The Fin Garden of Kashan, with its unmatched majesty and beauty, stands as one of the finest examples of Persian garden design, situated in the city of Kashan in Isfahan province. The garden, added to Iran’s National Heritage list in 1972, proudly gained UNESCO World Heritage status in 2011. Every part of this garden displays the creativity of Iranian architects who have crafted a unique space by harnessing natural and architectural elements.
Stunning pools and fountains, vibrant flowers and plants, ancient trees, and cobblestone pathways all tell a story of paradise-like beauty in the garden. The Fin Garden, constructed under the watchful eye of Shah Abbas Safavi, is today recognized as a masterpiece of the Safavid era, drawing considerable attention.
Fin Garden boasts special features that distinguish it from other Persian gardens. A prime example is the abundant spring at the garden’s center, breathing life into every section. Valuable historical structures within the garden add to its charm; these include the boiling pond, beautiful fountains, Fin Bath, and the grand Agha Bozorg Mosque and school.
Famous for its precise and attractive design, the Fin Garden also holds special historical significance due to events like the assassination of Mirza Taghi Khan Amir Kabir. Visitors touring the garden not only become acquainted with a significant chapter of Iran’s tumultuous history but also gain the opportunity for a deeper experience of Iranian culture and art.
First Impressions of Fin Garden
As you enter the Fin Garden in Kashan, you will be captivated by its unique allure. So much so that you might lose track of time. The garden is one of the greatest examples of Iranian gardens and has earned its place on the UNESCO list of historical landmarks for this reason.
Within it, towering trees, fountains of various heights, and the sound of water meandering through the cobblestone pavements of the garden collectively enchant visitors.
The area of Fin Garden in Kashan covers 33,700 square meters, surrounded by walls, ramparts, and cylindrical towers that embrace the central courtyard, showcasing it as a part of the lineage of Iranian fortress gardens. Utilizing these walls, residents can find safe haven beneath the towers and ramparts, allowing the garden to exhibit a regal grandeur in its volume, shape, and height.
Why Water is Essential in Fin Garden, Kashan
The primary reason for the use of water in Fin Garden, Kashan, is to generate serenity through human reflection on water, cool the air during the hot summer months, and resonate with the sound of water, especially in the non-residential areas.
This historic complex boasts two exceptionally beautiful pools:
The Sulfur Pool
One of the fascinating features within this complex is the Sulfur Pool, noted for its captivating design. The base of the pool is adorned with tiles that resemble the intricate patterns of Kashan’s mosque and shrine carpets. These tiles, a stunning creation by the Abi Tahir family, a renowned Kashan tile-making lineage, were of the zarrin faam (“golden”) variety and were embellished with gold glaze. These tiles graced the pool until early in Reza Shah’s era when plunderers known as the Nayebis attacked and stole them. Many attempts to restore and repair the pool followed, yet none could replicate the original craftsmanship.
The Fascinating Function of the Sulfur Pool in Fin Garden, Kashan
The Fin Garden’s Sulfur Pool in Kashan has 160 holes, each representing a flower from a carpet. The function of these holes is such that if the first one acted as a fountain, the second would serve to draw water. Consequently, there are about 80 fountain holes and 80 suction holes in this pool, maintaining a balance in water inflow and outflow to prevent overflow. Today, the overflow water from this pool travels through three tiled channels crossing the garden’s pathways.
The Twelve-Fountain Pool
The Twelve-Fountain Pool was constructed during the reign of Mohammad Shah Qajar alongside the Sulfur Pool and the Shah Neshin (Royal Sitting Room) in the garden. It is known for its twelve fountains, which symbolize the structure of Iranian gardens and the architectural marvels of the past. These fountains operate without any external force, creating a vertical flow of water within the pool that reflects the ingenuity of ancient Persian engineering.
One of the most famous sections of Fin Garden, Kashan, is the two bathhouses within the complex, neither of which is called “Fin” but is well-known because they are located in the Fin Garden. The infamous notoriety of these baths is due to the assassination of Amir Kabir, the former prime minister, who was murdered in one of these baths.
Another captivating structure in Fin Garden, Kashan, is the Safavid Pavilion, which dates back to the year 986 in the Solar Hijri calendar. Built under the orders of Shah Abbas and the stewardship of Aga Khizr Nahavandi, the governor of Kashan at the time, the pavilion was constructed opposite the garden’s main gate in its center. The historical building originally had four levels, with the two upper floors designed in the European “kolaah farangi” style. However, it suffered significant damage during the earthquake of 1156 and was partially reconstructed to have only two levels remaining. Today, this edifice stands 14 meters tall, with rubble stone forming the foundation and raw bricks used in the walls. It is highly recommended to visit this historical and visually arresting building.
The Shah Neshin Room
The Shah Neshin, or royal sitting room, in the garden dates back to around 1218 Solar Hijri, built by the order of Mohammad Shah Qajar. Surrounding this structure are rooms known as “Goshvareh,” which served as quarters for the servants. Out of respect for the Shah, ceremonies were conducted through the side doors, as the main entrance was reserved for the Shah himself. The ceremonial events of the time were held in front of the room’s wind catcher, in the middle section, and before the pool of the building.
The Tea House
Next to the Shah Neshin and along the Safavid Pavilion, there is another building known as the Tea House, previously called Cheshmeh Zananeh (Women’s Spring). In this area, the incoming water to the garden is distributed, with one-third of the water from the main spring flowing into it before splitting into three streams that weave through the garden.
Qajar Pavilion or Fath-Ali Shah’s Camel-Neck Pavilion
Another structure within Fin Garden, Kashan, was commissioned by Fath-Ali Shah in the year 1189 Solar Hijri and is known as Fath-Ali Shah’s Camel-Neck Pavilion or Sofeh Fath-Ali Shahi. This building features various sections including a pool house and a Chahar Taqi (a room with four arches).
The Karim Khani Nook
Part of Fin Garden houses the Karim Khani Nook, which was ordered by Karim Khan Zand and built with the effort of Agha Saleem Arani. This private court is named after Karim Khan and comprises a small courtyard, rooms with five doors, and simple rooms. The construction of this part dates back to approximately 1141 Solar Hijri.
The National Museum of Kashan
The last section of interest in Fin Garden, Kashan, is the National Museum of Kashan. Established in 1346 Solar Hijri by the late Seyed Mohammad Taghi Mostafavi, the then-director of Archaeology, the museum was built on the ruins of the Nizam al-Mulk’s private retreat. It features three main sections: archaeology, ethnology, and handicrafts. With over 400 artifacts on display, the museum’s collection includes pre-Islamic and post-Islamic pottery, bronze items, ceramics, clothing, calligraphy, books, and various textiles, representing a timeline from the seventh millennium BC to the contemporary era. The archaeological section’s items have been procured from excavations carried out in places such as Tepe Sialk, Chogha Zanbil, Hasanlu, Khurvin, Luristan, and more.
Access to Fin Garden, Kashan
- Visiting hours: The garden is open every day except for Tasu’a and Ashura of Hussein, the 21st of Ramadan (martyrdom of Imam Ali), the 28th of Safar (demise of the Prophet), the 14th of Khordad (demise of Imam Khomeini), and the 25th of Shawwal (martyrdom of Imam Jafar Sadiq).
- Visiting times: From 09:00 to 18:30 during the first six months of the year, and from 09:00 to 16:00 in the second half of the year.
Important Historical Events that Occurred in Fin Garden!
As we have recounted the extensive history of the construction of Fin Garden in Kashan and the affection of kings for this place, you might have guessed that significant historical events have taken place in this garden that have, in one way or another, changed the destiny of Iran’s history. Therefore, in this section, we will talk a little about the most important historical events in Fin Garden, Kashan.
The Celebration of Shah Isma’il Safavi
After defeating his enemies, Shah Isma’il Safavi, at the beginning of his reign, went to Kashan and held a celebration in Fin Garden for all the people. The people of Kashan adorned the city and celebrated in honor of the Shah’s presence. Shah Isma’il Safavi held a feast and revelry in Fin Garden twice during his rule and received the common people there.
The Murder of Khizr Neyavandi, the Ruler of Kashan
Khizr Neyavandi was for years the sole ruler of Kashan, wielding great power and influence to the extent that Shah Abbas Safavi became concerned about his power. Around the year 986 Hijri Shamsi, while Khizr Neyavandi was walking in Fin Garden, someone attacked and stabbed him to death. It was later said and written that this event was a political assassination ordered by the Shah.
The Death of Shah Safi
Shah Safi frequently visited Fin Garden in Kashan, which he greatly admired. However, according to one account, on his last trip while residing in the state palace, he is said to have died due to excessive alcohol consumption. After this event, his 10-year-old son was crowned in the same garden and ascended to the throne.
The Assassination of Amir Kabir
Mirza Taghi Khan, known as Amir Kabir, who was the grand vizier of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, had a significant impact on the prosperity of Iran and carried out many important cultural and political tasks during his time. Among his achievements were the establishment of Dar ul-Funun, the organization and modernization of the army, the regulation of Karaj’s water distribution, and setting salaries for court officials.
Despite being favored by the Qajar Shah and pleasing him, Amir Kabir had influential enemies at court, such as the Shah’s mother and Haj Ali Khan Maraghei. Eventually, these adversaries caused Amir Kabir to be dismissed from the position of grand vizier. He was exiled to Kashan and ultimately murdered in the Fin Garden’s bathhouse.
Amenities and Recreational Facilities
Fin Garden in Kashan offers a range of amenities for the comfort and enjoyment of its visitors. These include restrooms, a parking lot, a prayer room, a teahouse, a store selling cultural products and souvenirs, and a restaurant within the historical complex.
Moreover, Fin Garden is conveniently located near other attractions in Kashan, such as Tepe Sialk, the Tabatabaei House, Agha Bozorg mosque and school, and the Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse. Visiting these places can enhance your experience of Kashan, turning it into a delightful historical and leisurely exploration.
Best Time to Visit Fin Garden
Fin Garden, like other famous and beautiful gardens in Iran, is at its most beautiful and lush during spring and summer. Furthermore, the scent of roses and Kashan’s rosewater is especially enticing in the spring! Thus, if you want to witness Fin Garden in all its glory, it’s best to plan your visit in the spring and summer.
However, visiting Fin Garden in the fall and winter also has its charm. You can enjoy the natural beauty of the cold season and the fallen leaves painting a picturesque scene for tourists. Fin Garden’s serene and historical atmosphere provides a year-round destination for visitors to enjoy the changing seasons and the enduring beauty of this historical site.
Where is Fin Garden Located?
Fin Garden’s Address: Isfahan Province, Central District of Kashan City, Amir Kabir Street, Historical Complex of Fin Garden.
Phone Number for Fin Garden in Kashan: 03155302070
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How to Access Fin Garden?
Fin Garden is situated in the city of Kashan, which is now part of Isfahan province. Since Fin Garden is located on one of the main streets of the city, accessing it is quite straightforward. Once you reach Kashan, head towards Amir Kabir Street. At the end of this street, you will find the towering trees and the welcoming sight of Fin Garden waiting for you!
Accessing Fin Garden is generally easy because of its location in the city’s infrastructure. Whether you are using public transportation, a private vehicle, or even walking, the directions are clear, and the site is well-known enough that locals and signage around the city will likely guide you there without any trouble. The proximity to main thoroughfares also makes it accessible for tourists unfamiliar with the area.