A short history of Golestan Palace

The oldest of the historic monuments in  Tehran, the Golestan Palace(palace of flowers) belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran’s Historic Arg(citadel). The Arg was built during the reign of Tahmasb I (r.1524-1576) of the safavid dyntasy (1502-1736) and was later renovated by Karim Kahn Zand (r.1750-1779) Agha Mohammad Kahn Qajar (1742-1797) chose Tehran as his capital.

The Arg became the site of the Qajar (1794-1925) Court and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal family. During the Pahlavi era (1925-1979) Golestan Palace was used for formal royal receptions. The most important ceremonies to be held in the Palace during the Pahlavi era were the coronation of Reza Kahn (r. 1925-1941) in Takhte-Marmar and the coronation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (r. 1941- deposed 1979) in the Museum Hall. In its present stata, Golestan Palace is the result of roughly 400 years construction and renovations. The buildings at the contemporary location eache have  a unique history.

Takht-e Marmar

The spectacular terrace known as Takht-e-Marmiar (Marble Throne) was built in 1806 by order of Fath Ali Shah Qajar (r.1797-1834). Adomed  by paintings, marble-carvings, tilework, stucco, mirrors, enamel, woodcarvings, and lattice windows; the throne embodies the finest of Iranian architecture. The Marble Thorone is one of the oldest buildings of the historic Arg. The existing throne, which is situated in the middle of the terrace (iwan), is made of the famous yellow marble of Yazd province. The throne is made of sixty-five pieces of marble and was designed by Mirza Baba naghash Bashi (head painter) of the Qajar cort. Mohamınıad Ebrahim, the Royal Mason, oversaw the coulstruction and several celebrated masters of the time worked on the execution of this masterpiece. The architectural details and other ornaments of the terrace (iwan) were completed during the Reigns of Fathi Ali Shahi and Nasser-ol-Din Shah(r.1848-1896). Coronations of Qajar kings, and formal court ceremonies wew held on this terrace (iwan). Th last coronation to be helld at Takht-e-Marmar was the coronation of, the self-proclaimed king, Reza Khan Pahlavi in1925.

Talar-e Aineh

Talar-e Aineh (Hall of Mirror) is the most famous of the Palace halls. This relatively small hall is famuse for its extraordinary mirror work. The Hall was designed by Haj Abdoul Hossein Memar bashi (Sanie-ol-Molk). Yahya Khan Moetamed-ol-Molk, the Minister of Architecture, acted as consultant to the designer.


Talar-e-Almas (Hall of Diamonds) is located in the southern wings of Golestan Palace next to the Badgir Building. It is called Hall of Diamonds because of the exeptional mirror work inside the building. The construction of this hall dates to time of Fath Ali Shah(circa 1806). Nasser-ol-Din Shah renovated this hall changing its appearance and replacing the hall’s ogival arches with Roman ones. He also ordered the walls covered with wallpaper imported from Europe. As the basic structure dates back to the time of Fath Ali Shah. It is only apt that this hall should be devoted to the exhibition of art and handicrafts from that period.

Talar-e- Salam

Talar-e Salam (Reception Hall) was originally designed to be a museum. After thie Takte-Tavoos (Iranian’s faimous Jeweled Peacock Throne) was moved to the Royal jewels collection at the Central Bank, this hall was designated to hold special receptions in the presence of the king, hence the name Talar Salam.

 tourists and envoys form European courts received in the Arg during the reign of Nasser-ol-Din Shah, spoke of this outstanding hall, comparing it to its European counterparts. This hall has exquisite mirrors work. The ceiling and walls are decorated with plaster molding. The floors are covered whit mosaic. During the reign of Nasser-ol-Din Shah, this hall was used to exhibit Iranian and European printings alongside gifts presented to the Iranian court, Royal jewels were also exhibited inside glass cases. These jewels are now housed at the Royal Jewels Museum of the Central Bank.

Tâlar-e Zoroof

This building replaced the Narenjestan building in the north of Adj Hall or sofre khaneh, All the chinaware that were dedicated to Qajar kings by the European kings were taken to this room and was arranged in show cases which were built for this purpose. All the chinaware that exists in this room is rare and beautiful, Among them these are the most exceptional:

1-The chinaware that shows the Napoleonian wars dedicated by Napoleon the first 2-The chinaware dedicated by King Nicoli the first 3- Chinaware studded with gems and jewels dedicated by Queen Victoria. 4-The Chinaware which was dedicated by King Vilhelm to the Iranian crown prince. 5-A set made by melacit stone dedicated by Alexandre the third.

Tâlar-e Adj

Talare Adj (Hall of Ivory) is a large hall used as a dinning room. It was decorated with gifts presented to Nasser-ol-Din Shah by European monarchs. Among the Golestan Palace collection, a watercolor by Mah 


Located between the Badgir and Almas Hall, the Chador Khaneh (Hause of Tents) was used as a warehouse for royal tents. The Qajar tribe loved the great outdoors and made several royal camping trips each year. These trips were grand affairs with multitudes of servants and attendants in addition to all royal necessities. Many tents were needed to accommondate the entourage. Thus, a need for a House of Tents. The Chador Khanel has undergone major renovations and is now used a meeting and lecture hall. moud Khan Malek-ol-Shoara, shows the exterior view of this hall during the Qajar period.

Howz – Khâneh

Works of European Painters Presented to the Qajar court are housed in the Howz Khaneh. The Howz Khaneh was used as a summer chamber during the Qajar ear. A special cooling system pumped water form a subterranean system of streams (qanats) in this case the King’s qanat- into small ponds inside the chambers. Hows means pond, thus the name Howz Khaneh. The system was designed to pass through as many summer rooms as was necessary. The water was then channeled outside to irrigate the royal gardens. Due to the harmful effects of humidity, this system is no longer in use.


Dating back to 1759, this building was a part of the interior residences Kari, Khan Zand. The basic structure of the Khalvat-e-Karim Khani is similar to takht-e-Marmar. Like the latter, it is a terrace (iwan). There is a small marble throne inside the terrace. The structure is much smaller than Takht-e-Marmar and it has much less ornamentation. There was once a small pond with a fountain in the middle of this terrace. Water from a subterranean stream(the king’s qanat) flowed form the fountain into the pond and was later used to irrigate the Palace grounds. Believe that it was he who dubbed the structure Khalvat (n cozy corner). It seems extraordinary, but the valuable gravestone of Nasser-ol-Din Shah finally found its way to this quite corner of the Palace after being misplaced for sometime. This marble stone with a craved image of Nasser ol-Din Shal is indeed a site to behold.


Shams-ol-Emareh (Edis (Edifice of the Sun) is the most stunning structures of the Golestan Palace. The idea of building a tall structure came to Nasser-ol-Din Shah before his first European tour and from pictorial images of European buildings.

 The Monarch wanted a structure from which he could have panoramic views of the city. Designed by Moayer-ol· Mamalek, construction on the Shams-ol-Emareh began in 1865 and was completed two years later. The building has two identical towers. The exterior views have multipla arches, intricate tile work and on windows. This building is a fusion of Persian and European architecture.

‘Aks – Khane

The Aks Kluaneh (Phototheque) is a large summer chamber under the Badgir. this room was cooled using a cooling system that pumped water from a subterranean stream (qanat) into a small pond. Due to the harmful effects of humidity, this system is no longer in use. This room has undergone major renovations and is now used as an exhibition space for photographs of the Qajar period. Nasser-ol-Din Shah took an interest in photography not long after the invention of the camera. In fact, he was an avid photographer. The Aks Khaneh houses some photographs taken by Nasserol-Din Shual and some photographs captured by him.

Tâlar-e Berelian

Talar-e Berelian (Hall of Brilliance) was named so for it is adomed by the brilliant mirror work of Iranian artisans. The Hall was build by Nasser-ol-Din Shah build to replace another hall called Talar Bolour (Crystal Hall). 

Built by Fath Ali Shah the Bolour Hall had been laid waste by the damp. The Berelian Hall is famous for its mirror work and chandeliers. An oil painting by Yahya Khan Sanie-ol-Molk Ghafari, slowing the decoration of this hall before renovations carried out by Mozafar-ol-Din Shah (r.1896-1907). exists in the Golestan Palace.

Emârat-e Bâdgir

Emarat-e Badgir (Building of the Wind Towers) was constructed during the reign of Fath Ali Shah (circa 1806). The building underwent major renovations, including structural changes, during the reign of Nasser-ol-Din Shah. A watercolor rendering by Mahmoud Khan Malekol-Shoara depicts the original structure prior to renovation, The building is flanked by two rooms kown as goshvar (earring). There is a central room which boasts the finest stained glass window in Golestan Palace. Outside, there are four wind towers of blue, yellow and black glazed tiles and a golden cupola. The wind towers are constructed to allow the cooling wind to move through the structure.

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