The Golestan Palace is the former royal Qajar complex in Tehran, Iran.
One of the oldest historic monuments in the city of Tehran, and has the world heritage status, the Golestan Palace belongs to a group of royal buildings that were once enclosed within the mud thatched walls of Tehran’s arg. It consists of gardens, royal buildings, and collections of Iranian crafts and European presents from the 18th and 19th centuries.
“The Mirror Hall is the most famous of the halls”
Before my visit to the Golestan Palace I had no idea what to expect because I had heard a lot of different story’s. Some people say that it is really beautiful but others say that it is nothing of what is has been so I had to find out myself. The staff at the entrance are really helpful and are able to give you advise of the exhibitions you must have seen. After the advise I bought myself a few tickets as every exhibition has its own entrance fee.
The courtyard is properly maintained and has a nice long pond. All the buildings and exhibitions are situated around the courtyard. One of the exhibition halls shows gifts from foreign country’s and head’s of state. There are really a lot of different gifts from swords to star viewers and from marble scales to golden coins. Some of the gifts are behind glass and others behind a cord.
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. The hall was designed by Haj Abd ol Hossein. The Mirror Hall shows the splendor and beauty of the Shah’s dynasty. High ceilings, large Persian carpets and a lot of mirrors. There is dust all over the place but I can imagine that it is really difficult to keep it free of dust and still have the open setting.
In between 1925 and 1945 a large portion of the buildings of the palace were destroyed on the orders of Reza Shah who believed that the centuries old Qajar palace should not hinder the growth of a modern city. In the place of the old buildings modern 1950s and 1960s style commercial buildings were erected.
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.
On the premises there are two small gift shops where you could buy yourself some traditional persian goods. If you are hungry or thirsty you could have something to drink or a snack at the small food stall. To be honest the food stall is a bit pricey.
But I must say that the Golestan Palace is a really nice palace and a must visit if you are visiting Tehran.