Narenjestan-e Ghavam Garden, located in Shiraz, is a magnificent garden and mansion built during the Qajar dynasty. Known for its abundant bitter orange trees, it’s commonly referred to as Narenjestan. This site was once the residence of Ghavam al-Molk II, the ruler and governor of Fars province and the Qavam family.
Adjacent to Narenjestan-e Ghavam is another mansion, Zinat al-Mulk House, forming a grand complex with the main building.
The complex’s main building, known as the “outer house,” and the Zinat al-Mulk House, or the “inner house,” connected underground.
Historically, the outer house served administrative purposes, hosting meetings and welcoming guests, while the inner house reserved for women, children, and servants. In addition to Zinat al-Mulk House, the Qavam family also owned several other gardens and properties.
Today, Narenjestan-e Ghavam is a popular attraction in Shiraz, featuring lush green spaces and two majestic buildings. Recent renovations have transformed the basement into a museum showcasing Iranian historical artifacts. The garden is open to the public.
Historical Background of Narenjestan-e Ghavam
Constructed between 1257 to 1267 in the Persian calendar, coinciding with the reign of Naser al-Din Shah Qajar, the garden initiated by Mohammad Ali Khan Qavam al-Molk in 1257. After his death, his son, Mohammad Reza Khan Qavam al-Molk III, completed the beautiful structure by 1261. Further decorations added until 1298.
In 1345, Narenjestan-e Ghavam was donated to Shiraz University by Ebrahim Qavam al-Molk, and since then, it has been a major tourist attraction in the city.
Architecture of Narenjestan-e Ghavam
The architecture of Narenjestan-e Ghavam, spanning 3500 square meters with a main building covering 940 square meters, is one of the most unique and beautiful in Iranian gardens. The main mansion, centrally located in the garden, overlooks a stunning pool. The garden’s symmetrical design features a mirrored hall in the center, flanked by harmoniously arranged rooms. The entrance pathway, lined with palm and bitter orange trees, leads visitors to the main building.
The Qavam House architecture reflects a blend of Qajar and Zand period styles, with elements of tilework, mirror work, wood carving, and stucco. The walls of the veranda are adorned with exquisite stucco reliefs typical of the Qajar era, while the floors covered with blue and white tiles.
The neighboring rooms feature wooden ceilings with intricate carvings, and the main room adjacent to the veranda boasts a mirrored ceiling.
Main Entrance of the Garden
The main entrance of Narenjestan-e Ghavam features a wooden door made of teak, beautifully carved, opening to the south. Visitors pass through an eight-sided vestibule, adorned with tiles, bricks, and stucco muqarnas, leading to the garden.
Narenjestan-e Ghavam Garden Grounds
Once inside, visitors greeted by symmetrically planted bitter orange and palm trees, leading to the main path with a geometrical waterway and eye-catching flower beds, culminating at the pool in front of the mansion.
Kitchen of Narenjestan-e Ghavam
The kitchen, located on the eastern side, includes a small courtyard, a pool, a stone fountain, and several rooms, where servants used to reside.
Main Mansion of Narenjestan-e Ghavam
The two-story main mansion at the garden’s northern end features a main veranda, a basement, two solid stone columns, and a flat roof overlooking the pool and garden. The 20 interconnected rooms of the mansion intricately designed, with the main room next to the veranda known as the mirrored hall or “Shah Neshin.”
Diwan Khaneh and Maktab Khaneh of Qavam House
The Diwan Khaneh, with six rooms on the southern side of the garden, features wooden columns with carvings, blue and white tiled floors, exquisite stucco, and stone windows. The Maktab Khaneh, located in the eastern part, has undergone restoration.
The Gachineh Bath, built in 1300 in the Persian calendar, is one of Shiraz’s five ancient baths. It includes a private bath for Ghavam al-Sultan and connected to the Narenjestan-e Ghavam mansion through a tunnel.
Best Time to Visit Narenjestan-e Ghavam
Spring is the ideal time to visit Narenjestan-e Ghavam Garden in Shiraz. The garden, filled with bitter orange trees, bursts into lush greenery and beauty, with the air filled with the fragrance of orange blossoms.
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Narenjestan-e Ghavam Garden in Shiraz, with its majestic structure, stands as one of the most attractive gardens from the Qajar era. It showcases a blend of Qajar and Zand architecture. A visit in spring, when the garden’s beauty multiplies, highly recommended.