Persian garden is a kind of architecture, garden structure and palace building that Iranians have invented and designed. This kind of garden with a beautiful and eye-catching design, symbolizes richness of architectural, historical and cultural background of Iran. The gardens in Iran are alive, and plants, flowers, water and mansions are part of the beauty elements of this kind of garden, whose elaborate and orderly design has created lasting collections throughout history. This architecture and structure is also recorded at the UNESCO World Heritage Site.
History of Iranian Gardens
Many scholars call Pasargad as the most ancient Iranian garden. The Pasargad Gardens were built on the orders of Cyrus the Great. He also identified type of tree planting, architectural style and geometry that formed it. In fact, geometry of the garden and its shape and icon, from Cyrus view, has been added to the Iranian garden. After Cyrus, other Achaemenid kings continued to build gardens with this structure. This gardening pattern continued after the Achaemenids, and remains of such gardens belonging to the Parthian and Sassanid period have also been discovered. The oldest piece of the Sassanid era is the prominent feature of Khosrow Parviz hunting in Taq Bostan, which represents a roughly almost geometry of Persian garden.
Many scholars consider the most magnificent era of gardening in Iran during the Safavid period. In this period, gardens were considered as an art form of urban structure, and as a whole, the whole city was affected by green circles. Gardening was also developed in Tehran during the Qajar period, but these gardens were mostly dedicated to the elites.
Persian garden structure
Persian Garden has three unique structures and designs:
1) On the waterway passage.
2) Closed with tall walls.
3) There is a summer mansion and a water pool inside the garden.
The role of water in Iranian garden architecture
In the architecture of Iranian gardens, we must point to the vital role of water. Iran has long been a dry and low water country. For this reason, one of the important characteristics of the Iranian Garden has been the tendency to display water as water is usually very little and very worthy. Water use in the garden in the form of atmospheres, pools and fountains each represents beauty and a relaxing environment.
If the garden was flat, the fountain was very run, like the Kashan Fin garden, and if they were sloped, like the prince of the Mahan's garden, they would be in the form of a cascade.
Landscape of Persian Garden
The beauty of the Iranian garden is complemented with greenery and flower gardens. Trees and plants play an essential role in the beauty of Iranian gardens. In addition to the beauty, these trees also play the role of a canopy and were planted in the walking paths in the garden to shade the entire path. Also, these sidewalks were made a bit thinner than usual for the trees to cover them easily. Usually on both sides of the sidewalk, pine and purple trees, pine and plantain, pine and cypress, elm and cedar were used.
Reflection of Persian Garden in Carpet Rugs
Persian carpets and gardens are an extraordinary example of Iranian art manifestation, and the combination of these two, displays beautiful and rich effects of Iranian culture. Persian gardens are often the subject of carpet designs and are artistically and elaborately designed on the carpets. Gardens are usually woven on the carpets as if they were viewed from the top by an observer, and the edges of the carpet are enclosing walls.
Persian garden in carpet
Arthur Apham Pope, an American historian who has immigrated to Iran and died in Iran, talks about the combination of garden and carpet:
"The garden is the most important subject to the Iranian, and it is gloriously alive in almost all Iranian carpets. Persian carpet is more a garden than a carpet, next to central ponds, trees are finely planted with beautiful flowers and decoration. In the Iranian mind, the garden is an allegory of piece of paradise, and bringing body and mind comfort and piece."
Persian Garden, Iranian Legacy in UNESCO
The Persian Garden has been registered as the thirteenth Iranian artifact of UNESCO World Heritage in 2011. Gardens: Pasargad, Chehelsotun, Eram, Fein, Abbas Abad, Dolatabad, Pahlavan Pour, Akbarieh and Mahan prince are the gardens which are listed in the complete list of Iranian Gardens.
The oldest Iranian garden is Pasargad, which dates back to the sixth century BC, the Cyrus the Great. Existing inscriptions show that Cyrus personally designed the garden and determined shape of trees and geometry of garden. For this reason, other Iranian gardens built in the following years are all similar to Pasargad Gardens. Pasargad Gardens is 135 kilometers from Shiraz.
Prince Mahan Garden:
The Prince's Garden is one of the most beautiful traditional gardens in Iran, which is located around Mahan in Kerman province. The prince of Mahan has created a green and pleasant spot in the heart of the Kerman deserts.
Prince Mahan-Kerman Garden
Eram Garden is located at the end of Eram Street, Shiraz. This garden was built during the Seljuk period. Inside the garden is a three-story sundeck with pictures of Naser-al-Din Shah Qajar, stories from Ferdowsi and Nezami, and ancient Persian literature and religious tale tile.
Garden of Eram-Shiraz
Abbas Abad Garden:
Abbas Abad Garden is located in Behshahr, Mazandaran, and is built among mountain forests near the natural lake.
Chehelsoton Garden is located inside the urban texture of Isfahan and on the west of the Chehar Baq Street, north and north of Sepeh Street and East Naghshe Jahan Square. This garden is an example of a royal garden from the Safavid era, which is related to Shah Abbas. Shah Abbas built a chaise longue with a small room designed to serve the guests of the courtyard.
Chehelston Isfahan Garden
This garden is located in the southwest of Kashan and the Soleimanieh mineral spring flows there. In fact, the Garden of Finn, with the exception of its historical record and the death of the Amir Kabir, is known for this spring, which springs from a rock called Dandane Mountain, six kilometers west of Kashan, and carries much salt to Fin.
Iranian gardens outside the borders of Iran!
The Iranian garden is not just within the geographical boundaries of Iran and has entered into the domain of the great Iranian civilization and Persian language, one of the best examples of Persian garden outside Iran is Homayoun tomb in Delhi, and Taj Mahal in India.
-Piernia, Mohammad Karim.; "Persian Gardens". Abadi No 15. Iranian Center for Architectural and Urban Studies and Research, 1994
-The UNESCO-Iran National Commission, "Iran's Recorded Works at the UNESCO World Heritage List"