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Persian Gardens, A Masterpiece of Art and Architecture of Ancient Iran

The Persian garden is a special type of architecture and structure of a garden and palace that Iranians invented and designed. This type of garden with a beautiful and eye-catching design is a symbol of the architectural, historical, and cultural richness of Iran. You will find life in Persian gardens, plants, and flowers, running water, etc. These elements are part of the beauty of this type of garden, which with its masterful and regular design has created a lasting collection throughout history.

This architecture and structure are also inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. These gardens are a piece of heaven on earth. Walking along the flowing waters, seeing beautiful fountains, caressing the living nature, soaring trees, and the view of the buildings or palaces built in the garden, will make you feel good.

Registration of Persian Gardens in UNESCO

The Persian Garden was registered as the thirteenth Iranian work in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites of Iran in 2011. The Persian Gardens of Pasargad, Chehelston, Eram, Fin, Abbas Abad, Dowlat Abad, Pahlavanpour, Akbariyeh, and Shazdeh are the gardens that are registered in the complete collection called the Persian Garden.

Shazdeh Mahan Garden, Kerman
Shazdeh Mahan Garden, Kerman

The Etymology of Persian Gardens

In ancient Persian, the word “paradise” means “fence”, which was used to name a unique kind of garden that is enclosed. The same word is rooted in many languages, for example, words such as Pardis (Persian), Paradeisos (Greek), Pardes (Hebrew), Perdose (Arabic), and Paradise (English) are derived from the word “paradise”. It is really interesting, isn’t it? But unfortunately Some scholars, without examining the ancient origin of the word garden, have considered the origin of this word from Arabic and believe that it has entered the Persian language since the Seljuk period.

Structure and Architecture of the Persian garden

The types of these Persian Gardens are based on their plan. Architects have built three types of gardens in Iran based on the slope of the land:

  1. Flat and low slope gardens such as Chehelsotoun Garden in Qazvin.
  2. Sloping gardens whose beauty is the flow of water from the upper parts of the garden to the bottom. Such as Prince Mahan Persian Garden in Kerman.
  3. Gardens that were built using natural features such as ponds and forests. Such as Abbas Abad Garden in Behshahr.

Iranian gardens are divided into 2 general categories based on their type of design and plan:

  1. Gardens that have two Parallel axis and streets and alleys of side gardens intersect these two axes at a 90-degree angle. Such as Dowlat Abad Garden in Yazd.
  2. B) Gardens that have two, three, or four parallel axes that intersect in the center of the garden. Such as Nazar Garden in Shiraz.

One of the most important pillars of the Persian garden is its center. The center of the gardens can be a palace, a beautiful building, a lake, or a combination of these. Usually, four streams are connected to the center of the garden, which is the heart and divides the garden into four parts, thus forming the pattern of four gardens. The pattern and image of four gardens (Chaharbagh) and its heavenly beauty are reflected even in Iranian carpets.

The Role of Water in the Architecture of the Persian Garden

Before examining the importance of water in the architecture of the Persian gardens, its vital role in life should be mentioned. Iran has long been a dry and water-scarce country, but with the creation of historical technologies for the use of groundwater, water has gone beyond its vital role and found itself in the position of art and architecture!

Fin Persian Garden, Kashan
Fin Persian Garden, Kashan

The different forms of usage of water in the garden such as streams, ponds, pools, and fountains are each a sign of human domination on a part of nature. The reflection of light in the water acts as a mirror, and the beauty of the garden and the vegetation can be seen once again in the waters of the ponds and pools. The role of water in summers is also very significant. Garden fountains on hot and dry summer days, increase humidity, and create a refreshing atmosphere.

The Vegetation of Persian Gardens

The beauty of the Persian garden is completed with flowers and plants. Trees and plants play an essential role in beautifying Iranian gardens. In addition to their beauty, these trees also act as canopies in the gardens and were planted on the sidewalks inside the garden to cover the entire path. Also, these passages were made a little narrower than usual so that the shadow of trees could more easily cover the passage.

Fin Persian Garden, Kashan
Fin Persian Garden, Kashan

Usually, around the path, pairs of trees such as pine and purple, pine and sycamore, pine and cypress, elm, and cypress were used. At the bottom of all these trees, beautiful and fragrant flowers were planted to add to the beauty of the garden. Also, the inhabitants of the garden used the petals of flowers in the preparation of jam, halva and etc.

Famous Iranian Gardens

Wherever Iranians had access to Persian qanats and water, they established Iranian gardens.

  • Tehran Province: Niavaran Garden, Saadabad Garden, Farmaniyeh Garden, Ferdows Garden, Negarestan Garden
  • Isfahan Province: Finn Garden, Chehelston Garden, Hasht Behesht Garden
  • Fars Province: Pasargad Garden, Eram Garden, Afif Abad Garden, Narenjestan Garden, Jahan Nama Garden, Delgosha Garden
  • Kerman Province: Fatehabad Garden, Prince Mahan Garden
  • Yazd Province: Dowlatabad Garden, Pahlavanpour Garden, Golshan Tabas Garden

World-famous Gardens with Iranian Architecture

The structure of this type of garden is not limited to Iran, and in other countries, magnificent buildings with beautiful and eye-catching grounds have a special architecture of the Iranian garden.

The four famous gardens that are now outside the borders of Iran are:

  1. Taj Mahal: This garden is located in Agra, India.
  2. Homayun Tomb: This tomb is located in New Delhi, India.
  3. Shalimar Garden: This garden is located in Lahore, India.
  4. Babar Garden: This garden is located in Kabul, Afghanistan.

At last, when you travel to Iran, remember to visit these beautiful Iranian gardens and enjoy their beauty. In our Iran classic tours, there are collections of these famous Persian gardens that are on the itineraries and you will experience their fresh atmosphere.


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