HASHT BEHESHT

Palace And Garden Hasht Behesht

The Hasht Behesht garden ("the eight paradises") was built in the area of dowlatkhane (See Naghsh-e Jahan square) Safavid. The garden was expanded at the time of Shah Abbas II. The pavilion, built on the orders of Shah Soleyman (1667-1694), was completed in the 1669 and was used as the residence of the eight favorites of theharem King's.

In the past this palace was also called "Hasht be-Hasht" (literally "eight to eight", forms a word game for the assonance with Hasht Behesht and refers to the octagonal architectural form) and "Hasht Dar-e Behesht" ( "The eight gates of paradise").

At the time of the qajar sovereign Nasseroddin Shah this complex was granted to the noblewoman Eftekhar-ol-Doule with the condition that its state and its form were not changed and that the preservation, cleaning and repair of the female apartments on the Via Chahar was taken care of Bagh. After his death the complex remained for a period in the availability of his heirs who made changes to it. In the 1964 the Pahlavi government entrusted it to the Ministry of Culture and Art. Today both the garden and the palace are registered among the national monuments of Iran.

The Hasht Behesht palace is an octahedron with four different facades. The eastern side of the building, facing the garden pool, is the main facade of the building. In the middle of the main hall of the building there is an octagonal marble basin known as the "pearl tub", carved in such a way that the water flows from its outlets as a pearl. The building has two floors which are connected by stairs on the four sides. The rooms on the first floor in the four corners of the building have stucco decorations and paintings. The second floor consists of a complex of porticoes, rooms, arches and windows, each of which has been decorated differently. Water tanks, fireplaces and Ayne-kari (NdT: ornamentation of the walls and ceilings made up of hundreds of mirror pieces that make up geometric or natural figures like flowers, etc.) are other decorations of the interior spaces of the second floor of the building. The ceilings are also covered with mosaics.

The unity and harmony of the space and its decoration and at the same time the variety and multiplicity of the same, are an indication of the architectural peculiarity of the Hasht Behesht palace. The garden and its palace, along with its decorations, have been a model for many similar buildings that were built later.

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