article we talked about the general characteristics of Persian gardens and seven out of nine gardens registered on UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Part Three will present more information on the topic.
Abbas Abad Garden
Abbas Abad Garden, registered on UNESCO’s list, is one of the most beautiful and important tourist attractions in the city of Behshahr, in the northern province of Mazandaran, according to iransafar.co.
Throughout history, less attention has been paid to gardens and designed green spaces in northern Iran because the region has an abundance of forests. But Abbas Abad Garden, dating back to the Safavid Era (1501-1736 CE), is known as the most important garden in northern Iran.
To construct Abbas Abad Garden, the Safavid engineers created a platform by cutting in the mountains and created a sloped garden using Achaemenid techniques.
The most notable feature of the garden is its clay pipes, which were used to direct water flow.
There is also an old dam and a beautiful lake in the middle of the garden.
Although there is no specific picture or map of the original Pasargadae Garden, in the southwestern province of Fars, available now, excavations in the current Pasargadae area have shown that there was a beautiful garden on the site which was designed by Persians, perhaps Cyrus the Great.
The oldest document from the garden, inscribed on UNESCO’s list, is “Shahdad Bronze Flag,” which dates back 3,500 years. On this metal plate, there is an image of an ancient goddess and three women sitting in a lush garden in the shape of a chessboard.
After Cyrus, other Achaemenid kings, such as Darius, Ardeshir II, and Xerxes, also began establishing gardens in Susa and other cities, and the pattern of Persian gardens spread to all cities.
There are several other famous Persian gardens in various parts of the country. A number of them are as follows:
Soleimanieh Palace Garden
Soleimanieh Palace Garden is reminiscent of the Iranian Safavid (1501-1736 CE) and Qajar (1789-1925 CE) dynasties. This garden is in fact a birthday present to Soleiman Mirza, the son of Fath Ali Shah Qajar.
After Abbas Mirza was appointed as Iran’s crown prince, his brother Soleiman became frustrated. In order to attract the king’s attention, Soleiman started a war against the governor of Baghdad, defeated him quickly, and offered all his war trophies to his father. Proud of his son, the king gave him the title, ‘Dowlat Shah’ (The king’s wealth) and gifted him a beautiful edifice in Karaj. One of the interesting things about this mansion and garden is its resemblance to Shams-ol-Emareh Palace, even in terms of decorations such as paintings and window designs.
Sun Palace or Sun Mansion are the names that are used to call a garden and palace located in the city of Kalat, Khorasan Razavi Province. The palace was built on the order of Nader Shah Afshar (1688-1747 CE) to maintain the royal treasury in a circular tower. In fact, the four floors of the tower and the mansion represent the four social classes of the time.
Bagh-e Irani Garden
The Bagh-e Irani Garden, located in the old neighborhood of Deh-e Vanak, Tehran, was an old garden whose traditional architectural elements has recently been rebuilt, and the greenery was designed based on the pattern of the Persian Garden, full of orchards and flowers.
The garden’s total area is approximately 3.5 hectares, of which 2.5 hectares are used for green space.
In the design and construction of this garden, the old trees of the former garden have been preserved.
National Botanical Garden of Iran
The National Botanical Garden of Iran, located in Tehran, is a national park where a variety of native and non-native plants are cultivated outdoors and in greenhouses. The garden is used as a genetic reserve for endangered plants and provides the opportunity to study and to conserve biodiversity.
Using different scientific methods, it is possible to identify the plant species of Iran and determine their distribution range. Research on the methods of breeding and cultivating valuable species from a conservation and economic point of view is another area of interest in Iran’s botanical garden.
The layout of the garden was designed to create the natural ecosystem of three mountains ranges, the Zagros, Alborz, and Himalayas, as well as two lakes and two rivers, each of which has simulated natural spaces for the relevant vegetation, providing a wonderful tourist attraction at the same time.