A Journey to the History, Culture and Literature of Iran
Shemiran which makes the Northern margin of Tehran today, about one century and a half ago entailed a group of villages which were far from city limits of Tehran of that period of time. "Gordbeh" was the name of one of these villages that had a reedy place beside itself. During his period of reigning Fath Ali Shah of Qajar ordered his men to make a summer resort instead of that reedy area which was a summer quarter and garden with an approximate measurement of 12 Hectares.
That is the reason why this garden is being called Niavaran (Ney Avaran). After fath ALL Shah, his son Mohammad Shah ordered his men to make a small edifice in this garden for his staying during his trips . After Mohammad Shah's death in Mohammadieh edifice, his ascended to the throne son, Nasser-e-din Shah, decided not to go to Mohammadieh summer resort that year and appointed a man named "Ishak Aghas" to find an area with the most pleasant climate around the north of Tehran for making a new palace. After a while Aghasi reported that he could not find any better place than Niavaran. As a result, Nasser-e-din Shah issued the command for making a palace in Navaran garden. The new palace was built and named "Niavaran". Nasser-e-din Shah Qajar narrated that when he was sitting in the palace he could see Shah Abdul Azim shrine and he was able to imagine the whole world in his mind Considering this imagination, Niavaran palace was given the name "Jahan Nama" (means viewing the world). In many , newspapers of that time, the name "Niwaran Jahan nama Palace" could be found as a familiar name. After wome times, Navaran palace was not interesting for the king any more and he decided to replace it with a bigger building. He issued the command to Hajeb-ul Doleh to make a new edifice. The new building was bigger and higher than all the ever existing buildings. The new palace was finished in 1847, (1267, A.H. Lunar) and the use of it coincided with Eid -e Fetr (the festival at the end of the fasting month) of the same year.
The new palace was inaugurated concurrent with the 33rd anniversary of Nasser-e-din shah's reign. On these days Nasser-e-din shah was named Soltan-e Sahebgharan. As a result, the new palace was called "Sahebgharaneh" the reports published at that time indicate that Sahebgharanjeh had many complex buildings and each one belonged to one, two, or three women of harem, Nasser-e-din Shah who was fond of trips and journeys was leaving Tehran every summer and spending his time in his summer palaces and gardens. A group of women of harem, slaves, nobles and Politicians were accompanying him in his journeys. Because of that reason, summer palaces, in spite of being the official buildings were suitable for harems.
Nasser-e-din shah was assassinated just one day before his 50th anniversary of his kingdom and his diseased", son , Mozafsr – e din shah ascended the throne. Since Mozafar-e-din Shah was paying particular attention to Sahebgharaneh , it played an important role in turbulent history of his reign and the place become the origin of different political events of one of the most important events one could refer to , is constitutional revolution and the 14th of mordad 1285 A . H . Solar ) 1906 ) is a memorable day in the contemporary history of Iran and Sahebgharanieh. That day, the yard of Sahebgharaneh ?? recived Mozaffar-e- din shah and he signed the well - Known Constitution order after so many conflicts and disputes . signing the Constitution provided an assembly for Iran .
The reports of that period of time reveal that consultation assembly "Majese shora" was being held 3 days a week at the bullding . But during Mozaffar-e-din shah’s era some chnges happened in sahebharanieh , for example “ Jahan Name “ hall was changed , and was decorated with mirrors (and became mirror-hall) and the middle wall between official and harem was built. After Mozaffar-e-din Shah's death, and due to political and social disorganizations of the time . sahebgharanjeh was almost forgotten and during Ahmad Shah's period only the villa made of bricks in the North of sahebgharanjeh was left.
When Reza Khan got the power, he started making his palaces in Sa'd Abad. In 1939 (1318 A.H. Solar) only the furniture of Sahebgharanieh was changed. Then in order to make the place ready for the wedding of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi and Fuzieh , a group of electricians, carpenters, and architects were employed and they worked there for 8 months. Due to the coldness of the weather that year the ceremony was not performed in Sahebgharanieh and after that, until the end of 30s (Solar calendar) Sahebgharanieh was forgotten. At that time, concurrent with making Niavaran palace for the residence of the Pahlavis II, some changes again happened in Sahebgharanieh. With inauguration of Niavaran palace in 1968 (1347 A.H. Solar), Sahebgharanieh was used as his office and for the purpose of ceremonies. During the 50s, downstairs of the palace was changed partially and a part of the western space was allocated to an exclusive museum of modern works of Iranian and foreign artists and today it is called "Jahan Nama Museum “.
In 1978 (Day 26, 1357 A.H.Solar), the Life of Kings Sahegharanieh reached to its end on 23rd of Behman of the same year Niavaran was captured by a committee of revolutionaries and in 1363 it was put under the care of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and changed into a museum. sahebgharanieh palace/museum was inaugurated for public visit in 1998 (ordibehesh, 1377).
Today, the viewers come up the Niavaran square and pass beside the fences of old Navaran garden and while entering they could pass the very old trees which have ascended to the sky and while hearing the voice of running springs of water could move toward the 2-floor edifice of ahebgharanieh. It is a building with in roof in the west of the historica cultural complex of Niavaran and is ocated against the niavaran Park.
Sahebgharanieh is a combination of history, art, culture and architecture which invites every visitor to travel around a worth seeing world. The journey of the viewers starts from the second floor. As they climb up the stairs, a picture of Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir becomes apparent. On the both sides of the hall of the entrance there are two big pictures named "Queue to Greet Fath Ali Shah" by "Abdollah" (the painter). These pictures have covered the entire wall. Many princes and descendants of the Qajar dynasty have been depicted in these pictures.
When the viewers climb down the stairs they will view some more beautiful pictures. Among these pictures there is a work by "Kamal-ulMolk" about "Hakim-ul Molk's depiction". Passing the hall, we will reach the documentation rooms of the palace. In the first room there are some documents and old photos from Qajar era (particularly of Nasser-e-din Shah) which are hanging on the walls, Among the photos there is a picture of Nasser-e-din shah which has been taken in Niavaran. There is another photo which shows him in Sahebgharanieh Hoze (pool) and other photos which refer to religious and traditional ceremonies held in this building. The second room which contains some of the furniture and belongings of Mozaffar-e-din Shah are devoted to the documents about his reign particularly to Constitutionalism. The picture about Constitution Order in 1906 (Morded 14, 1285 A.H. Solar) is one of these documents, while leaving the room you will see the picture of Tehran conquest by "Sardar Asa'd Bakhtiari and vali Khan Tonekaboni ' beside the door .
The next room is distinguished as “ war Room “ which was used for all the discussions and formal meetings of Pahlavi II and different kinds of decorated army guns exist in some windows of it . after leaving war room , a door opens to a hall sparkling with bright minors , which is famed as “ Jahan Name Hall “ the hall is absolutely covered with small and big mirrors and the floor of it is covered with multicolored Carpets. During Pahlavi regime this hall was used for formal meetings with deputies and heads of other countries. Of one of the important meetings held in it we can refer to the negotiation between Dr. Mosaddegh and English oil companies in the process of nationalizing the oil industry. In the four angles of the hall there are four rooms; one is dentistry, one for secretary, one for private negotiations and the other is the toilet. After passing "Jahan. Nama Hall" viewers step into a room which is a collection of medals, badges, weapons and firearms. Among these medals we can referto "Aghdas" which is the highest badge of Qajar era and also the badge of "Zofaghar". The next room is waiting room. Beside the hanging pictures on the walls of the room, there is a collection of signed photos of the then heads of different countries.
After checking the bedroom (for afternoon maps) and viewing the artistic and decorative works of the hall, we can step down the eastern stairs of the palace and reach downstairs where an Iranian memorable atmosphere can be visited. At first there is a view about Hoz Khane and if you wish to see the Qajar atmosphere of it without any changes, you could turn your head and see the picture of this Hoz Khane drawn by "Kamal-ul-Molk. Of other worth seeing views of this space one may be refer to a collection of Qajar paintings and a relief made of marble design of "Sheikh Sana' Story". The interested viewers then can see the carriage and chariot belonging to Nasser-e-din Shah and Mozaffar-e-din Shah. While entering the western corridor, they can see a collection of miniature paintings and calligraphy works of outstanding Iranian artists that are hanging on the walls of "Korsi Khane" which is made similar to any other Korsi Khane in Pahlavi era and the painted walls have been decorated with some pleasant verses. The next room which is known as playing room has a collection of wooden works. The western room of this floor has been devoted to different wooden handicrafts and woven works of different regions of Iran, the works such as marquetry, relief woodworks, Termed oozi, Pated0ozi, and Zaridoozi (some kind of needle works with different materials and strings).
The eastern part of Sahebgharaneh palace has architecture similar to the western part. The first room has been . located beside Hoz khane and Consists of some valuable works such as two pictures made by Mirza Agha Emami which are marquetry and relief woodworks and also some miniature paintings by contemporary painters such as Mahmood Farshchian, Abbs. Jalali , Susan Abadi and Mohammad Ali Zavieh. Another feature of this room is the relief decoration of calligraphy , verses. The next room is the bar which has very beautiful ornamented ceiling In making the ceiling many painted woods of different ancient houses have been used.
Viewers while continuing their joumey , step in to a place where used to be the bathroom in Qajar era and during Pahlavi regime changed into traditional tea house. After leaving the tea house we pass a corridor which is a place where different kinds of decorative Iranian and foreign dishes are kept The journey has finished. But visiting , Sahebgharaneh Palace/museum con be a memorable scene left in the memories of any person who interested in history, art and culture.