Palaces were always a grandiose place, whether being built by a king or a local governor. Today we are going to visit a place in Iran, Isfahan. It was called as the most beautiful building in the world by some travelers such as; Sharden. It was built during the 17th century and known as Hasht Behesht palace. Also, “Hasht-o Hasht” and “the 8 door of heaven” are its other names. In order to recognize its importance, it is the only remained Safavid palace in “Chahar Bagh” street, was built about 500 years ago during the reign of Shah Abbas the 1st.
As it mentioned above, the mansion was built about 400 years ago during Safavid dynasty while the garden dates back to at least 500 years ago. Actually, Shah Suleiman ordered to build a pavilion in a garden known as “Hasht Behesht garden” which was a part of a bigger garden, Jahan Nama garden. The constructions had finished at the 3rd anniversary of the coronation of Shah Suleiman. But the reason of building is not clear and neither what happened to the place after Safavids until Qajar dynasty, the 19th century. At that time it became a school, just for two years. Then the king, Naseraldin Shah, gifted the place to a noblewoman, with some conditions, such as; not changing the architecture, the decoration or the territory. Unfortunately, when the garden inherited to her descendants, some changes were done and some parts were ruined. Now the place is under the authority of Iran Cultural and Heritage Ministry.
This place is in the sketch of Persian garden. Moreover, there is a mansion in the garden which has an octagonal plan. Various ornamentations and labyrinth rooms are the main features of the place.
The external decorations
The first thing that can attract visitor is the octagonal plan of the building with labyrinth sketch. It was built on platform that is about 2 meters higher than the area around it and there are stairs in each side which provide accessibility to other parts of the building. In addition, in each side there is a portico, the main one is to the north, However the existence of a pool to the east has caused a misunderstanding. Any way, having porticos, a central hall, a pool and windows all around the building are all the reasons of having an external architecture, on the other hand it should be the main feature of Persian gardens.
The internal architecture
The ornamentations of the building are varied, depends on from which side you enter. As it mentioned the mansion has an octagonal plan, it is also divide into four octagonal parts. In the middle there is a hall with a pool. In this part, there are mirror works, stucco works with paintings and stalactites at the top. Also, here is surrounded by 8 rooms in two stories. The rooms in the first level, are built on the corners. They are decorated with amazing stucco works and paintings. the second level has a labyrinth architecture, divided into different sections by aisles and each part has its special decoration. Walls are decorated with outstanding mirrorwork and ceiling with beautiful paintings.
Finally, the thing which makes Hasht Behesht garden as a unique place, is the connection between different sections. There is a harmony in the architecture while the decorations are different.