“A Paradise in the Heart of the Desert”
Shazdeh Garden meaning Prince’s Garden is a historical Persian garden located near (6km away from) Mahan in Kerman province, Iran.
The garden construction was originally started in Qajar dynasty, by the order of Mohammad Hasan Khan Qajar Sardari Iravani, Keman’s governor of the period and was extended by Abdolhamid Mirza Naserodolleh, the next governor. However the construction of the garden and some of its parts such as the ornamentations and decorations was left unfinished, due to his death. The recent kingdoms and governments have compensated for this and they have renovated many parts of the structure.
It is said that when the person who was building the garden heard the news of Abdolhamid Mirza Naserodolleh death, the man happily threw the mortar in his hand into the wall. The effect of such negligence is apparent today in the vacancy of the tiles on the entrance hall. The date of consruction was 1276 of Solar.
What is very amazing about Shazdeh Garden is that it is located in the desert where nothing exists but dry plains and the contrast between the green space inside the garden and the dry environment outside.
The approximate area of Shazdeh Garden is about 5.5 hectares with a rectangular shape and a wall around it. Its length is 407 meters and its width is 122 meters, including two sets of eastern and western buildings. In addition to the authentic architecture of the mansion, the existence of fountains that act only in accordance with the law of physics and altitude are the hallmarks of this beautiful traditional garden.
Upon entering the garden, tourists and visitors will see a beautiful courtyard, which looks like a picture frame depicting the mansion, ponds, fountains and trees. The belvedere or the main mansion in the northern part of the garden includes the facade, the alcove (Shah Neshin) and the bathrooms.
The material used for the construction of Shazdeh garden is brick, as well as the Iranian tile art. The wall of the garden is made of lattice which is replaced by the combination of brick and plaster near the facade and upstairs. The floor of the garden and the sidewalks are covered with the mix of rubble and mud and the two areas surrounding the upstairs and the facade are decorated with geometric patterns. Bricks are used in the stairs and the gardens margins and to separate the plots (gardens) from pavements and other edges, stone is applied.
Other than the main residential building, at its entrance, the garden also consists of a two-storied building for which the second floor was used as living quarters and for receiving guests. Other smaller utility rooms are situated along the sides of the garden. Amongst them a few side entrances also connect the garden to the outside.
The clever use of the natural climate which is the primary aspect of every Persian garden can be seen in here. Thanks to the smart water control system, the garden enjoys a mild temperature throughout the year. Its water supply is Tigran qanat which is originating from Joupar altitudes. On the two ends of the water path, meaning at the main entrance and the residential structure, there’s a pool that collects and then redistributes the water.
Shazdeh Garden was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011 along with eight other Iranian gardens.