Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Eram Garden



Eram Garden is a historic and monumental Persian garden in Shiraz, Fars province. With its beautiful flowers, tall cypress trees and decorative plants as well as its amazing edifice, it is known for its beauties and aesthetic attractions resembling heaven. The Garden is located on the northern shore of the Khoshk River. The original layout of the Garden, with its quadripartite Persian Paradise garden structure was most likely initiated by the Seljuqs, and was then referred to as the "Bagh’e Shah", Garden of the King, and was much less complicated or ornamental.

Over the course of the years the premises have been modified, restored or stylistically changed by various participants. Since its construction and throughout the eighteenth century, it was predominantly used by the local rulers and Persian monarchs. The structure underwent renovation by the Zand dynasty and was also renovated during the time of the Qajar dynasty. In the nineteenth century, Nasirolmolk bought the Garden and had its current three story building constructed and many cypress, pine, orange and persimmon trees were planted. The Pahlavi dynasty heavily invested in this Garden, renovating it to an internationally recognizable status. The compound came under the protection of Pahlavi University during the Pahlavi era, and was used as the College of Law.







In the front of the building a large veranda with two high standing pillars sits. The large veranda is flanked on either side by smaller terraces. Directly beneath the main veranda are two-meter high solid stone plates with inscriptions depicting poems by poets such as Sa'adi and Hafez. Above the veranda are three large and two small crescent-shape tile works, each illustrating a historical event. The middle pediment, being larger than the other two side ones, shows Nasereddin Shah on the back of a white horse. The two small pediments depict a deer being hunted by a panther.

The lower story of the mansion has an impluvium especially designed for relaxation during the hot days of summer. The ceiling of this structure is beautifully adorned with colorful tiles. A small stream also passes through it, connecting to a large pool in front of the building which then flows into the Garden. On the middle story and behind the main veranda a magnificent hall is located. On the two sides of the hall there are two corridors each having 4 rooms and connecting to the side terraces. The front sides of the pillars are decorated with tiles showing the images of horsemen and flowers. The upper story consists of a large hall whose windows open to the main veranda. It is also surrounded by two corridors leading to two terraces.

Today Eram Garden is within Shiraz Botanical Garden (established 1983) of Shiraz University. It is open to the public as a historic landscape garden and house museum. It is a World Heritage Site (as part of 9 different Persian gardens) and protected by Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization.