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12/29/12

Photos: Khalvat-e-Karim Khani, Golestan Palace, Tehran

Photos by Ashraf Tabatabaei, Mehr News Agency; Description by www.golestanpalace.ir

Dating back to 1759, this building was a part of the interior residence of Karim Khan Zand. The basic structure of the Khalvat-e-Karim Khani is similar to Takht-e-Marmar. Like the latter, it is a terrace (iwan). There is a small marble throne inside the terrace. The structure is much smaller than Takht-e-Marmar 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.

Nasser-ol-Din Shah was fond of this corner of Golestan Palace. He is said to have spent much time here in rest and repose- smoking his water pipe in quiet reflection. In fact, some believe that it was he who dubbed the structure Khalvat (a place of solitude). It seems extraordinary, but the valuable gravestone of Nasser-ol-Din Shah finally found its way to this quite corner of the Palace after being misplaced for sometime. This marble stone with a craved image of Nasser-ol-Din Shah is indeed a site to behold.

More about Golestan Palce:

The oldest of the historic monuments in Tehran, the Golestan Palace (Palace of Flowers) belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud-thatched walls of Tehran's Historic Arg (citadel).

The Arg was built during the reign of Tahmasb I (r. 1524-1576) of the Safavid dynasty (1502-1736), and was later renovated by Karim Khan Zand (r. 1750-1779). Agha Mohamd Khan Qajar (1742-1797) chose Tehran as his capital. The Arg became the site of the Qajar (1794-1925) Court and Golestan Palace became the official residence of the royal family.

During the Pahlavi era (1925-1979) Golestan Palace was used for formal royal receptions. The most important ceremonies to be held in the Palace during the Pahlavi era were the coronation of Reza Khan (r. 1925-1941) in Takht-e Marmar and the coronation of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (r. 1941-deposed 1979) in the Museum Hall.

In its present state, Golestan Palace is the result of roughly 400 years construction and renovations. The buildings at the contemporary location each have a unique history.




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