Saturday, May 7, 2016

Chehel Sotun Palace

Chehel Sotun Palace (Palace of 40 Columns)

This palace is the sole survivor of the Royal Palaces that located between Naghsh-e Jahan and Chahar-bagh, it was built as a pleasure pavilion and reception hall, influenced by Achaemenian architecture. There are historical references and an inscription found in the palace that dates back to 17th century. What we see today is the restored or better said rebuilt version of the palace since it was burned down in 18th century. The columned porch with 20 wooden pillars with wooden ceiling and exquisite inlay work, is the entrance to the palace. The reflection of the 20 pillars in the pool makes 40 pillars which is used as the name of the palace. The Great hall is adorned with rich miniatures, frescoes and ceramics, portraying court life and battles of Safavid era. Except two middle paintings that belong to Qajar era the rest are all original; the theme of some of these frescoes are as follow:

•    battle of Shah Ismail with Uzbeks

•    Nader Shah battle with Sultan Mohammad in India

•    Shah Abbas II welcoming Nader Khan the king of Turkestan

•    Shah Abbas I presides over a banquet

•    Shah Ismail battles the army of Sultan Selim

•    Shah Tahmasp receives Humayun, the Indian prince

Miraculously the paintings survived Afghan’s attack and their disapproval of extravagance (Afghans whitewashed the whole place) the garden of this palace is an example of a Persian garden and one of the 9 gardens registered by UNESCO as World Heritage.


Other Attractions