“The Bride of Iran’s Houses”
Tabatabai House is one of the most beautiful historical houses in Kashan, built in 1835 in Sultan Amir Ahmad neighborhood by Haj Seyed Jafar Tabatabai, a carpet merchant who lived in Kashan then. a prominent architect of the Qajar era, Master Ali Maryam, constructed the eye catching Tabatabai House who later built the house Borudjerdi for the daughter of the Tabatabai who had just married. The plasterworks and paintings were done by the students of Mirza Abolhassan Sani al-Molak Ghaffari Kashani. This beautiful house is known as the bride of Iranian houses. This unique building is surrounded by other touristic sites, such as Borudjerdi House, Abbasi House, Ameri House, Toy Museum, Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse and others.
It has forty rooms, four courtyards with white stones and a large pond, three Badgirs (Wind-Catchers), used for air-conditioning in hot summer days of Kashan to make the inside cool and pleasant and two Qanats (Aqueduct) which bring water to the pools and fountains in the middle of the courtyards. Tabatabai house has 5 entrances, among which today only the main entrance is accessible after crossing the meandering corridor to the vestibule (octagonal space at the entrance of the house that is used to await guests). The entrance is located in the southeastern corner of the building and is a combination of several spaces that connect each courtyard to the other.
The architecture style of Tabatabai’s house is symmetrical and veiled and sunken courtyard. In a way that the inside of the house cannot be seen from the exterior and the courtyards are not visible from the roofs of the surrounding houses. By using this style, all the windows of the house are open to spaces such as the courtyards and porches, and these spaces are best decorated. The other architecture style of Tabatabai’s house is sunken courtyard, in which the courtyard below ground level. So that, the building would be resistant to earthquake, and also water supply to the house is facilitated.
The House covers about 5,000 square meters, consisting of three sections, the classic features of traditional Persian architecture:
- “Biruni” (Exterior section (the public area)) that is decorated with stucco ornaments and amazingly carved wooden doors and windows. It has an eye-catching courtyard with white stones and a large pond. This pond plays an important role in the beauty of the yard in addition to watering the trees.. The outside of the house is larger and taller than the rest. There are various spaces on the four sides of the courtyard, including: The Alcove (Shah Neshin), The Mirror Ivan, the exterior rooms and the backyard.
- “Andaruni” (Interior section (the private/women’s quarters) which includes multi-colored mosaic windows and paintings. There is the legendary bird Homa (Sphinx) appearing in the plots of the decorations, devoted to the merchant’s wife, whose name was Homa.
- The quarters of servants (Khadameh), the “Khadameh” which consist of a courtyard, a room and a crypt, but no evidence of excellent building decorations. There is also a kitchenette or kitchen, where all the family and guests’ meals have been prepared in the past. There were crew rooms in this area too, but today there is no trace of them.