blog posts

Golestan Palace, Tehran, A Historical Treasure In The Neighborhood Of The Grand Bazaar

When we go to the sights of Tehran , we come across many historical places that have a beautiful historical period of Iran’s ups and downs. 

One of the historical places of the capital is the Golestan Palace Museum in an area of ​​old Tehran where the color and glaze of art is displayed in the corner and its historical face is enchanting.

Join “How” in this Tehran tour to visit the Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran and witness the historical originality and beauty of Iranian art up close.

Geographical location of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran

Golestan Palace Museum of Tehran is located in the 12th district of Tehran. To the north of this museum is Arg Square and to the south is 15 Khordad and Sabzeh-Maidan streets. In fact, a 15-minute walk south of the palace can take you to the city’s Grand Bazaar. The city park is also a 10-minute walk to the northwest.

Khayyam Street extends to the east and Naser Khosrow Street to the west of the Golestan Museum Palace. Tehran Metro has very good access to this palace. The metro station is located at the intersection of Khayyam and 15 Khordad streets, in the southern part of the museum.

A brief history of Golestan Palace in Tehran

Golestan Palace, Tehran

First, it is better to know a little more about the Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran. We suggest that as soon as you buy a museum ticket, you receive the guidebook of Golestan Palace in Tehran from the curator, so that in addition to a brief study of the museum, do not miss visiting the corner of the palace.

Do not forget that in addition to paying the entrance fee, you must also purchase a ticket for each part of the museum collection. To do this, select any part you want to see in the electronic ticket counter.

After passing through the entrance room and entering the yard, you can see the frame of several mansions in this magnificent Golestan.

This heavenly palace was the residence of the Qajar kings, from “Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar” to “Ahmad Shah”, the last king of the Qajar dynasty.

The life of Golestan Palace in Tehran dates back to 442 years ago, the Safavid era. Of course, over time, the structure of the palace has changed; There were also buildings in the complex that are no longer in use. The reliance of the government, the exit and inside mansion and the Nasiri dormitory have been the names of the buildings that have been destroyed.

This royal citadel has seen the coronation of many kings to this day. At present, what we know as the Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran is a remnant of this great royal palace that dates back to the time of Zandieh and Qajar.

In fact, in the present era, there are no traces of Safavid dynasty buildings in this palace. This beautiful and glazed Iranian monument is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Knowledge of the art of tiling Golestan Palace

Tiles of Golestan Palace in Tehran - Photo by Pouria Madadi
Tiles of Golestan Palace in Tehran – Photo by Pouria Madadi

The tiling of Golestan Palace in Tehran is the foremost of this art in Iran. The variety of colors, glazes, and special motifs used completely engages the eyes and mind; You can sit on the garden benches for many moments and watch these artists.

Various subjects such as hunting, war, nature, historical elements, celebrations, and narrations of kings and courtiers have painted the walls of Golestan Palace. Yellow, blue and pink are the three most widely used colors in Golestan tiles.

Traces of the developments of the Qajar period show in the tiles of his palace. The influence of relations with Western countries in Iranian arts, including painting, can be seen on the tiles on the walls of Golestan.

Also, the influence of the prevalence of photography in the Qajar period and the fascination of this dynasty with this new invention is tangible in the art of tiling in Golestan. With the arrival of the lithography industry in Iran, a new world was created in the art of tile. In the decoration of the walls of Golestan Palace, this new industry has left a colorful mark.

The beginning of an adventure in Ghajri House

When you enter the garden of this complex, large large sycamore and cypress trees, large and lush gardens and long pools with a row of lively fountains will attract your attention. All this green area is full of freshness and atmosphere of Iranian gardens and has a special vitality. In this Persian garden, you can see the peak of tiling art on its walls.

A world of attractive colors covers the walls of the courtyard and the mansions of Golestan, which tempts you to photograph. Take a walk in this charming garden and be accompanied by the pure tranquility of its space. After walking in this spectacular Golestan, start the adventure in the mansions.

Start with the marble bed porch

Throne porch - Photo from Wikipedia
Marble Bed Porch – Photo from Wikipedia

One of the oldest parts of the Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran, which takes your mind off watching, is the Marble Throne Porch. This mansion can be seen facing the end of the garden after passing through the main entrance of the complex.

The construction of this mansion dates back to the time of Karim Khan Zand; Therefore, this building is the oldest part of the Golestan Palace complex in Tehran.

But what makes this structure famous and special are the changes that took place during the reign of Fath Ali Shah: the construction of a bed of yellow marble in Yazd, by order of this Qajar king.

About 219 years ago, Fath Ali Shah Qajar decided to build marble structures on the main porch of the palace. He uses the art of Isfahani stonemasonry to build a throne similar to the throne of Hazrat Suleiman with 65 pieces of high quality Yazdi stone in the palace. The glory of this throne is indescribable.

Several demons and angels, along with lions and dragons, have become the pillars of this marble throne. This bed is connected to the porch surface by two stairs. The design of this luxurious structure was done by a person named “Mirzababa Shirazi Naghashbashi” and its unique stone carvings were done under the supervision of “Master Mohammad Ibrahim Isfahani”.

In addition to the art of stonework in the marble bed, special arts of Iranian architecture can also be seen in the construction of this porch. Tiling, plastering, mirror work, inlay work, inlay work and latticework are also crowded on the porch.

This porch, also known as “Dar al-Amara” and “Divankhaneh”, has been the site of many important historical ceremonies. The last royal ceremony that the Marble Throne Porch saw was the coronation of Reza Khan.

Karimokhani’s private history

Khalut Karimkhani - Photo from the site of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran
Karimokhani privacy – Photo from the site of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran

Another part of the Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran, which has survived from the time of Karim Khan Zand, is a porch with three openings that has had a tumultuous historical period. In today’s collection of Karimkhani, you will see the tombstone of Naser al-Din Shah, a pool in the middle and a marble throne.

 The tombstone of Nasser al-Din Shah was brought to this part of the city after the revolution.

The marble throne was not located in this part of the palace before the Pahlavi era.

On the surface of Naser al-Din Shah’s tombstone, we see the image and awe of this Qajri king with many artistic motifs. The beauty of this tombstone does not allow you to easily pass through this part and forces you to pay close attention to its details.

The pool, which is located between the bed and the tombstone, was a place for the water of the aqueduct to boil and flow in the garden. The beauty of Fath Ali Shah’s marble throne is not less than the pattern of Naser al-Din Shah’s tomb and can fascinate you.

It is interesting to know that this well-designed porch was the hangout of Nasser al-Din Shah and his retreat for resting and smoking hookah. This porch has also seen a strange and terrible history.

Agha Mohammad Khan buries the shrine of Karim Khan Zand in Shiraz and places his bones on the porch steps of this palace in Tehran so that he can step on it every day. With this strange and inhuman behavior, he intended to satisfy his sense of power . With the rise of the Pahlavi dynasty, the remaining bones were pulled out of the steps of the Karimokhani private passage to be buried elsewhere.

The main hall is a collection of important attractions of the palace

In a part of the palace, there is a huge and magnificent mansion called the main hall, of which several spectacular and brilliant halls are a part. Salam, mirror, ivory and utensil halls together form the main hall of Golestan Palace in Tehran. Then join us to introduce them.

Hello Hall, the shining diamond of Golestan Palace

Hello Forum - Photo from Wikipedia
Hello Forum – Photo from Wikipedia

As soon as you enter this hall, the diamond shine of its mirrored walls and ceilings will take your mind off you and you will be fascinated by its splendor. The Salam Hall or Museum Room is the result of Nasser al-Din Shah’s European travels and his desire to set up a hall in the palace, similar to the great Western museums and galleries.

This interest caused the Mirror Hall, the foyer and the museum room to be added to the Golestan Palace complex in Tehran with his obsession and taste. By order of Nasser al-Din Shah, the new building in the northwest of Golestan Garden in the neighborhood of Ivory Hall was built by the architect of that period, “Haj Abolhassan Memar Navai” nicknamed “Sania Al-Molk”.

The construction of the museum room in the royal citadel took two years, and after that, the arrangement of the hall was done with the coordination of Nasser al-Din Shah.

 In fact, he was very interested in designing the decoration of this museum with jewelry and precious objects.

This museum is known as Salam Hall because later the royal peacock throne was added to it and Salam ceremonies were held there. The coronation ceremony of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi was also held in this hall.

Due to this, many changes took place in the architectural decorations and decoration of the museum. What we see today in Salam Hall is the result of a series of changes that have been made in this place during the Pahlavi period.

It goes without saying that the peacock throne and the Kiani crown of this hall were later given to the Royal Jewelry Museum and their replicas were replaced in the museum room. There is also a replica of Nasser al-Din Shah sitting on the peacock throne at the top of the museum hall.

Salam Hall Pool, Special Gallery and Museum

Gallery - Photo from the site of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran
Gallery – Photo from the site of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran

The result of Nasser al-Din Shah’s European travels was the souvenirs and valuables he brought with him to Iran. Among these objects, many paintings could be seen.

On the other hand, Nasser al-Din Shah, who had built the Salam Hall under the influence of his travels to Farang, also built a basin under it.

 Today, this building, as a gallery, exhibits most of the paintings of the Qajar period.

The gallery has two parts, north and south. And the days of Zandieh return; But the northern part of the gallery belongs to the works of familiar painters who created art at the end of the Qajar rule.

Another part of the large basin of Salam Hall belongs to the special museum of Golestan Palace in Tehran. This part of the basement of Salam Hall was built by “Ebrahim Khan Memarbashi”.

During the Qajar period, this area of ​​the palace served as a storehouse of expensive European gifts such as china and silverware. With the coming to power of the second Pahlavi, plaster decorations were added to this part and changed its use as a “museum for Golestan Palace”.

Many valuable objects of Qajar kings are kept in this museum and mostly include gifts of kings of other countries to them. Objects such as the crown of Agha Mohammad Khan Qajar, the seals of the Qajar kings and the carved ostrich eggs are kept in the special museum of Golestan Palace.

Mirror Hall, the subject of Kamal al-Molk’s painting

The painting of the Mirror Hall by Kamal Al-Molk
The painting of the Hall of Mirrors by Kamal al-Molk

One of the first images that form in our minds of the Hall of Mirrors is the famous painting of Rang-e-Roghan, by the irreplaceable master of Iranian painting, “Mirza Mohammad Khan Kamal-ol-Molk Ghaffari”. This masterpiece of painting was completed after 5 years and is now one of the treasures kept in Salam Hall.

Mirror Hall is located in the west of Salam Hall, somewhere above the entrance of the main hall. The Hall of Mirrors in the Golestan Palace of Tehran has replaced the building that was named “Chehelston Wooden Mansion”.

The Mirror Hall was built at the same time as the Salam Hall.

The view of the Hall of Mirrors on the garden side is decorated with three large sash and on the porch side with two doors and an arched window. The fascinating feature of this hall is the delicate and artistic plastering and mirrors, whose brilliant beauty will nail you.

The execution of these wonderful decorations continued for many years after the completion of the construction of the building and was finally completed in 1299 AH. The architect and designer of this brilliant building was the architect of the time, “Sania Al-Molk”. It is said that its construction work was carried out under the supervision of “Mirza Yahya Khan Motamed Al-Molk”.

Ivory Hall, reflection of chandelier rays

Ivory Hall
Ivory Hall

After the Hall of Mirrors, now it is the turn of Ivory Hall or the dining room to enjoy watching. This hall was built before the Salam and Ayneh halls. The original image of the building of this hall was very different from what you see today.

In the past, this hall had three large sash and a porch with beautiful columns. With the coming to power of Nasser al-Din Shah, changes were made in the structure of the Ivory Hall.

In fact, during this period, the ivory hall became larger due to the addition of a porch to it, and its windows changed and became symmetrical in imitation of the Salam Hall. Later in the Pahlavi era, the ivory hall was decorated with beautiful mirrors and plastering.

The current features of this hall are the presence of paintings by the kings of Iran, a large mirror that reflects the light of a chandelier, and old furniture and valuable carpets.

Container Hall, a treasure trove of European gifts

Tableware Hall in Golestan Palace, Tehran
Tableware Hall in Golestan Palace, Tehran

If you are fascinated by colorful dishes and objects, visiting this section will be very exciting for you. The Hall of Dishes is a collection of valuable gifts given by the kings of other countries to the Ghajri kings of Iran.

The construction of this place in the north of Ivory Hall, on the remains of a Ghajri mansion called “Narenjestan” began and was completed during the second Pahlavi period, in 1344. This building in Golestan Palace of Tehran has become a place to store all the utensils donated by European kings.

Among its valuable objects is a Chinese service donated by Napoleon Bonaparte to Fath Ali Shah, which is decorated with motifs from the wars of this French king.

Other items of interest in the Hall of Fame include a service of jewelery donated by the Queen of England, a service adorned with precious Malaysian gems donated by the Russian Empire, and micro-mosaic paintings.

Diamond Hall, a palace to shine jewels

Diamond Hall - Photo from the site of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran
Diamond Hall – Photo from the site of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran

There is a hall in the eastern part of the Ivory Hall, the mirror work of which fascinates you. This hall is known as the “Diamond Hall” due to its unique mirror art and brilliance. It is interesting to know that this hall is not level with Ivory and other palaces of the palace and is a little lower. Berlian, like many of the historical buildings of Golestan Palace in Tehran, was changed and rebuilt during the reign of Nasser al-Din Shah.

In fact, the Diamond Hall was built on the ruined structure of the Crystal Palace (which dates back to the time of Fath Ali Shah). Being on the same foundation caused the difference between the surface of the diamond and the ivory.

Because of the mirrors, as well as the crystal throne and chandelier donated by the Russian Empire to Fath Ali Shah Qajar, the glow of light in the Crystal Palace is seductive; The name crystal is chosen for this reason.

After the construction of a new building during the reign of Nasser al-Din Shah, the art of mirror work used in this space caused the name of Berlian to be attributed to this hall. However, the changes that took place during the reign of Muzaffar al-Din Shah doubled the beauty of the building’s decorations and made the name of Berlian even more appropriate for this hall.

A colorful painting of the Berlian Hall will be kept in the Salam Hall before the changes of Muzaffar al-Din Shah, which will be interesting for you to see before entering the Berlian Hall.

This brilliant hall was a place for holding important and ceremonial ceremonies with the presence of officials of other countries during the Pahlavi dynasty.

Shams al-Amara, before Tehran became like Tehran

Shams Al-Amara - Photo from Wikipedia
The Shams al-Amara – Photo from Wikipedia

Shams al-Amara mansion was a symbol of Tehran in ancient times for the people of the capital. The image of Tehran Ghajri is still engraved in the minds of the ancients and the ancient capital, with the image of this stately mansion. This mansion is the result of Nasser al-Din Shah’s fascination with tall buildings.

This feature of the height of this mansion in Golestan Palace in Tehran is special. One of Nasser al-Din Shah’s dreams – which led to the construction of the Sun Palace – was to see Tehran from a height that gathered the whole city in one frame.

Construction of this mansion began in 1282 and was ready after two years.

One of the prominent features of its architecture was the combination of Iranian style with French.

The tiles and lattice windows of this building are among the beauties of the exterior and the mirrors, plastering and paintings are among its interior decorations.

In addition to the tall stature of the five-story building of Shams al-Amara, the existence of two tall and similar towers in this mansion in Golestan Palace in Tehran is special. Construction of Shams al-Amara was the starting point of one of the great changes in the Iranian construction industry, namely the use of metal in the construction of buildings.

Golestan Palace windbreak mansion in Tehran

Windbreak mansion in Golestan Palace, Tehran
Windbreak mansion in Golestan Palace, Tehran

Another building of Golestan Palace in Tehran is the magnificent mansion “Badgir”. The initial construction of the windbreak mansion dates back to the time of Fath Ali Shah. This historical building is the oldest building of Golestan Palace after the marble throne porch.

This mansion was completely rebuilt during the reign of Nasser al-Din Shah. In the architecture of this building, there are two earring rooms and in the style of Iranian architecture, there is a royal hall, a porch and a pool house.

The important point of this mansion is the existence of 4 windbreaks which, with the help of the pool house, have provided a cool summer hangout for the inhabitants of the palace. In the amazing decorations of this mansion, Iranian arts are making a fuss. Mirroring, plastering, woodcarving, goldsmithing and painting are some examples of these artistic decorations.

The arrangement of the royal hall of this mansion in Golestan Palace is outstanding. There are some spectacular sash in this hall, the number of which reaches 9. But this is not all royal beauty; The spiral and floor decorated with mosaic art with colored beads, along with the mirrors and paintings that cover the ceiling and walls, have made this hall more spectacular.

Photography Museum in Golestan Palace

Photo studio in the windbreak mansion
Photo studio in the windbreak mansion

The pool house of the windmill is located on the lower floor and was once the summer room of the palace dwellers. In fact, this part of the mansion, with the help of 4 huge windbreaks and cool water flow, has created a favorable atmosphere for hard summer days.

Today, the cooling process of this basin is not active and this summer room has become the museum of Golestan Palace Photography Studio in Tehran.

In this museum, you can see photos from the Qajar era and historical artifacts of the art of photography; You will also learn about Nasser al-Din Shah’s talent in the art of photography: a collection of photographs he has made in history is kept in this museum.

Diamond Hall, the shine of mirrors

Diamond Hall - Photo from the site of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran
Diamond Hall – Photo from the site of Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran

On the southern edge of Golestan Palace in Tehran, you can see a structure after the windbreak, which is one of the old buildings in the garden. This building dates back to the time of Fath Ali Shah. With the coming to power of Nasser al-Din Shah, changes were made in this building and its decorations became more magnificent.

The art of mirror work and the radiance of the rays of light led to the name of the diamond being attributed to this hall. The special decorative features of Iranian architecture are evident in this building.

White Palace, Anthropological Museum of the country

White Palace Golestan Palace Tehran - Photo by Nasser Razzaq
White Palace Golestan Palace, Tehran – Photo by Nasser Razzaq

The addition of the White Palace to the complex of Golestan mansions took place in the last days of Nasser al-Din Shah’s reign. After the donation of valuable objects by “Abdul Hamid”, the Ottoman king, to the Shah of Iran and the lack of space to keep this valuable treasure in other mansions of the garden, the construction of the White Palace sparked in the mind of Nasser al-Din Shah.

Nasser al-Din Shah chose a white, European look for the newly established building. He decorated the hall of this palace with the donations of Abdul Hamid and chose the name of this Ottoman king for this hall.

The prime ministers of subsequent governments were stationed in this building. In 1332, this palace was given to the activities of the General Directorate of Fine Arts.

Eventually, the White Palace became one of the most complete anthropological museums in Iran in 1347, and the objects of the former anthropological museum, which had been researched and operated by Reza Shah since 1314, were transferred to the White Palace.

The Golestan Palace Museum in Tehran is one of the most complex and at the same time the most enchanting historical monuments in Iran , which should be immersed in its details for more pleasure. In this article, we tried to explain to you the comprehensive topics and useful knowledge of this headquarters of art and history.

For more information, be sure to include a visit to this unique collection in your spare time. In the photography room of this collection, you can take a memorable photo with a frame of Ghajri elements and covers. Undoubtedly, exploring this lush flower garden and its beautiful mansions will turn into enjoyable moments for you.