Arg of Karim Khan

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Karim Khan Citadel
ارگ کریم خان زند
Arg of karim khan 2.jpg
Interior view of Iran's capital during 1766 until 1796 ( 30 years )
General information
Architectural style Persian - Islamic
Location Shiraz, Iran
Construction started 1766
Completed 1767
Technical details
Structural system Imperial resident, Military.
(later prison)
Size 4.000 m2
Design and construction
Architect Karim Khan Zand
Engineer A team of engineers all from Zand territories

The Karim Khan Castle (Persian: ارگ کریم خان‎‎ Arg-e Karim Khan) is a citadel located in the downtown Shiraz, southern Iran. It was built as part of a complex during the Zand dynasty and is named after Karim Khan, and served as his living quarters. In shape it resembles a medieval fortress.

At times, the citadel was used as a prison. Today, it is a museum operated by Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization.


Karim Khan Castle is also known as Arge Karim Khan, Arge Karim Khani, Karim khans' castle or citadel of Karim Khan.


Arg-e-Karim Khan was built in 1180 AH (1766-7). Karim Khan invited the best architects and artists of the time and bought the best materials from other cities and abroad for the construction of the citadel of Karim Khan, which was quickly constructed. During the Zand dynasty it was used by the king as living quarters. During the Qajar period it was used as the governor's seat.

Prince Abdolhosein Mirza Farmanfarma, governor of Fars Province, ordered the miniatures in the citadel to be renovated.

After the fall of the Qajar Dynasty it was converted into a prison and the paintings were plastered over. In 1971 it was given to Iran's Cultural Heritage Organization. The renovation of the citadel started in 1977.


Outside the castle

Karim Khan Castle is located at Shahrdari Square. It has a land area of 4,000 m2 and is in the center of a 12,800 m2 compound.[1] The Citadel of Karim Khan consists of four high walls connected by four 14 m round brick towers at a 90-degree angle. Each 12 m wall is carnalized and is 3 meters thick at the base and 2.8 meters at the top.[1][2] The design of the citadel combines military and residential architecture, for it was the home of Karim Khan and the military center of the dynasty.[2]

James Edward Alexander in 1827 described the citadel as being surrounded by a "deep wet ditch".[3]

Tile works depicting legendary tales were added at the entrance gate of the citadel during the Qajar Era.

Similarities to another citadel[edit]

there are many similarities between the Karim khan castle and Alhambra citadel in Granada, Spain. Alhambra was build in mid 11 century to a Muslim ruler (Mohammed I ibn Nasr), like Karim Khan. They both build their citadels with Islamic inspirations. The main reason of building these castles was to be a hub for the kings to reign. inside of these two citadels are gardens. but the obvious similarity is the pool. As seen in the photograph, they both contain a pool throughout the area. Although these citadels are very alike each other, there is no proof that indicates that these buildings are linked together. It's just a scarce event.

Alhambra and Karim khan's citadel



See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b retrieved 11 Feb 2008
  2. ^ a b محمد جواد مطلع. "شهرداری شیراز". Retrieved 2013-02-04. 
  3. ^ James Edward Alexander, Travels from India to England: Comprehending a Visit to the Burman Empire, Parbury, Allen (1827) p.125

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 29°37′03″N 52°32′41″E / 29.6174°N 52.5446°E / 29.6174; 52.5446