15th Khordad Sq., Tehran, Iran (P.O. Box: 11365-9595)
Tel: (0098-21) 311-3335 to
Fax: (0098-21) 311-1811
Type of Museum: Palace, Museum
Type of objects: Historical and Artistic
Golestan Museum is
divided to seven parts:
1- Anthropology Museum
2- Diamond Building
3- Akskhaneh (house of photography)
4- Howzkhaneh (house of piscine)
5- Negarkhaneh (Picture-Gallery)
6- Shams-ul-Emareh Building.
7- Marble Throne Verdana and Gushvareh rooms
of ancient masterpieces, shown in this Museum, are:
Guiveh, Pottery, Stone works, Metal works, Felt, Calico, Bride Models,
Marriage Papers, Stationary, Music Instruments, Ghaveh-Khaneh Models,
Slipper and Stocks, Weapons, Travel Necessities, Ashura Hall,
Passion-Play Accessories, Duskami (big glasses for wine), Nakhl and
Korsi. A big library is completed this Palace and Museums. Ancient
Building of this Museum, were the Palace of Kings, in Past. For some
people visit Buildings is more interested than Museums.
Golestan Palace complex is all that
remains of Tehran's Historical Citadel (Arg) which once glittered like a
jewel. This historical Arg was built at the of Shah Tahmasb I
in Safavid period.
It was reconstructed at the time of Karim Khan Zand and was chosen as
the venue of the royal court and residence at the time of Qajar Kings.
Nassereddin Shah introduced many modifications in Golestan Palace
buildings during his reign.
The Royal Court and
Residence occupied more than one third of Arg, like traditional Iranian
houses, had two interior and exterior quarters. The exterior quarters
consisted of the administrative section of the royal court and a square
shaped garden known as Golestan (rose garden). These two parts, were
separated by several buildings, that were destroyed in Pahlavi period.
The interior quarters were located
east of the administrative section to the north of Golestan.
It was a large courtyard including
the residences of the Shah's women, with a huge dormitory in the middle
that in fact contained " Harem sari ". These buildings were
destroyed in the Pahlavi period and the Ministry of Economic Affairs and
Finance was built in their place.
yard or Dar-ul-Hokumeh was used for Shah's formal receptions, while
Golestan Palace was used as the royal court's interior quarters for
private meetings and nocturnal feasts.
The square shaped Golestan, surrounded by various buildings and halls,
was divided into two parts with the construction of a long bifurcated building known as the exterior building at the time of Fath Ali Shah.
This building, constructed on an East-West axis, was destroyed at the
time Nassereddin Shah and the garden regained its integrity.
At first there were two large
pools, one in front of Shams-ul-Emareh
and Wind Tower Buildings
another in front of the Mirror Hall. Two pools were connected to each
other by a long duct, along the exterior building.
Mirror Hall is
located west of the Reception Hall and over the frontispiece and stone
Iwan in front of lobby of the palace. It is one of the most famous hall
of Golestan Palace. It was built simultaneously with Reception Hall
between 1874 and 1877. This hall was dedicated to the Peacock Throne and
the Kianid Crown when the objects in the old museum were taken to the
new museum; and owes much of its fame to its ornamentation and even to
the portrayal of it in a painting created by Mirza Mohammad Khan
Kamalolmolk in 1891. The painting is now on display the Golestan Palace.
Ivory hall is
located west of Brilliant Hall beyond Mirror Hall. It was built in
Nassereddin Shah (Qajar) period. During the reign of Nassereddin Shah it
was used for the safekeeping of gifts received from foreign countries.
In Pahlavi period it was the venue of official parties and celebrations.
Its interior has changed to a great extent and the summer chamber
beneath it has been turned into an art gallery.
Hall and the northeastern corner of Golestan Garden there was once a
citrus plantation that was demolished early during the reign of Reza
Khan. In 1959, a new dormitory and administrative building were
constructed on this site, for the visit to Iran by Queen Elizabeth
(Two). Thereafter this building was used to accommodate visiting heads
of states. The last time it was used as such, was in 1979 during the
visit by Chinese Head of State.
There are several
spectacularly beautiful halls and rooms to the east of Ivory Hall. The
floors of these rooms are lower than those of the other halls. At the
time of Nassereddin Shah most of the old buildings in Arg were destroyed
and replaced. Crystal Building, was replaced by the current “Brilliant
Building”. During Pahlavi period, it was used for official meetings
with Foreign Heads of States and Major ceremonies.
Wind Tower Building
sits on the southern wing of Golestan Garden. Built during the reign of
Fath Ali Shah, it was dramatically modified at the time of Nassereddin
Under the hall there is a large
summer chamber. Each corner bears a tall wind tower covered with blue,
yellow and black glazed tiles and a golden cupola. Wind coming through
these towers cools the summer chamber, hall and rooms.
tent house, is located between Wind Tower Building and Diamond Hall. It
was the place where royal tents, used during the kings' trips were
stored. After restoration presently this building is used for holding
temporary exhibition or for small gathering.
Upon his return from
Europe in 1869, after visiting several museum and art galleries,
Nassereddin Shah decided to establish similar sites in his Arg. He had
the exterior building destroyed and new ones built on the northwestern
wing of Golestan Palace next to Ivory Hall. These buildings included
Lobby, the Mirror Hall and Museum Room. Construction of Museum Room began
in 1870 and ended in 1873. However it was not used until 1878, because
of the multitude of ornaments to be completed.
This hall was
intended to become a museum from the very beginning. Nevertheless, after
the Peacock Throne was moved from the Mirror Hall to the museum, this
hall became the venue of official court receptions and was thus named
the Reception Hall. The most precious objects and works of art that were
presented to the monarch of Persia, particularly the jewels, were kept
in this hall.
In 1966, on the
occasion of the Mohammad Reza Coronation, The decoration of this hall was
modified to give it, its present shape.
Summer Chamber in the basement has been divided in two parts. The
eastern part, called Special Hall, is dedicated to Qajar period
fine arts. The western part, known as the Art Gallery, is the venue of
an exhibition of Qajar period Persian paintings.
Rooms, themselves, with their high arches and ornate cravings and the
numerous and large chandeliers are competitors for the eye of the
beholder of the beauties that fill their spaces. Ceiling, floors and banisters
also catch the eye of the visitor.
In the Northeastern
corner of the Golestan Palace, next to Reception Hall, there is a
building with columns in the form of a veranda. At its center is
fountain, where water once flowed from a subterranean steam (Qanat).
Named after Karim Khan Zand, this building dates back to the Zand
period. It was part of the interior of Karim Khan's residence. The
building, is believed to have been constructed in 1759.
At the time of Nassereddin Shah a major part of this building was
destroyed, when the reception hall was being constructed.
Although little of its splendor and beauty remains the artists' legacy
can still be observed in the intricate work.
Throne Veranda( Iwan
The sensitivity of Iranian
artists, aided by the skills of architecture, painting, stone carving,
tile working, stucco, mirror work, enameling, wood working, and lattice
work have created unforgettable masterpieces in the buildings among the
old royal palaces.
Shah received people
from various walks of life during official ceremonies on this throne
In 1806, Fath Ali Shah ordered
stone cravers from Isfahan to make a throne from the famous marble of
Yazd. It was placed in the middle of the Iwan.
It appears that Iwan, older than the other parts of Historical Arg, is a
Zand period monument, built during the reign of Karim Khan.
The architecture and
ornaments of this veranda were further modified during the reigns of
Fath Ali Shah and Nassereddin Shah. The coronation of the Qajar kings,
as well as various other official ceremonies, was performed from this
Iwan. The last of these ceremonies was the Coronation of Reza Khan in
Diamond Hall is
located on the southern wing of Golestan Palace, past the Wind Tower Building. It was constructed during the
reign of Fath Ali Shah but its
appearance and ornaments were modified at the time of Nassereddin Shah.
It is called " Diamond Hall", because of its glittering mirror
Towards the end of
the reign of Nassereddin Shah, the Ottoman Sultan Abdulhamid sent some
precious gifts for the Shah of Iran. Whereas at that time almost all the
royal palaces were decorated with various paintings and furniture, Shah
decided to have a new palace constructed on the south-western wing of
the Golestan area on the former site of the pavilion or Agha Mohammad
Khan Tower to serve as a depository for the gifts.
The White building,
with its 18th century European style stucco, was named the White Palace
for the color of the stucco and the white marble stones that covered its
hall and staircase.
From the very
beginning White Palace became the Prime Minister's Office. Until 1954
Cabinet Meeting were held in Sultan Abulhamid Hall of this Palace. In
1965, the western wing and the ground floor of this building were
modified, to make it suitable for Coronation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi.
This building became "Anthropology Museum" in 1968 and
displays some of the most ancient artifacts to be found in Iran.
This building is the most outstanding one in Golestan Palace and the
finest on its eastern wing.
Before his trip to Europe,
Nassereddin Shah (that inspired by the pictures, he had seen of European
Buildings) decided to construct a European Style Building in his
Capital, so he could watch city's panoramic view from its balcony.
in 1865 and was completed in two years. Building was designed by
Moayer-ul-Mamalek and its architect was Ostad Mohammad Ali of Kashan.
Its balanced design, set off by two towers, is typical of Persian
Architecture as is the multiple display of arches, tile work and Ornate
windows. Thus blending east and west to Shah's delight.