Khiyaban-i Chaharbagh

 
Catalogue
Safavid Gardens
City
Isfahan
Country
Iran
Dates
1597 1881
Author
Mahvash Alemi

Description

When Shah ‘Abbas decided to move the capital from Qazvin to Isfahan his dawlatkhānah was established in a Timurid garden known as Bagh-i Naqsh-i Jahan. From the Dawlat Gate near his dawlatkhānah, a promenade (khiyābān) was created that ran south toward the river and across the Allah Verdi Khan bridge to his suburban garden at the foot of Suffa Mountain. The northern section of the promenade was called Chaharbagh-i Pain and the southern section was called Chaharbagh-i Bala. Iskandar Munshi, in his chronicle of the year 1006 A.H./1597–1598, writes that the land flanking the promenade was divided among the emirs and notables, each of whom was to erect at the entrance of his park a suitably royal structure consisting of an entry gate (dargāh), a lofty roofed passage (sābāṭ-i rafī‘), an iwan, second-story galleries (bālākhānahā), and belvederes (manz̤arahā), beautifully decorated with paintings in gold and blue (Tārīkh-i ‘Ālam-ārā-yi ‘Abbāsī, translated by McChesney, “Four Sources,” 111).

Munshi specifies that the bridge had forty vaulted arches; during floods, water passed through each arch. The promenade was decorated by water channels and planted with cypress, linden, juniper, and pine trees. A stone-lined canal was built that flowed through large cisterns (daryācha) facing each chahārbāgh. The gardens were completed with the aid of architects and engineers in 1025 A.H./1616. The names of these gardens are shown on a plan by Kaempfer in 1684, before the modifications that occurred during the reign of Shah Sultan Husayn. The plan by Coste in 1840 shows these modifications. Jabiri Ansari gives the names of the persons to whom these gardens were donated by the order of the Qajar king in the nineteenth century.

 

Sources

  • Court Chronicle, 1615
  • Travel Account, 1684
  • Travel Account, 1840