Gardens are one of the most important part of Iranian architecture. In fact you cant find a traditional house in Iran without having a small garden in it. The story of the Persian garden is rooted in ancient Iran, the first one was built in Pasargadae near the tomb of Cyrus the great. But, through the history this method continued generation by generation. That’s why there are lots of Persian gardens all around Iran. Today we are going to visit one of the which is a bit different from the others. It is Afif Abad garden, located in Shiraz and now is Iran second military museum.
Afif Abad Garden is one of the most beautiful historical gardens in Shiraz, Fars province. The garden, which is also known as ‘Golshan Garden’, meaning heaven in Persian. It was used as a promenade during the Safavid dynasty, about 500 years ago by the local governor. During Qajar dynasty, 19th century, a mansion was added to the garden by one of the dignitaries of Shiraz, Mirza Ali Muhammad Khan Qavam. But later, about 50 years ago the army took the control of the garden and rebuild the mansion. Now it is the second museum of Iran, the first one is in Tehran, Saadabad palace. Finally, about its name there are some theories. Some one says that it is derived from the name of its owner, Afifeh. It is rejected as nothing can be found about her. Others believe that it is related to the types of snakes which were living there, however it is not proved.
It contains a former royal mansion, a historical weapons museum, and a Persian garden, all open to the public. This garden is in the sketch of Persian garden, according to this sketch the garden by streams of water divides into different parts, normally 4 sections, and usually there is a mansion at the center or at the interception. So, to the west a building in two floors with is standing. In fact it was rebuilt about 50 years ago by the army. This pavilion is decorated astonishingly with plaster works with reliefs, and paintings. They are adopted by the reliefs of persepolis and the Sassanid reliefs. For example there is the investiture relief of Ardeshir the first, the founder of Sassanid dynasty or the triumph relief of his son ,Shapur the first. In addition the style of the architecture is influenced by the Achamanid’s architecture which is absolutely clear on the columns. But, the ceiling and windows are adopted by Zand architecture. It is a two story building that the first one is the military museum and the second one is the museum of lessons or edifications. In the military museum you will see lots of weapons belong to kings or dignitaries such as , Shah Abas the first, Naser Al-din shah, Mirza Kuchak Khan, Reza Shah, etc. The museum of lessons is furnished by French furniture. Also, there you will see different rooms of gambling.
In front of the building, there is a pretty pool which adds the beauty. Actually in the architecture and plan it is influenced by Eram garden, in fact Persian style. Afif-Abad Garden is the second army museum in Iran. The museum holds all objects used in wars. This green garden also has an old bathroom that is now converted to a café.