Monday, July 4, 2011

Shazdeh Garden


The Shazdeh Garden is a historical Persian garden located on the outskirts of Mahan in Kerman province, and was constructed under the orders of the governor of Kerman, Abdolhamid Mirza Naserodoleh, during the late Qajar period. Built in the traditional style in the late 1900s, the Garden consists of pools in a terraced fashion. The construction was left unfinished, due to the death of Abdolhamid Mirza in the early 1890s. It is rumored that upon hearing the news of the Governor’s death, the masons immediately abandoned their work and as a result the main entrance still shows some unfinished areas. Its location was selected strategically as it was placed on the way between the Bam Citadel and Kerman.


The Garden is approximately 407 meters long and 122 meters wide in a rectangular shape with a wall around it and surrounded by desert land. It consists of an entrance structure and gate at the lower end and a two-floor seasonal residential structure at the upper end. The distance between these two is ornamented with water fountains that are engined by the natural incline of the land. There are several pavilions and a central canal. There was originally a building leading from the pavilions which has long since been destroyed. The main structure is now partially converted to a restaurant. The garden is a fine example of Persian gardens that take advantage of suitable natural climate an incline of the land (approximately 6.4%).


Other than the main residential building, at its entrance the Garden also consists of a two-storied building for which the second floor was used as living quarters and for receiving guests. Other smaller utility rooms are situated along the sides of the Garden. Amongst them a few side entrances also connect the Garden to the outside.


The garden itself consists of a variety of pine, cedar, elm, buttonwood and fruit trees which benefit from the appropriate soil, light breezes and qanat water enable such an environment in contrast to its dry surroundings. The water enters the Garden at the upper end and while irrigating the trees and plants along its way, flows down through a series of steps and falls. On the two ends of the water path, meaning at the main entrance and the residential structure, there’s a pool that collects and subsequently redistributes the water. All together from top to bottom there are 8 levels/falls along the water path.


In 1991, the premises were completely renovated due to the commemoration ceremony of Khaju Kermani. A traditional guesthouse has been constructed in the city center for the use of tourists and visitors. Some damage to the Garden was caused as a result of Kerman’s 2004 earthquake. In 2005 experts of the Research Center for Historical Sites and Structures were preparing documents to register Shazdeh Garden, amongst other gardens, on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the Garden was finally inscribed in June of 2011.

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