Iran’s Kerman Province: Mahan – Shazdeh Garden (Photos)

The tradition and style in the design of Persian Gardens has influenced the design of gardens from Andalusia to India and beyond.

Shazdeh Garden meaning Prince’s Garden (in Persian: Bagh-e Shazdeh) is a historical Persian garden located 6km away from the city of Mahan in Kerman province, Iran. It is a rectangular green oasis surrounded by brown desert and a good example of Persians gardens that take advantage of suitable natural climate.

It was built originally for Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar Sardari Iravani ca. 1850 and was extended ca. 1870 by the governor of Kerman, Abdolhamid Mirza Naserodoleh, during the eleven years of his governorship in the Qajar dynasty. Its location was selected strategically as it was placed on the way between the Bam Citadel and Kerman.

The construction was left unfinished, due to the death of Abdolhamid Mirza in the early 1890s. It is rumored that upon hearing the news of the Governor’s death, the masons immediately abandoned their work and as a result the main entrance still shows some unfinished areas.

Shazdeh Garden is a rectangular shaped, 5.5 hectares areal surrounded by a wall. It consists of an entrance structure and gate at the lower end and a residential structure (once the summer palace of a now unknown prince) at the upper end. The distance between these two buildings has a collection of pools ornamented with water fountains. There are pavilions and a central canal. The residence is now mostly derelict but partly converted to a nice restaurant. The design looks best in an aerial photograph.

The garden itself consists of a variety of pine, cedar, elm, buttonwood and fruit trees which benefit from the appropriate soil, light breezes and qanat[1] water which enables such an environment in contrast to the dry surroundings.

The water enters the Garden at the upper end and while irrigating the trees and plants along its way, flows down through a series of steps and falls. On the two ends of the water path – meaning at the main entrance and the residential structure – there’s a pool that collects and subsequently redistributes the water. All together from top to bottom there are eight levels/falls along the water path.

In 1991, the premises were completely renovated due to the commemoration ceremony of Khaju Kermani. A traditional guesthouse has been constructed in the city center for tourists and visitors.

Some damage to the Garden was caused as a result of Kerman’s 2004 earthquake. In 2005 experts of the Research Center for Historical Sites and Structures were preparing documents to register Shazdeh Garden, amongst other gardens under the denomination “The Persian Garden”, on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It was finally inscribed in June of 2011.

[1] Qanat (also known as kariz or karez): The development of qanats probably began about 2.500 or 3.000 years ago in Iran and the technology spread eastward to Afghanistan and westward to Egypt. It is an ancient type of water-supply system, developed and still used in arid regions of the world. A qanat taps underground mountain water sources trapped in and beneath the upper reaches of alluvial fans and channels the water downhill through a series of gently sloping tunnels, often several kilometres long, to the places where it is needed for irrigation and domestic use. Although new qanats are seldom built today, many old qanats are still used in Iran and Afghanistan, chiefly for irrigation. (Source: Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Sources: Wikipedia | Shazdeh Garden, Iran Tour Online, Historical Iranian sites and people | Shazdeh Garden, Wikimedia | Shazdeh Garden, IRNA | Photos, Wikipedia | Persian Gardens

1 thought on “Iran’s Kerman Province: Mahan – Shazdeh Garden (Photos)

  1. Pingback: Iran’s Kerman Province: Mahan – Shazdeh Garden (Photos) – Part 2 | The other Iran

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