Persian gardens

The term Persian Gardens refers to formal palace and pleasure gardens of the Middle Ages and the modern era in Iran and neighboring regions. There are also in Persia also mostly irrigated vegetable gardens and orchards, which are not covered by this term. The garden design is a fundamental part of Persian culture. This had such an effect that the ancient Persian word for garden Paradaidha was borrowed as a "paradise" in many European languages ​​as well as into Hebrew, where to this day the term Pardes is used. In June 2011, nine Persian gardens were declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 3.1 Achaemenids
  • 3.2 Sasanian
  • 3.3 Middle Ages
  • 3.4 Safavids
  • 3.5 presence

Elements of the Persian garden

In Persian gardens inner courtyards are often connected by structures such as arches with attached outer gardens. The inner gardens are intended to act as a symbol for the Domestic, while the outer reflect the surrounding world. Such a garden is primarily for recreation and relaxation. Furthermore, a garden as a place of spirituality, social activities, formerly used as a place of the symposium etc.. A Persian garden can be created formally, ie garden structure is of particular importance, or focusing on the flora.


An important factor in the structural design in Persian gardens are sunlight and light effects. Architects curb the sunlight that they design patterns and shapes of the light beams.


Due to the hot climate of Iran shady spots in the garden are desired. Trees and shrubs are natural shade, and often pavilions and walls are used to protect from excessive sun. Experienced architects leave by shadow special effects are created.


Since there are in addition to the many forests in Iran also very dry areas, water is particularly important. Qanats or sources irrigate the whole garden. It is believed that the technology of qanats, run along the tunnel under the water table is several thousand years old. The garden itself is often crossed by water channels. Such are to be found in the garden type Chahar Bāgh. Trees are often called in water-filled ditches, Dschub, planted, prevent the evaporations and tree roots provide sufficient water.


Besides arches, brickwork and magnificent buildings are pavilions in many gardens. Their name Koschk ( as Arabic كشك, DMG has KOSK held as a " kiosk " moving into German.

Garden types

After the Arab conquest of the waterways of the inward-facing and always walled variant of Persian gardens were a symbol of the heavenly rivers, the water and wine, milk and honey carry with them interpreted. This type of garden has been copied by the spread of Islam from the gardens of the Spanish Moors to the Mughal Gardens in India often.

Few old gardens have been preserved. Bagh -e Schahsadeh, of the palace of Prince Abdul Hamid Mirza Qajar dynasty leads the since its establishment in 1873, shows how the Persian garden looks particularly by contrast to its arid environment.

The six basic types of Persian gardens are listed in the following list according to type and function. Persian gardens are not always limited to one type, but often combine different types.

History of Persian garden culture


The oldest surviving Persian Palace Garden dates back to Cyrus II. His remains were found in Pasargadae in Fars. This garden had a rectangular floor plan and stone aggregate channels. He also had a pavilion.

Xenophon handed, as the Spartan Lysander around 400 BC came as an envoy to Sardis and the local Garden of the Persian prince Cyrus the Younger admired. Cyrus is said to have received his guest personally and assured him that he had created and planted the garden itself.


During the Sassanidenherrschaft from the third to the seventh century under the influence of Zoroastrianism, the water, had represented as fountains and lakes in the gardens, in the art of outstanding importance.

Ardashir I ( 226-240 AD ), the first Sasanian ruler, put in a walled garden at Firuzabad in whose center was a round lake. He was famous for its numerous varieties of roses and fruit trees. In the palace of Chosroes I ( 531-579 ) in Ctesiphon, there was a rug named Bahār -e Kisra, the abbildete a royal garden. He was 137 m long and 28 m wide. Channels divided flowering meadows, which were lined with flowering fruit trees. The whole was surrounded by a border. The substrate consisted of gold brocade, the leaves were woven in green silk, precious stones and semi-precious stones represented the flowers, the water rock crystal was used. Its appearance is narrated by Arab authors such as Tabari. Otherwise, no plan of a Sasanian garden has survived.

Middle Ages

After the Arabs storm of the Persian garden was a symbol of the Islamic Paradise. Through the Islamic expansion of the Persian garden became widespread, so you used nowadays the term " oriental " garden. The descriptions of love scenes or drinking in gardens of Persian poets such as Nezami reveal which importance has been attached to the garden.

The invasion of the Mongols in the 13th century reinforced the architectural decoration in the garden. India was heavily influenced by the Mughal reign, the Mughal Gardens have precursors in Central Asia and Afghanistan. Persian carpets often depict stylized garden motifs. The carpet borders symbolize boundary walls and paths. The inner carpet area is mostly divided into quarters, which in turn contain six squares. These are decorated with flower patterns or stylized trees. The oldest descriptions and drawings of Persian gardens come from travelers, Ibn Battuta in the 14th century, Ruy Gonzales de Clavijo in the following century and Engelbert fighter in the 17th century.

Marco Polo described as a paradise Persian gardens, planted permeated with the best fruits in the world and of four channels: one of these channels by flowing wine, a milk, a is with honey and filled with water.


During the Safavid dynasty ( 17th to 18th century ) palace gardens were created by huge proportions. These gardens were aesthetic and functional elements of palace complexes.

Engelbert fighters drew Safavid gardens exactly and published them in Europe. They show the type of garden Chahar Bagh with an enclosing wall, rectangular pool of water, a network of canals inside the gardens and pavilions.

In the following centuries European garden design began to influence Iran, particularly French garden types, but also Russian and British gardens became models. New types of irrigation and new bedding plants are due to the influence of the West.


The traditional garden forms and types are not more prevalent in Iran. You can only be admired in museums and historical places. Parts of the rich population still maintain traditional gardens.

2011 have been declared World Heritage Site by Unesco nine gardens:

  • Mahan -e Kerman
  • Abbas Abad in Behschar
  • Bagh -e Fin in Kashan
  • Chehel Sotun in Isfahan
  • Bagh -e Eram in Shiraz
  • Pasargad in Shiraz
  • Doulat Abad in Yazd
  • Pahlewan Pur in Jazd
  • Akbarieh Birjand


Early reached the Median word for garden in the Judeo-Christian mythology as the name of Paradise.

Babur led the Central Asian Timurid garden in India. The now no longer maintained garden Aram Bagh in Agra was the first of many gardens that he created. The Persian ideal of a paradise garden was realized in the facilities of the Taj Mahal.

For the Persian literature, for the art of carpet weaving, the Persian architecture, but also for the Persian painting garden scenes are typical. For example, playing a large part of the Liebesepen of Nezami in gardens. The poems of Hafez use the garden flowers as a stylistic device.

Goethe seals on Persian gardens:

" Grabet your field into petite Reine, That the sun like bescheine the diligence; If you planted trees, so be it in rows, Because they can thrive Parent. Even the water it may in channels Never in the course, never lack Pure. "

Today, the Persian garden under the coarse simplification " oriental " garden is almost forgotten.

Famous Persian gardens

  • Taj Mahal
  • Niavaran in Tehran
  • Saad Abad in Tehran
  • Bagh -e Eram in Shiraz
  • Bagh -e Shazdeh in Kerman
  • Bagh -e Fin in Kashan
  • Doulatabad in Yazd
  • Bāghtscheh Jugh in Maku
  • Chehel Sotun in Isfahan