Golestan and Other Palaces
The Qajars' royal residence, the oldest substantial building in the city, and one of a group of royal buildings then enclosed within mud walls known as the Arg, the Golestan Palace (Rose Garden), too, was completed by Fath Ali Shah Qajar. However, its construction is attributed to the Safavid Shah Abbas I. Naser ad-Din Shah influenced by what he had seen during his first European tour in 1873, added a Museum in the form of a large, first-floor hall decorated with mirror work, where some of the priceless Crown Jewels were put on show side by side with many other things of much less value, mainly acquired by the King during his European tour.
The coronation ceremonies of the last two kings of the Pahlavi dynasty took place in the first-floor hall, however, after a rearrangement, complete renovation, and redecoration of the interior with the intention of reviving the palace's ancient splendor. The last King used to hold New Year and Birthday Salaams in the Coronation Hall, where Ministers, foreign Ambassadors, and other dignitaries in full dress offered their congratulations to the King of Kings. But generally, the Golestan Palace is open to strollers and tourists. The Palace garden offered an oasis of coolness and silence in the heart of the city. The shade is provided by what the inhabitants of Tehran call "the finest plane tree in town", rose bushes, blue fountain-bowls, and streams of water recall the charm of ancient Iranian gardens.
Altogether, here you will see little more of the palace than the visitor hoping for a tour around Buckingham Palace who is fobbed off with the Royal Gallery. But while the state-rooms of the Palace may appeal to some others will turn to the Palace Library for the discovery of Iranian painting, which owes its relative lack of popularity to the inaccessibility of originals scattered from Cleveland to Istanbul, from Washington's Freer Gallery to St Petersburg, and from the British Museum to Cairo's National Library. More