Golestan Museum Palace
The oldest of the historical monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace (Palace of Flowers) belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran's Historic Arg (citadel). The Arg was built during the reign of Tahmasb I (1524-1576, corresponding to 930-948 in the lunar calendar) of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736), and was later renovated by Karim Khan Zand (1750-1779).
Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar (1742-1797) the founder of the Qajar Dynasty. chose Tehran as his capital. The Arg became the site of the Qajar (1794-1925). Court and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal family. During the Qajar period, like other Iranian traditional houses, the royal court and residency consisted of two internal and external sections. The external section included the courtyard and a square garden named Golestan. Also, the large yard, forming the internal section, was the residence of the women of the king's harem. In 1290 AH, in the time of Nasser ul-Din Shah, there was no trace of the present splendid construction and there was a large stunning garden
During the Pahlavi era (1925-1979) Golestan Palace was used for formal royal receptions. The most important ceremonies to be held in the Palace during the Pahlavi era were the coronation of Reza Khan (1925-1941) in Takht-e Marmar and the coronation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1941-deposed 1979) in the Museum Hall. In its present state, Golestan Palace is the result of roughly 400
At present, the complex includes Takht-e-Marmar (Marble Throne) terrace, Khalvat -e- Karim Khani, Talar-e Salam (Special Museum),
Takht-e Marmar (Marble Throne)
The spectacular terrace known as Takht-e-Marmar (Marble Throne) was built in 1806 by the order of Fath Ali Shah Qajar (1797-1834). Adorned by paintings, marble-carvings, tile-work, stucco, mirrors, enamel, woodcarvings, and lattice windows; the throne embodies the finest of Iranian architecture. The Marble Throne is one of the oldest buildings of the historic Arg. The existing throne, which is situated in the middle of the terrace (iwan), is made of the famous yellow marble of Yazd province.
The throne is made of sixty-five pieces of marble and was designed by Mirza Baba Naqqash Bashi (head painter) of the Qajar court. Mohammad Ebrahim, the Royal Mason, oversaw the construction and several celebrated masters of the time worked on the execution of this masterpiece. The architectural details and other ornaments of the terrace were completed during the reigns of Fath Ali Shah and Nassereddin - Din Shah (1848-1896).
Coronations of Qajar kings, and formal court ceremonies were held on this terrace (iwan). The last coronation to be held at Takhte Marmar was the coronation of the self-proclaimed King, Reza Khan Pahlavi in 1925. The terrace is mainly decorated with cut stones, mirrors, inlays, and plaster works along with six large paintings. The oil paintings of portraits of some men and women are also installed on the suspended ceilings.
There are two stone thrones in
Talar-e Aineh (Hall of Mirror)
Talar-e Aineh (Hall of Mirror) is the most famous of the Palace hall. This relatively small hall is famous for its extraordinary mirror works. The Hall was designed by Haj Abdoul Hossein Memar Bashi (Sanie ul-Molk). Yahaya Khan
Shams ul-Emareh (Edifice of the Sun)
Shams ul-Emareh (Edifice of the Sun) is the most stunning structure of the Golestan Palace. The idea of building a tall structure came to Nassereddin Shah before his first European and from pictorial images of European buildings. The Monarch wanted a structure from which he could have panoramic views of the city. Designed by Moayer ul-Mamalek, construction on the Shams ul-Emareh began in 1865 and was completed two years later. The architect was Master Ali Mohammad Kashi. The building has two identical towers. The exterior views have multiple arches, intricate tile work,
Abyaz (White) Palace
The Ottoman king, Sultan Abdul Hamid, send precious gifts to Nassereddin Shah. Reportedly, these gifts were copious and enough to fill a castle. The Qajar monarch was delighted with these gifts. He decided to build an exhibit hall worthy of these gifts within the confines of Golestan Palace. It is believed that Nassereddin Shah, himself, designed the structure, with a central hall large enough to house the carpet that was sent by Sultan Abdul Hamid. Completed in 1883, with a white façade, plaster works, and white marble steps, the palace is called Abyaz (White) now housing one of the most interesting ethnological museums in Iran. There is a colorful exhibition of
Khalvat-e Karim Khani
Dating back to 1759, this building was a part of the interior residence of Karim Khan Zand. The basic structure of the Khalvat-e Karim Khani is similar to Takht-e Marmar. Like the latter, it is a terrace (iwan). There is a small marble throne inside the terrace. The structure is much smaller than Takht-e Marmar and it has much less ornamentation. There was once a small pond with a fountain in the middle of this terrace. Water from a subterranean stream (the King's Qanat) flowed from the fountain into the pond and was later used to irrigate the Palace grounds. Naseeruddin Shah was fond of this corner of Golestan Palace. He is said to have spent much time here in rest and repose. It seems extraordinary, but the valuable gravestone of Nassereddin Shah finally found its way to this
Talar-e Adj (Hall of Ivory) is a large hall used as a
Talar Almas (Hall of Diamond) is located in the southern wing of Golestan Palace next to the Badgir Building. It is called Hall of Diamonds because of the exceptional mirror work inside the building.
The construction of this hall dates to the time of Fath Ali Shah (circa 1806). Nassereddin Shah renovated this hall changing its appearance and replacing the hall's elliptical arches with Roman ones. He also ordered the walls covered with wallpaper imported from Europe. As the basic structure dates back to the time of Fath Ali Shah. It is only apt that this hall should be devoted to the exhibition of art and handicrafts from that period.
There is a 12-people dining set known as Napoleon set as it is depicted with the scenes of Napoleon's battles. Fath Ali Shah sent some gifts to Napoleon in his time including three dun, sorrel, and white horses. According to the historians as well as Napoleon's private diaries, he rode these horses in his great, famous battles. The mummified white horse is now kept at the Lover museum. The image of one of the trays shows
Napoleon's horses stampeded by exploding a cannonball but the white horse is reluctantly looking at the cannonball. On another dish of the same
There is another set now kept in the palace sent by the Russian Emperor Also, there are some tableaus of European scenes in the mosaic style bought from Italy by Mozafareddin Shah. Another mosaic tableau is also being kept in Brelian (Brilliante) Hall presented by the Italian government to Iran shown the ruins of one of the ancient Rome's squares.
Helmet, sword, and shield of King Esmail Safavid, bow and arrows of King Nader,