Afif Abad Garden in Shiraz and Its Museums
Shiraz is one of the most beautiful cities in Iran, with numerous tourist attractions. This city is the capital of Fars province and has many nicknames. It is known as the city of poets, the city of roses and nightingales, and the city of gardens. One of these visually gorgeous gardens is the Afif Abad Garden in Shiraz, also known as the Golshan Garden.
Inside the garden is an elegant mansion now serving as a military museum. The AfifAbad Garden in Shiraz is located in a neighborhood called Afif Abad on Sattar Khan Blvd.
History of Afif-Abad Garden in Shiraz
The construction of this garden dates back to the Safavid and Qajar periods (Naser al-Din Shah). By this estimate, the year of its construction is 1863 AD. Also, due to its unparalleled beauty, this garden was registered as an Iranian national monument on May 31, 1972.
In addition to its beautiful trees, this garden is also considered a fine example of Iranian floriculture. The garden includes a royal palace as well, built during the Qajar period.
Afif Abad Garden hosted the Safavid kings in the past. At that time, there were no mansions (palaces) inside the garden.
The garden was purchased in the Qajar period, which is when new trees were planted. Other changes were also implemented in the garden. For example, a mansion was built inside the garden. In addition, an aqueduct near the garden was purchased to accommodate its water supply. All these measures were implemented during the rule of Qavam al-Mulk I and II. That was when the garden was gifted to Afifeh, the niece of Qavam al-Mulk I. Because of her extensive changes to the garden, it is now known as the Afif Abad Garden of Shiraz.
After that, during the Pahlavi period, this garden was given to Mohammad Reza Pahlavi’s wife as a gift. Then in 1961, the army purchased this garden in an auction. After the 1979 revolution, the garden remained a property of the Islamic Republic Army. On April 18, 1991 (coinciding with Iran’s National Army Day), the Garden complex was inaugurated as the second national military museum.
Architecture, Decorations and Applications of Afif Abad Garden
This garden occupies an area of roughly 127,000 square meters and is known as the oldest garden that still functions as one. The garden entrance has 4 simple plaster columns. The architectural style of these column capitals is similar to the Persepolis column capitals.
There is a stone relief above the door decorated with two carved lion heads. Passing through the entrance, we reach the garden’s main area through a corridor. There is a large pool in the middle of the main garden. In addition, there is a two-story mansion inside the garden with staircases connecting the floors.
The mansion has 30 rooms. When entering the mansion, two marble fireboxes stand out in the main hall. These fireboxes are placed inside the wall, one is located in the north of the hall and the other in the south.
The first floor is decorated with Abnama windows (Sash windows or colored glass windows). Abnama, as its name suggests, is a symbol of the river, fountains or water streams, and is one of the components of traditional Iranian architecture.
There is a long corridor on the second floor of Afif Abad Garden, separating two sets of nesting rooms. There is a grand hall with a wooden ceiling at the center of this floor. The wooden ceiling is decorated with patterns of flowers and bushes, the hunting ground and a banquet.
The walls of this grand hall are skillfully decorated with plaster. The plaster surface is also covered with beautifully customized Muqarnas work. The glass inserts in this floor’s doors and windows are plain glass without Abnama (colored) treatment. In fact, the architectural style of the garden and the mansion inside is an eclecticism (combination of architectural styles) of Achaemenids, Sassanid and Qajar architecture styles.
Today the first floor of the building is open to the public as the Afif Abad military museum. Many artifacts including hot and cold weaponry are on display at the museum.
Also, the second floor of the building is called the Ebrat (cautionary tale) museum. This museum has different exhibitions such as: reception, change room, hall, gambling house, study section and exhibit rooms.
Before leaving Afif Abad Garden in Shiraz, be sure to check out its teahouse, which is worth a visit. Its murals have a top artistic style and display epic scenes from the Shahnameh (Book of Kings). Spending some time in this tea house will be a relaxing experience and you can visualize some of Ferdowsi’s great works that were vital in preserving the cultural and national identity of Iran.
Do Not Miss Visiting This Attraction
If you travel to Shiraz on an Iran tour package or visit this beautiful city by yourself, we suggest including a visit to Afif Abad Garden in your schedule. In addition to enjoying the view of the garden and the architecture of the mansion inside, you can also visit its museums.
Destination Iran recommends that you carefully browse the tourist attractions of Shiraz before your trip so you can see more historical attractions in Shiraz.
Where is Afif Abad Bagh?
This garden is located in the Afif Abad neighborhood of Shiraz and on Sattar Khan Blvd. You can see the exact location of Afif Abad garden below:
Frequently Asked questions about Afif Abad Garden
To get answers to any other questions, contact us through the comments section of this post. We will answer your questions as soon as possible.
When was Afif Abad Garden built?
This garden is also known as “Golshan Garden”. The construction of the garden dates back to the Safavid and Qajar periods and was built in 1863.
What sections are in Afif Abad Shiraz garden?
Afif Abad Garden complex contains a royal palace, a museum of old wea,pons and a Persian garden. All the sections are open to the public.
What styles of historic architecture were used in the construction of Afif Abad Garden?
This garden is one of the oldest gardens in Shiraz. Its architecture is a combination or eclecticism of Achaemenes, Sassanian and Qajar period architecture.
What artifacts are on display at the Military Museum in Afif-Abad Garden?
This museum has a collection of hot and cold weapons, variations of old rifles and pistols, and some weapons from the personal collections of Fath Ali Shah, Naser al-Din Shah, Muzaffar al-Din Shah, Reza Shah, and Mohammad Reza Shah.
Why is this garden called Afif Abad?
Throughout its history, the garden has been the property of a number of historical figures. At some point during the Qajar period, it was gifted to Afifeh Khanum (or Lady Afifeh), the niece of Qavam al-Mulk. She, then, made a number of changes to improve and decorate the garden. Since then, the garden became known as “Afif Abad Garden”.