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Golestan Palace

Coordinates: 35°40′47″N 51°25′13″E / 35.67972°N 51.42028°E / 35.67972; 51.42028
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Golestan Palace
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Edifice of the Sun (Shams ol Emareh)
LocationTehran, Iran
CriteriaCultural: ii, iii, iv
Inscription2013 (37th Session)
Area5.3 ha
Buffer zone26.2 ha
Coordinates35°40′47″N 51°25′13″E / 35.67972°N 51.42028°E / 35.67972; 51.42028
Golestan Palace is located in Tehran
Golestan Palace
Location of Golestan Palace
Golestan Palace is located in Iran
Golestan Palace
Golestan Palace (Iran)
Golestan Palace is located in West and Central Asia
Golestan Palace
Golestan Palace (West and Central Asia)

The Golestan Palace (Persian: کاخ گلستان, Kākh-e Golestān), also transliterated as the Gulistan Palace[1] and sometimes translated as the Rose Garden Palace from Persian language,[1][2] was built in the 16th century, renovated in the 18th century and finally rebuilt in 1865. It is the former official royal Qajar complex in Tehran.

One of the oldest historic monuments in the city of Tehran, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site,[3] the Golestan Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran's arg ("citadel"). It consists of gardens, royal buildings, and collections of Iranian crafts and European presents from the 18th and 19th centuries.[3]


Exterior view of the marble throne by Eugène Flandin

The origin of the Tehran's royal citadel can be traced back to July 6, 1404; when Ruy González de Clavijo, the envoy of Enrique III, traveled to Samarkand to meet with Timur, and he chose to stay at the house of Baba Sheikh (one of the elders of Tehran). It is believed that his house was located in the area of the royal citadel and later they were transformed into new buildings with changes.[4] The beginning of the royal citadel can be traced back to the time of Suleiman I,[5] with the construction of a palace in the Chenaristan area, a Divankhane where Soltan Hoseyn in the last year of his reign meet with the Ottoman government's ambassador, Ahmad Dari Effendi. Tehran's arg ("citadel") was built during the reign of Tahmasp I (r. 1524–1576) of the Safavid dynasty (1502–1736).[6] Abbas the Great built a big garden in the northern part of the fence, which was later surrounded by a high wall and buildings were built, with the royal residence was built inside it.[5] At the end of the Safavid era, Tehran was sometimes the temporary seat of the court of Safavid kings.[7] The palace was later renovated by Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty (r. 1750–1779).[8] Agha Mohammad Khan of the Qajar dynasty (1742–1797) chose Tehran as his capital.[9] The arg became the seat of the Qajars (1794–1925). The court and palace of Golestan became the official residence of the Qajar dynasty. The palace was rebuilt to its current form in 1865 by Haji Ab ol Hasan Mimar Navai.[10]

During the Pahlavi era (1925–1979), the Golestan Palace was used for formal royal receptions, and the Pahlavi dynasty built their own palace (the Niavaran Complex) in Niavaran. The most important ceremonies held in the palace during the Pahlavi era were the coronation of Reza Shah (r. 1925–1941)[11] on the Marble Throne and the coronation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (r. 1941 – 1979) in the Museum Hall. In between 1925 and 1945, a large portion of the buildings of the complex were destroyed on the orders of Reza Shah.[12] He believed that the centuries-old Qajar palace should not hinder the growth of a modern city. In the place of the old buildings, commercial buildings with the modern style of 1950s and 1960s were erected.


The complex of Golestan Palace consists of 17 structures, including palaces, museums, and halls. Almost all of this complex was built during the 131 years rule of the Qajar kings.[13] These palaces were used for many occasions such as coronations and other important celebrations. It also consists of three main archives, including the photographic archive, the library of manuscripts, and the archive of documents.[14]

Marble Throne (Takht e Marmar)[edit]

The Marble Throne, built from 1747 to 1751

This terrace, known as the Marble Throne, was built in 1747-1751.

Karim Khani Nook (Khalvat e Karim Khani)[edit]

Dating back to 1759, this building was a part of the interior residence of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty. The basic structure of the Karim Khani Nook is similar to the Marble Throne. Like the latter, it is a terrace. There is a small marble throne inside the terrace. The structure is much smaller than the Marble Throne and it has much less ornamentation. There was once a small pond with a fountain in the middle of this terrace. Water from a subterranean stream (the king's qanat) flowed from the fountain into the pond and was later used to irrigate the palace grounds.

Panoramic view of the Karim Khani Nook

Nasser ed Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty was fond of this corner of the Golestan Palace.

Pond House (Howz Khaneh)[edit]

The Pond House, painted by Kamal ol Molk.

Works of European painters presented to the Qajar court are housed at the Pond House.

The Pond House was used as a summer chamber during the Qajar era.

Brilliant Hall (Talar e Brelian)[edit]

Talar e Brelian (Brilliant Hall).

The Brilliant Hall was named so for it is adorned by the brilliant mirror work of Iranian artisans. The hall was built by the order of Nasser ed Din Shah.

Containers Hall (Talar e Zoruf)[edit]

This building replaced the building of Narenjestan in the north of the Ivory Hall (Talar e Adj).

Ivory Hall (Talar e Adj)[edit]

Ivory Hall is a large hall used as a dining room. It was decorated with some gifts presented to Nasser ed Din Shah by European monarchs.

Mirror Hall (Talar e Aineh)[edit]

Mirror Hall, painted by Kamal ol Molk

The Mirror Hall is a relatively small hall designed by Haj Abd ol Hossein Memar Bashi (Sanie ol Molk).

Salam Hall (Talar e Salam)[edit]

Entrance of Salam Hall

The Salam ("Reception") Hall was originally designed to be a museum.

Diamond Hall (Talar e Almas)[edit]

The Diamond Hall is located in the southern wing of the Golestan Palace, next to the building of Windcatchers.

The Windcatcher Building (Emarat e Badgir)[edit]

The Building of Windcatchers
One of the Windcatchers

The Windcatcher Building was constructed during the reign of Fath Ali Shah. The building underwent major renovations, including structural changes, during the reign of Nasser ed Din Shah.

Edifice of the Sun (Shams ol Emareh)[edit]

The Edifice of the Sun

The Edifice of the Sun was designed by Moayer ol Mamalek, construction on this building began in 1865 and was completed two years later.

Museum of Gifts[edit]

Golestan Palace on the reverse of a 1974 5000 Iranian rial banknote

This building is located under the Salam Hall.

Abyaz Palace[edit]

The Abyaz Palace

The Qajar monarch had the Abyaz Palace was constructed.

Museum Hall[edit]

The original collection of the Museum Hall is now scattered among Tehran's many museums.

Photographic archive[edit]

Photographic archive

There is an early photographic collection at the Golestan complex which includes photos which are mainly related to the time of the 19th-century progress of photography in Europe. It was created by the order of Naser ed Din Shah of the Qajar dynasty. It is mentioned that "photography was so common at the royal palace that the king's wives and his servants also took pictures and posed playfully in front of the camera." There is a picture of one servant with flowers decorating his head and shoulders.[15]

Present use[edit]

On 11 October 2005, the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran submitted the palace to the UNESCO for inclusion into the World Heritage List in 2007. On 23 June 2013, it was proclaimed as world heritage site during the UNESCO meeting in Phnom Penh.

The Golestan Palace is currently operated by the Cultural Heritage Organization of Iran.


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b G. Massiot & cie. "Gulistan Palace: Part of the palace complex with water garden". Curate ND. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  2. ^ Iran Traveling Center (July 5, 2014). "The Palace of Roses in Golestan Palace Tehran Iran". Facebook. Archived from the original on 2022-02-26. Retrieved 2021-06-29.
  3. ^ a b "Golestan Palace". UNESCO World Heritage Centre. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  4. ^ "گشتی در کاخ گلستان | خلوت باشکوه پادشاهان - مجله گردشگری اتاقک" (in Persian). Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  5. ^ a b "در مورد کاخ گلستان در ویکی تابناک بیشتر بخوانید". tabnak.ir. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  6. ^ تهران, آژانس عکس. "کاخ گلستان". آژانس عکس تهران (in Persian). Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  7. ^ vista. "تهران در عصر صفوی". ویستا (in Persian). Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  8. ^ "کاخ گلستان > موزه های کاخ". www.golestanpalace.ir. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  9. ^ "Tehran, Iran - Image of the Week - Earth Watching". earth.esa.int. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  10. ^ "Golestan Palace". arasbaran.org. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  11. ^ Ali Rahnema (2011). Superstition as Ideology in Iranian Politics: From Majlesi to Ahmadinejad. New York: Cambridge University Press. p. 115. doi:10.1017/CBO9780511793424. ISBN 978-0-521-18221-8.
  12. ^ "Golestan Palace, glorious palace in Tehran". Mehr News Agency. 2020-02-08. Retrieved 2023-12-25.
  13. ^ "کاخ گلستان". Golestanpalace.ir. Archived from the original on 2017-12-31. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  14. ^ "The Golestan Palace Library and Archive in Tehran". Dissertation Reviews. Retrieved 2017-01-02.
  15. ^ Nazila Fathi (2007-05-30). "Iran - Photographs - Golestan Palace Collection". The New York Times. Retrieved 2017-01-02.

Further reading[edit]

  • Mahdizadeh, Sara; Walker, Stephen; Karimian, Zahra; Rajendran, Lakshmi (2022). "Royal Gardens in Republican Iran: a case study of the Golestan Palace Garden, Tehran". Landscape History. 42 (2): 119–137. doi:10.1080/01433768.2022.2143752. S2CID 254275814.

External links[edit]

35°40′47″N 51°25′13″E / 35.67972°N 51.42028°E / 35.67972; 51.42028