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Golestan Palace

The lavish Golestan Palace is a masterpiece of the Qajar era, embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Teheran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Teheran the capital of the country. Built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas, the Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date from the 19th century. It became a centre of Qajari arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example and has remained a source of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to this day. It represents a new style incorporating traditional Persian arts and crafts and elements of 18th century architecture and technology.

Brief synthesis

Golestan Palace is located in the heart and historic core of Tehran. The palace complex is one of the oldest in Tehran, originally built during the Safavid dynasty in the historic walled city. Following extensions and additions, it received its most characteristic features in the 19th century, when the palace complex was selected as the royal residence and seat of power by the Qajar ruling family. At present, Golestan Palace complex consists of eight key palace structures mostly used as museums and the eponymous gardens, a green shared centre of the complex, surrounded by an outer wall with gates.

The complex exemplifies architectural and artistic achievements of the Qajar era including the introduction of European motifs and styles into Persian arts. It was not only used as the governing base of the Qajari Kings but also functioned as a recreational and residential compound and a centre of artistic production in the 19th century. Through the latter activity, it became the source and centre of Qajari arts and architecture.

Golestan Palace represents a unique and rich testimony of the architectural language and decorative art during the Qajar era represented mostly in the legacy of Naser ed-Din Shah. It reflects artistic inspirations of European origin as the earliest representations of synthesized European and Persian style, which became so characteristic of Iranian art and architecture in the late 19th and 20th centuries. As such, parts of the palace complex can be seen as the origins of the modern Iranian artistic movement.

Criterion (ii): The complex of Golestan Palace represents an important example of the merging of Persian arts and architecture with European styles and motifs and the adaptation of European building technologies, such as the use of cast iron for load bearing, in Persia. As such Golestan Palace can be considered an exceptional example of an east-west synthesis in monumental arts, architectural layout and building technology, which has become a source of inspiration for modern Iranian artists and architects.

Criterion (iii): Golestan Palace contains the most complete representation of Qajari artistic and architectural production and bears witness to the centre of power and arts at the time. Hence, it is recognized as an exceptional testimony to the Qajari Era.

Criterion (iv): Golestan Palace is a prime example of the arts and architecture in a significant period in Persia, throughout the 19th century when the society was subject to processes of modernization. The influential role of artistic and architectural values of ancient Persia as well as the contemporary impacts of the West on the arts and architecture were integrated into a new type of arts and architecture in a significant transitional period.

Ministry of foreign affairs,
Islamic Republic of IRAN,
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