The lavish Golestan Palace is a masterpiece of the Qajar era, embodying the successful integration of earlier Persian crafts and architecture with Western influences. The walled Palace, one of the oldest groups of buildings in Tehran, became the seat of government of the Qajar family, which came into power in 1779 and made Teheran the capital of the country. Built around a garden featuring pools as well as planted areas, the Palace’s most characteristic features and rich ornaments date from the 19th century. It became a centre of Qajari arts and architecture of which it is an outstanding example and has remained a source of inspiration for Iranian artists and architects to this day. It represents a new style incorporating traditional Persian arts and crafts and elements of 18th century architecture and technology.
The complex of Golestan Palace consists of 17 structures, including palaces, museums, and halls. Almost all of this complex was built during the 131 years rule of the Qajar kings. These palaces were used for many occasions such as coronations and other important celebrations. It also consists of three main archives, including the photographic archive, the library of manuscripts, and the archive of documents.
Marble Throne (Takht e Marmar)
This spectacular terrace, known as the Marble Throne, was built in 1806 , Adorned by paintings, marble-carvings, tile-work, stucco, mirrors, enamel, woodcarvings, and lattice windows, the throne embodies the finest of Iranian architecture. The Marble Throne is one of the oldest buildings of the historic arg. It is situated in the middle of the terrace (iwan), and is made of the famous yellow marble.
Karim Khani Nook (Khalvat e Karim Khani)
Dating back to 1759, this building was a part of the interior residence of Karim Khan of the Zand dynasty. The basic structure of the Karim Khani Nook is similar to the Marble Throne. Like the latter, it is a terrace. There is a small marble throne inside the terrace. The structure is much smaller than the Marble Throne and it has much less ornamentation. There was once a small pond with a fountain in the middle of this terrace. Water from a subterranean stream (the king’s qanat) flowed from the fountain into the pond and was later used to irrigate the palace grounds.
Brilliant Hall (Talar e Brelian)
The Brilliant Hall was named so for it is adorned by the brilliant mirror work of Iranian artisans.
Ivory Hall (Talar e Adj)
Ivory Hall is a large hall used as a dining room. It was decorated with some gifts presented by European monarchs.
Mirror Hall (Talar e Aineh)
The Mirror Hall is the most famous of the halls of the Golestan Palace. This relatively small hall is famous for its extraordinary mirror work.
Salam Hall (Talar e Salam)
The Salam (“Reception”) Hall was originally designed to be a museum.
Edifice of the Sun (Shams ol Emareh)
The Edifice of the Sun is considered the most stunning structure of the Golestan Palace.