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Nazar Garden

Dating from the Zand period, the Nazar (EyeCatching) Garden is much reduced today, as compared to its original dimensions. However, it enjoys a deserved fame, particularly for its small, octagonal pavilion called kolah-farangi (the European Hat). In this building, Karim Khan received foreign ambassadors and other high-ranking guests. After his death, he was buried in the eastern alcove of the pavilion. Although twelve years later the tomb was broken into by Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar, and in spite of the fact that the bones of the Zand monarch were taken to Tehran and deposited under the stairs of the Golestan Palace, the pavilion of the Nazar Garden is nevertheless considered the mausoleum of its founder.

Nazar Garden  Shiraz

The Nazar Garden retained its importance throughout the Qajar period, especially during the rule of Hossein Ali Mirza, son of Fathali Shah Qajar and Governor-general of Fars, who in 1852 chose the area as his administrative quarters. This ruler ordered the construction, in the garden's northwest corner, of yet another building called Kakh-e Homayun (The Blessed Palace). Unfortunately, in the early 20th century, all the structures of the garden (with the lucky exception of the Kolah Farangi Pavilion), as well as much of its green area, were demolished.

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Many have noticed the resemblance of the pavilion of the Nazar Garden to the Safavid Hasht Behesht Palace in Esfahan. Karim Khan's kiosk, however, is built on a more modest and intimate scale than the Safavid structure. Externally the pavilion is deceptively simple, with an octagonal ground plan. It is built of finely bonded bricks on a stone foundation which also serves as a platform; to this, access is gained by a flight of three stone steps set against each of the four oblique sides of the octagon. The four straight sides of the pavilion are pierced by four arched windows. At the rim of the octagon are deeply projecting wooden eaves with radial supports on the underside. The outer surfaces of the pavilion are adorned with enameled tiles; panels, spandrels, and continuous friezes skillfully pinpoint the structural features of the building. The limestone foundations are carved in shallow relief, with broad, flat cartouches and cypress trees from whose bases whimsically spring the heads of ducks.

Nazar Garden and Pars museum  Shiraz

Brick, laid in elaborate geometric patterns, is also used decoratively; the brickwork is particularly remarkable on the spandrels above the arches of the windows, which are ornamented by repetitive diamond-lattice motifs, on the border of which projects, above the wooden eaves, a continuous band of trefoils in relief. The kiosk was enclosed on four sides by large stone pools, of which only the one on the south side remained.